- Media reports suggesting that former President Goodluck Jonathan has accepted to join the 2023 presidential race has been debunked
- An associate of the former president, Chief Dikivie Ikiogha, Jonathan has not agreed to join the race as reported
- Ikiogha recently led a south-south advocacy group to the ex-president at his home in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital
Yenagoa - An associate of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Dikivie Ikiogha, said the ex-Nigerian leader has not accepted to join the 2023 presidential race.
He also refuted media reports that the recent meeting the group held with Jonathan in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital was to evolve strategies for his joining the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to pursue his presidential ambition.
Ikiogha, who is the founder of a group advocating for south-south presidency, told newsmen in Yenagoa, that it was “mischievous” for the media to report that the group met with Jonathan in order to map out strategies to return him to the presidency on the platform of APC.
Ikiogha who is a member of the state chapter of the APC, said the visit to the former president in his home like many others they had embarked on, was to intimate him with the group’s plan and reasons for advocating for south-south presidency in 2023.
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Leadership newspaper quoted him as saying:
“The report is not fair to our group. It is also not fair to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. It is something they just concocted and went to press with it. If they had wanted to do balanced journalism, they would have contacted me and known our (the group) position before publishing the story.
“Our functions and our responsibilities are well spelt out in the constitution of the south-south presidency 2023. We are an advocacy group and we cannot be talking on air without making consultations and meeting people.
“We have met several persons and no link was made that they are contesting elections. For more than one year, we have been operating and just one visit to Jonathan, they misrepresented our intention. They claimed Jonathan agrees to contest for the presidency.
“Jonathan did not agree to run and we did not go there to persuade him to run for the office. We told him that we are an advocacy group championing the south-south presidency. And that we have been speaking and he must have been reading about us.
“We told him that what the group wants is that the next president of Nigeria should come from the south-south.”
2023: Osita Okechukwu asks Tinubu not to run for presidency
Meanwhile, the director-general of the Voice of Nigeria and a foundation member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Osita Okechukwu, has advised former Lagos state governor, Bola Tinubu not to run for the presidential seat in 2023.
Okechukwu gave the advice in a statement on Sunday, December 19, 2021 in which he urged Tinubu to rather harness resources combined with his influence to support a young candidate to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
The founding member of the ruling party admonished Tinubu to back a politician from the south in order to unite the region.
Group gives condition for backing Tinubu in 2023
In a related development, Tinubu has been told that he will get the support of the Coalition of Progressive Youths and Student Leaders for his 2023 presidential ambition if he backs the emergence of a youth as the national chairman of the APC.
This was disclosed by Samuel Olalere, the convener of the coalition at a news conference on Sunday, December 26, 20921 in Ikeja, Lagos.
Olalere said the person taking over from President Buhari in 2023 has to be a mature person with the ability to advance the country's progress.