- Former President Jonathan has finally shed light on the rumours linking him to the APC presidential ticket in the buildup to the ruling party's primary
- The Bayelsa-born politician said he enjoyed the drama for what it was but stated that he had no such plan, adding that he would not contest for president again
- Jonathan, who is the country's immediate past president, said contesting for the office again will diminish him
The immediate former president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has said he will never contest for the country's Presidency again.
The Bayelsa-born politician said he would be diminishing himself if he should decide to begin to lobby people and campaign for the presidential election again, The Punch reported.
Legit.ng gathers that Jonathan said this in an interview published in a book, ‘My Time As Chaplain In Aso Rock,” presented to the public on Tuesday, December 6.
The book written by Nathaniel Bivan contains the accounts of the Chaplain of the Aso Rock Villa Chapel during the Jonathan administration, Obioma Onwuzurumba.
“If you wake up tomorrow and see that I am President again, that means there may have been circumstances beyond my control.
"But not to go and pick one form and go and start lobbying people and running for campaigns; I can’t do that again. If I do that, I will diminish myself,” the former President said.
2023 elections: Jonathan and the APC presidential primary
Before the conduct of the presidential primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), there were strong speculations that the ruling party's ticket would be given to Jonathan.
Some said President Muhammadu Buhari wanted the ex-president to succeed him while others claimed that some northern stakeholders wanted the former Bayelsa governor so that power could return to the north in 2027.
A group even went as far as procuring the N100 million APC form for Jonathan.
I was enjoying the drama, says Jonathan
Speaking on the development, Jonathan said he enjoyed the drama that characterised the rumour of his move to pick the APC presidential ticket.
“I was enjoying the drama. At least they are not insulting me. After all, I was pursued out of the office that I was not good enough. So, if now, Nigerians are saying, ‘Oh, this man should come,’ that means they are cleaning me up. So, let me enjoy the drama.
“I was not disturbed. I know I cannot go and start struggling to be President again. It wasn’t only Nigerians who were asking me such questions, even most of the top ambassadors -the American ambassador, the UK High Commissioner, France, and all of them. They came to ask me whether I would contest. I don’t think I would contest any election.
“If you wake up tomorrow and see that I’m President again, that means there may have been circumstances beyond my control. But not to go and pick one form and go and start lobbying people and running for campaigns, be it PDP power or APC broom and moving across Nigeria. I can’t do that again; if I do that, I will diminish myself," he said.
He added that the only roles acceptable to him now involve stabilising democracy in troubled African states.
2023 presidency: Nigerians react to Jonathan's statement
Shekwoladuza Timothy Ayuba commented on Facebook:
"Our African Democrat your prestige is more better than contesting Presidential position!"
Josiah Eneanya said:
"We thank God Almighty for listening to our advice not to contest, Don't you see yourself as a happy man? Be a father of the Nation than rubbish your integrity in the mud of politics with enemity."
Gladys Ndukwe said:
"Man of integrity, you are so selfless and sensible, not all this greedy politicians everywhere."
Celestine M Oraefuna said:
"Jonathan is not a career politician. He is a diplomat in nature."
Xtian Ebeleme said:
"Great. You see wisdom. You reputation and integrity can't be compromised."
Ubong Umoren said:
"Your Excellency. Thank you for your candid submission. Your integrity remains sacrosanct."
2023 presidency: Jonathan reveals his position on APC's Muslim-Muslim ticket
Meanwhile, ex-President Jonathan also argued that the ruling APC’s same-faith ticket would eventually lead to a lapse in the representation of Nigeria’s religious diversity.
He recalled that the tradition when he was in power was that if the president was a Christian, the vice president would be a Muslim and vice versa.
Since unveiling Kashim Shettima, a fellow Muslim, as his running mate, the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, has been making frantic efforts to convince the Christian community that he didn't make the choice out of religious consideration.