Friday, February 23, 2024

2023: Jonathan in hide, seek game

Uba Group

Ahead of the 2023 general election, supporters and followers of former President Goodluck Jonathan are left stunned as to what exactly is his position.

The former President has been playing hide and seek with his ambition to contest once again the office of the President of the Federal Republic.

To contest any election in Nigeria, one must belong to a political party. Nobody seems to know which political party he belongs to right now. While the Peoples Democratic Party has not come out to lay claim to his membership, it has also not openly dissociated itself from him. On the other hand, the ruling All Progressives Congress, the party which defeated him in 2015 has been claiming him as its member.

The leadership of the APC in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State has confirmed that former President Goodluck Jonathan is a registered member of the party. Chairman of APC in Ogbia ward 13, Igori Freeman, was quoted as saying confirming that Jonathan registered with the party immediately after the short-lived victory of David Lyon, the APC candidate in the 2019 governorship election in the state. The Supreme Court, however, voided the election, allowing the PDP to continue ruling the state.

Earlier in the week, a group called Nomadic Pastoralists and the Almajiri Communities led by one Ibrahim Abdullahi picked up the APC Presidential Expression of Interest and Nomination forms on behalf of Jonathan.

However, Jonathan’s Media Adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, few hours after the news went viral, distanced the ex-president from the development, vowing he did not ask for the purchase of the forms. Jonathan described the action of the group as an insult to him, arguing that if he wanted to contest, he wouldn’t come via the backdoor.

In a matter of hours, however, the news of Jonathan’s defection went viral with a picture of the former President meeting with Abdullahi Adamu, National Chairman of the APC.

Such has been the scenario of the Jonathan 2023 presidential ambition.

It has been characterized by speculations, rumours and hearsay. A while ago, it was rumoured that he had been penciled down as the ‘consensus candidate’ of the party with Buhari’s approval. Later, he was said to have given terms and conditions to the APC. The next was that the APC was working on the waivers it intended to extend to him.

In April, the nation was treated to a sort of comic relief when hundreds of his “supporters”, including women and youth groups, stormed his office early in the morning in Abuja calling on him to contest for President in 2023.

The supporters claimed that since he left office, hunger, insecurity, and unemployment, among others have become the order of the day.

They said that both men and women in Nigeria have turned to beggars because of the unfavorable policies of the present administration.

Speaking, Ngozi Okafor said since the former President left in 2015, both men and women have been suffering.

“Since he left the seat, we have been suffering, children are dying, we are tired. We have been turned into beggars, women are begging and children are begging. We don’t need Baba Buhari again. Our children are no longer going to school.”

The supporters went with placards bearing various inscriptions like, “Goodluck declare now; Goodluck we love you come back; Goodluck we want you back; Goodluck Jonathan Nigeria’s destiny is in your hand.”

With the form already procured, whether Jonathan denied it or not is not a big deal. What many people are concerned with is his inability to own up to whatever he is doing and frontally declare if he is contesting or not and on which platform. Certainly, it cannot be on the PDP platform as it has since stopped the sale of forms.

While Jonathan and his handlers keep Nigerians guessing, it is believed that there is a lot going on underground which time will reveal soon.

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