2023: Jonathan finally joins APC, to battle Tinubu others

2023: Jonathan finally joins APC, to battle Tinubu others
Goodluck Jonathan

On Wednesday, reports surfaced that former President Goodluck Jonathan had joined the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Jonathan contested the presidency on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015 and lost to President Muhammadu Buhari, who is currently in his second term in office.

The former president has, however, been rumoured to be interested in contesting the presidency in the 2023 polls.

The speculations were rife again on Monday when a northern coalition purchased the APC presidential nomination and expression of interest forms for him.

The forms were purchased days after he had asked his supporters to “watch out”, when he was asked if he would contest.

But in a statement issued by Ikechukwu Eze, his media aide, Jonathan had said he didn’t give his consent for the purchase of the forms.

On Wednesday, Jonathan was said to have joined the Bayelsa chapter of the APC.

According to a report by NAN, “a dependable source in Jonathan’s camp” said the former president had registered with the APC at his ward in Otuoke, Bayelsa state.

The source also reportedly claimed that Jonathan is expected to submit the presidential nomination form on Thursday.

“Several bigwigs of the party have also been calling Jonathan to pledge their loyalty and support to the former president,” the source was quoted as saying.

“At least three top African leaders called the former president on the matter. They all urged him to run.

“One of them specifically told him that it didn’t make sense travelling all over Africa settling disputes only to shy away from leadership responsibility in his home country.

“Another reminded him of the implication of failing to put the experiences he garnered as a former Nigerian president and as a continental statesman to good use.”

According to News Agency of Nigeria, citing a reliable source in Mr Jonathan’s camp, Mr Jonathan has finally decided to run for the top job he lost to the incumbent in 2015.

The source, pleading anonymity, told NAN that the former president has also joined the APC formally, having registered at his Otuoke Ward in Bayelsa.

Meanwhile, Jonathan is expected to submit the duly filled forms bought on his behalf on Thursday, the source offered further.

According to the source, the former president has secured the support of the required number of APC delegates from across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

“Several bigwigs of the party have also been calling Jonathan to pledge their loyalty and support to the former president,’’ the source revealed.

The source told NAN political correspondent late on Wednesday that some influential African leaders had called former President Goodluck Jonathan earlier on Monday to advise him “to contest the election in the interest of Nigeria.

“At least three top African leaders called the former president on the matter. They all urged him to run.

“One of them specifically told him that it didn’t make sense travelling all over Africa settling disputes only to shy away from leadership responsibility in his home country.

“Another reminded him of the implication of failing to put the experiences he garnered as a former Nigerian president and as a continental statesman to good use,” the source added but did not mention the names of the African leaders.

The source cited some of the African leaders as telling Jonathan that Nigeria was passing through challenging times and “needed a unifier like Jonathan at this time’’.

Mr Jonathan, who lost power to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, was born in 1957 in the Ogbia district in Bayelsa State.