Plans to get immediate past President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, to run for the presidency on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, are facing attacks across the divides.
Sources said that the Otuoke, Bayelsa State-born politician, who is still a member of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is weighing his options on whether or not to contest the 2023 elections on the platform of the APC.
The APC has zoned its presidential ticket to the South, while the PDP has left its ticket open, with a plan to take a decision a few days to the presidential primaries, which must be concluded between April 4 and June 3, 2022, according to the 2023 election timetable unveiled by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, last weekend.
Party leaders and politicians, yesterday kicked against plans to draft Jonathan into the 2023 race, just as Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State said that moves by the APC to zone the Presidency to the South in 2023 is not a threat to the PDP.
North deceiving Jonathan—PDP source
A close ally of the former President noted in confidence that the North is deceiving Jonathan to contest.
The PDP leader, from the South said: “He would be under pressure to run but the truth of the matter is that it is to the advantage of the North.
“They (North) are deceiving him to run for only four years. The minimum term any Nigerian can run is eight years. He has done six years and they (North) are asking him to do one term; the moment he is two years in office, he will be dragged to the Supreme Court and they (North) own the Supreme Court.
“By the time the Supreme Court rules, he would be ousted and his Vice will be asked to be the substantive president. So, he should not allow himself to be deceived. He has to be careful.”
He’ll be a spoiler to South — Osuntokun
Contacted, Mr Akin Osuntokun, former Political Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, said the former President would be a spoiler and a traitor to the South if he accepted the offer.
“If he likes himself, I don’t think he should run. What they want him to do is to cheat the South. I doubt if Jonathan will offer himself as a traitor to the South by accepting the proposal. To me, he will be a spoiler for the South. Jonathan should be smarter than that. Let’s look at the logic of it. I am sure he will be tempted by the offer but if you look at the logic of it, he is being offered the back seat. Some people are putting up the proposition to him but I am almost certain that he may not accept it because it will damage him.”
I’m not aware he’s running—Bode George
Speaking on the issue, former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Olabode George, said the former president had not informed him of his decision to run for presidency in 2023.
George said: “I am not aware that he (Jonathan) wants to run and I am not aware that the APC has reached out to him. But, he promised coming to see me, I will ask and confirm from him when he comes.”
We can’t replace failure with failure—Shettima
President of Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, urged the former President not to throw his hat in the ring because Nigerians want something new.
Shettima said: “Nobody can stop him from contesting; it is his constitutional right to contest. If I have my way, I will advise him not to contest because Nigerians cannot wait to see something different from what we have now. Nigerians cannot go back to him because things went bad under him. Nobody can stop him from contesting but we cannot replace failure with failure.”
It’s his decision—Oladunjoye, Ogun APC spokesperson
Spokesperson of the APC in Ogun State, Mr. Tunde Oladunjoye said Jonathan is free to contest because “it is his personal decision.”
On him joining the APC, Oladunjoye said: “I cannot speak on behalf of the party at the national level because with the calibre of the former president, he will be admitted first at the national level before going to his ward to register.
“Article Nine of the APC Constitution states that ‘membership of the party shall be open to any citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who has attained the age of 18 years and who accepts the aims and objectives of the party, provided that such a person is not a member of any other political party or any organisation whose policies and programmes
are inconsistent with those of the party.’”
He has to cross the bridge—Ondo APC spokesperson
Also speaking, Publicity Secretary of the APC in Ondo State, Alex Kalejaiye said: “The decision would be taken by the national leadership of the party. However, the APC does not discriminate against any Nigerian, who finds it appealing, on account of performance and disposition to the physical and economic development of Nigeria. We do appreciate and welcome men of honour like the former president, who can add more value to what we are doing, in the overall interest of Nigerians.
“The speculation that he would like to contest on arrival remains what it is. Every bona fide member has the inalienable right to participate in an electoral process. However, the former president has to cross the bridge before debating the issue of eligibility for whatever position. It has to be a step at a time, and party constitution will guide appropriately.”
source: vanguard newspapers