Barring a last minute change of heart, former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, will in a matter of days declare for the 2023 presidential election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
One of the highly placed interests on the 2023 Jonathan Project who confirmed the development to newsmen said his decision is based on assurances from key power brokers from the North and the Presidency.
The source said the development comes even as some other presidential aspirants have been working round the clock to frustrate the move for the former president to be the flag bearer of the ruling party in next year’s general elections.
He said, however, that if he was not sure of joining the race, Jonathan would not have told supporters who besieged his home that he was still consulting.
In view of various political calculations, our source said key power brokers from the North and the presidency have resolved that the Jonathan option remains the best to calm frayed nerves in the country.
He said what has delayed the declaration was his insistence to join the APC presidential race only on the condition that he would be the consensus candidate.
The former president’s Abuja house, has become a Mecca of sort with many top APC members including presidential aspirants trooping in especially at nights.
He assured that all plans have been concluded to secure a waiver for Jonathan’s presidential bid in the ruling party.
Jonathan had told supporters who beseiged his home recently that he was working on something.
Speaking at a press conference, yesterday, a group, convener of the Citizens Network for Peace and Development in Nigeria (CNPDN), also confirmed that Jonathan would contest under the APC and would also win the poll.
According to Okeke Raphael: “Jonathan and President Muhammadu Buhari have worked together closely; that’s something good for Nigeria. Jonathan has been the biggest promoter of Buhari’s foreign policy. If APC gives its ticket to Jonathan, every Nigerian will vote for him. He’s the only nationalist among all the contestants and that will work well for APC. Going critically through the list of presidential aspirants from the two major political parties, we are convinced that all other candidates are regional champions. However, President Goodluck Jonathan reflects national acceptance that will give impetus to APC’s victory in 2023 elections.
“As vanguards for Nigeria’s development, peace and unity, we want to reiterate that our beloved country cannot afford to have a regional champion as a flag-bearer. The party needs an asset rather than a liability. Jonathan’s political credentials will increase the chances of APC winning the presidential elections in 2023.”
In a related development, another group Jonathan Dawo Dawo Network, said Nigeria was at a crossroad and required a man like Jonathan to navigate from troubles waters to safety.
Its Coordinator, Malam Isa Musa Karkasara, in a statement titled: “Why Jonathan’s candidacy is an option for better Nigeria”, yesterday, noted that the nation’s current situation can no longer be trusted in the hands of ill-experienced politicians whose contact and influence radiates within shallow boundaries.
“Jonathan’s commitment to nation building as exemplified over non-criticism of sitting and former leaders are pointers that his love for Nigeria is unique. Managing a secular state like Nigeria is certainly not for the loudmouthed, we must recognise it as a job for a renowned team player like Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. We in the north were there for him before, and we are set to mobilise resources to bring him back to continue national sacrifice. In effect, we call on Nigerians to join us in this quest for better Nigeria.”
•Sale of forms begin
Meanwhile, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC, yesterday, fulfilled the directive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to submit membership register ahead of its primary.
It will equally commence the much-postponed sales of expression of interest and nomination forms nationwide today.
These were confirmed by the National Organising Secretary (NPS), Felix Morka.
Responding to questions from newsmen, the NPS explained that all the organising secretaries from the 36 states would collect forms for aspirants jostling for House of Assembly while the NWC has directed that nomination forms for the state legislature should be sold at the state headquarters.
He also disclosed that sale of forms for the party’s National Assembly, governorship and presidential tickets would be handled by the national secretariat at three designated places.
“The guideline for the exercise will soon be released on our platform. While the forms for the State House of Assembly will be sold at the state level nationwide, others will be sold here at the national secretariat.”
Similarly, in line with the determination of the national leadership to reorganise the party, the NWC has begun the process of replacing directors ordered to proceed on compulsory and immediate leave.