Former President Goodluck Jonathan is a registered member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, according to the party’s leadership.
Although Jonathan has not yet announced his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), under which he was elected Deputy Governor, Governor, Vice-President, and President, the purchase of APC Presidential nomination forms for him has sparked rumours.
On Monday, a group known as Nomadic Pastoralists and the Almajiri Communities led by one Ibrahim Abdullahi collected the papers on behalf of Jonathan, although a source later told Daily Trust that a northern governor paid for the forms.
Ikechukwu Eze, Jonathan’s media adviser, separated his boss from the APC presidential campaign, stating that Jonathan had not authorised the acquisition of nomination papers.
While social media was abuzz with the news of Jonathan’s defection, a photo of him meeting with Abdullahi Adamu, National Chairman of the APC, went viral.
When asked for comment, Jonathan’s publicist stated that he was unaware of the matter.
Igori Freeman, chairman of the APC in ward 13 of Ogbia, informed Daily Trust on Thursday that Jonathan registered with the party immediately following the brief victory of David Lyon, the APC candidate for governor in the 2019 state election. The Supreme Court declared the election invalid, opening the door for the PDP.
A few days after the election, Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi) and Mai Mala Buni (Yobe) paid Jonathan a visit at his Bayelsa residence.
Subsequently, Jonathan met with APC stakeholders in Abuja and Bayelsa. In addition, he grew closer to President Muhammadu Buhari by making multiple trips to Aso Rock.
“I am perfectly aware that Jonathan registered with APC, but registration does not imply publication to the general public. After David Lyon’s victory in the 2019 governorship election, other PDP dignitaries also enrolled with APC, as evidenced by the presence of the register in my possession.
“You can go to the state chairman and ask him if the ward chairman believes Jonathan registered with the party. Since we have completed the registration process, I am unable to provide further information because I have already returned all the data. Meet with the party chairman, Chief Dennis Otiotio, for more clarity,” Jonathan’s ward leader informed Daily Trust.
When contacted, however, the state party chairman, Dennis Otiotio, sent our reporter to the APC’s national headquarters.
He stated, “I believe you should contact the national Secretariat, as they will have the most accurate information; the state Secretariat has no knowledge or information regarding this.”
Wednesday, sources told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Jonathan has agreed to run for the 2023 election under the APC.
The outlet reported that Jonathan was likely to submit his nomination and expression of interest forms on Thursday at the International Conference Centre (ICC) in Abuja.
According to the report, important African leaders advised Jonathan “should run for office in the interest of Nigeria.”
At least three prominent African leaders called the former president to discuss the issue. Everyone pushed him to flee. The source was quoted by NAN as saying that one of them warned him it made no sense to go around Africa resolving problems while avoiding leadership responsibilities in his native nation.
Jonathan won the 2011 election after succeeding the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua upon his passing in 2010.
In 2015, he lost reelection to President Muhammadu Buhari and conceded defeat prior to the official tally of election results.