Amid claims that former President Goodluck Jonathan’s bid to contest the 2023 presidential poll on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has hit the rocks, fresh facts have emerged that his ambition is still intact.
On Sunday, an unconfirmed presidency source, had claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari was not in support of Jonathan succeeding him. But the source failed to quote Buhari or any of his aides directly.
The story believed to have been planted by one of the contending aspirants for the presidency claimed there were concerns in the Presidential Villa that Jonathan’s aides were the ones keeping the “plot alive in the media by releasing photos of his visits to the APC chairman and Mamman Daura, in order to insinuate that this two gentlemen are in support of the plot.”
However, a close aide to Jonathan who spoke to our correspondent, yesterday, claimed that other aspirants were behind the latest media attack on the former president as part of moves to mobilise chieftains against his choice as presidential candidate of the party.
He said Jonathan’s rising popularity in the APC was causing ripples among other aspirants. The aide revealed that Jonathan had registered as a member of APC and was given a secret waiver by the leadership to contest the primary.
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According to him, last week’s judgment by a Federal High Court in Abuja, which ruled that Jonathan was eligible to run for office was the last hurdle.
He also revealed that Jonathan relates directly with the highest authority at the presidency and the leadership of APC. The source said many members of the National Working Committee (NWC) were aggrieved because they were not in the know on the goings-on about Jonathan’s possible choice as a consensus candidate.
“Jonathan is a strong force and that’s unsettling APC presidential aspirants. He has registered and has been granted a waiver to contest. They’re also claiming that he didn’t submit his form and that his name was not included as one of the aspirants to face the screening panel. These claims are not true.
“The real people who matter are not complaining. The national chairman of APC and President Buhari have not dismissed Jonathan’s possible emergence. If these two men have not spoken, Nigerians should not lose sleep. The only reason why Jonathan’s presidency won’t work is if he decides not to run. Jonathan himself has not denied it. Why are those who don’t have the clout to match Jonathan complaining?”
In a chat with Daily Sun, APC spokesman, Felix Morka, did not deny or confirm claims that Jonathan submitted his presidential forms and that he would be cleared by the screening committee.He said he was not privy to such an information and can therefore not comment on such a sensitive issue.
“I can’t confirm if he has submitted his forms or not. I can’t also confirm if he will he screened by the committee. So, I can’t comment on what I don’t know,” he said.