The curious ambition of former President Goodluck Jonathan to return to Aso Rock by allowing the stories of his interest in contesting the 2023 Presidential elections to simmer without comment is not enjoying positive reception from critical quarters.
Global Upfront Newspapers (GUN) reports that the issue has generated some disquiet in some quarters particularly among the people of South East region, his own party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and even within the ranks of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which ironically is courting him.
A dependable source told GUN that the matter has been discussed lately at various Igbo for a and they appear unanimous in their condemnations of the former President’s romance with the APC towards executing a Northern agenda inimical to national cohesion.
“It’s sickening that President Jonathan, instead of supporting the Igbo Presidency project as way to appreciate Igbo support to him, is dancing around with the North who truncated his ambition before,” an angry former Senator told GUN.
GUN also learnt that the apex Igbo organization’s new leadership who are planning to approach the former President to help support the Igbo Presidency project was taken aback at his seeming political romance with the North to undermine the South East.
A source close to Ohanaeze leadership frowned at Jonathan’s evasive approach on restructuring of the country especially at the Daily Trust public lecture in Abuja recently, wondering why he had to do a U- turn from his earlier position when he set up the National Confab in 2014 purposely to restructure Nigeria.
In addition to Igbos, GUN learnt that Jonathan’s party, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, is also angry with his seeming romance with the ruling APC.
PDP source told GUN that Jonathan’s affinity with APC is a wicked marriage that is bound to fail because the intention is selfish and unpatriotic.
“Even though Jonathan has not publicly denounced his membership of PDP, his indifference to the party’s activities is very apparent.”
Meanwhile GUN gathered reliably that the ruling APC, whose major stakeholders are inducing Jonathan, is in turmoil also over it as some members of the party find it distasteful.
Supporters of ambitious gladiators in the party like the former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Ahmad Tinubu and the Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai are mobilizing against it.
“If they attempt bringing Jonathan, APC will face the same embarrassment it faced in Edo where Adams Oshiohmole supplied the opponent all the campaign gists with which they nailed the party, all what we said about Jonathan will be used against us” screamed an APC legislator pushing for Tinubu Presidency.
The current leadership of APC led by Governor Mai Buni who acknowledged the romance with Jonathan however denied the party ever contemplating fielding him in 2023.
He told the BBC Hausa Service that what is being misconstrued is the visit of some APC Governors to Jonathan during his birthday which is a mark of respect to him as a former President.
But this was countered by a political pundit who asked angrily, how many former Presidents or Head state have they visited before?
Meanwhile, the Southwest-based The Nation newspapers has reported authoritatively of the grand plot to draft President Jonathan into the presidential race, with four APC Governors from the North leading the charge.
It was gathered a group of 10 politicians from the South, comprising notable figures from Bayelsa, home State of the former President, had been given the mandate to begin a media campaign that would midwife the plan.
The group, led by a chieftain of the APC from Bayelsa and Jonathan’s political ally, was said to have met on two occasions to discuss the modalities of rolling out the campaign.
A source, who spoke in confidence, said the Northern Governors, wanted the South-South to start the campaign while they play a supportive role in convincing the APC to give its ticket to the former President.
The source said the plot was to first begin a campaign for the South-South to complete its tenure in 2023.
He said: “Ten known politicians mainly from Bayelsa State have come together as a group. Their job is to start a media campaign on the need for the South-South to complete its tenure.
“They believe that since every other zone that produced the President ruled the country for eight years, the South-South should be allowed to complete its tenure.
“The four Northern Governors backing the return of Jonathan in 2023 wanted the South-South to start the campaign first while they play a supportive role in midwifing the process. They want the argument to originate from their zone of interest”.
The source said already the 10 crack team had held a meeting with Jonathan and would soon meet with the Northern Governors involved in the project.
He said Jonathan was interested in the project, which was why he had refused to publicly deny his continual linkage to the 2023 presidency on the APC platform.