Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Goodluck Jonathan Gives APC Conditions Before Joining Presidential Race


Some All Progressives  Congress leaders have stepped up moves to adopt former President Goodluck Jonathan as the party’s consensus presidential candidate in 2023.

The PUNCH on Tuesday learnt the moves formed part of the discussions between the former President and the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, in Abuja on Monday night.

It was gathered that already, the party leaders, including two northern governors,  had reached out to other members of the National Working Committee to ensure the adoption of Jonathan as the consensus candidate.

But it was learnt that the moves by the former President and his supporters had generated a groundswell of anger from other contestants, who felt the plan would amount to injustice if it sailed through.

The ex-president and his backers were demanding that he should be adopted as the consensus candidate without going through indirect or direct primaries.

It was gathered that Jonathan had given some conditions for his backers in the APC before he could join the party’s presidential race.

According to the report, the former President is seeking an open endorsement of his presidential ambition by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

Jonathan is also insisting that he should be saved the rigour of facing founding APC members including the national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo; former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha and the Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, during the party’s presidential primaries.

A source, who was privy to the meeting between Jonathan and Adamu on Monday night said the ex-President had signified interest to join the APC presidential race.

The source stated, “He fears the backlash and the opposition he will meet from members who are already in the race. He is still insisting on consensus so that he will not face the rigour of indirect primaries.

“Already, his backers, including the national chairman have started working on the consensus arrangement. They have reached out to the few presidential aspirants from the North who will  readily step down for Jonathan.”

Another source said, “Jonathan’s meeting with the APC chairman went well. He sought the party leadership’s support for his candidacy and also demanded assurances that he would be exempted from the mandatory screening and other stringent conditions in the form.

“He would not be available for the screening because he won’t be in the country for two weeks as he is going to Dakar, Senegal for the ‘Dialogue on sustaining democratic principles in the ECOWAS sub-region organised by the West African Elders Forum.’

A group, the Nomadic Herders and Almajiris, had on Monday obtained the APC N100m nomination form for the ex-President.

But Jonathan, in a statement by his spokesman, Ikechukwu Eze, disowned the group, saying he did not authorise any organisation to obtain the form for him.

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