It is a game of chess and the plot thickens as the once rejected Goodluck Ebele Jonathan; voted out of power in 2015, has resurfaced as a beautiful bride being stalked with a N100 million nomination form to fly the flag of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 general election. Persons who profess
It is a game of chess and the plot thickens as the once rejected Goodluck Ebele Jonathan; voted out of power in 2015, has resurfaced as a beautiful bride being stalked with a N100 million nomination form to fly the flag of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 general election.
Persons who profess love for the former President Jonathan have cautioned him against any attempt to catch the bait and accept the “Greek gift” to contest on the platform of the APC could be riding for a fall. The mere thought of it is like a red flag to a bull; it breeds anger. It is yet to be seen whether former president Jonathan will take that plunge.
Also, haggling to be president in 2023 is the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele who wants to have his cake and eat it. Though, a nomination form has been purchased for him by some farmers who were beneficiaries of CBN policies under Emefiele, but the evidence of his interest to contest manifests more in a law suit seeking judicial interpretation of the Electoral Act and the constitution as to whether he has to resign to contest.
Though, he is yet to formally throw his hat into the ring, Godwin Emefiele said “this is a serious decision that requires God’s Divine intervention: in the next few days the Almighty will so direct”. Many Nigerians have called on him to resign his position as CBN Governor or be fired by the President who appointed him.
Both President Jonathan and Godwin Emefiele were never known as members of the APC but an APC chieftain and Chairman of Emefiele’s ward in Delta state confirmed his membership saying he joined the party in February 2021 and that his name is in the party’s register at the ward level. This has even sparked more controversies and there is an ongoing national debate on the proprietary of a CBN governor partisanship as a member of a political party.
There is plenty of drama in the attempt to drag former President Jonathan into the race. A coalition of Northern cattle breeders who described its members as pastoralists, was said to have purchased the nomination form. The leader of the team that procured the form for him, Dr. Ibrahim Abdullahi, later apologised to the former president and pleaded with him to pardon their indiscretion and accept the offer to run.
That was after former President had issued a disclaimer “we wish to categorically state that Dr. Jonathan was not aware of this bid and did not authorise it,” Jonathan had said in a statement by his media aid, Ikechukwu Eze.
But in a meeting after the disclaimer, the pastoralists are reported to have told Jonathan that they bought the form for him as a demonstration of their appreciation for the N60 billion investments he made for the Almajiris during his tenure in the form of schools and investment opportunities.
After listening to the Fulani community, Jonathan was said to have reluctantly accepted their plea to consider running for the APC ticket as suggested by them and promised to give them a feedback as soon as possible but did not however, give a specific date.
The former president also asked the Fulani community never to embark on any political assignment on his behalf without first clearing with him given his position in Nigeria and the international community.
Jonathan is said to have also told the Fulani delegation that he was uncomfortable to hear about the purchase of the nomination form for him just like any other person, an action, which he considered insulting to his status as a former president of Nigeria.
Those close to former President Jonathan said it is most unlikely that he would accept to contest the election but others say he has given a condition that if he would accept to contest, he must be adopted as a consensus candidate; a request which is a tall order in today’s APC where it certain there will be a primary election to select its presidential candidate.
Godwin Emefiele Reacts
“I am humbled by the growing interest of those asking that I run for the Office of President in the 2023 general elections: I have not come to that decision. I note and salute the sacrifices of those farmers and patriots going as far as raising personal funds and offering me Presidential Nomination Forms: I thank them most profusely.
“However, should I answer their calls and decide to seek presidential nomination; I will use my own hard earned savings from over 35 years of banking leadership to buy my own Nomination Forms, without proxies in an open and transparent manner in full compliance with the laws and Constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria. And should I not run for elected office, I will continue to serve and sacrifice for the good people of Nigeria under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“This is a serious decision that requires God’s Divine intervention: in the next few days The Almighty will so direct.
APC Account Swells
It is an understatement to say purchase of nomination forms has run riot in the ruling APC. It is like the Party chieftains are going along for a ride as load of money keeps rolling into the APC bank account. At the last check, over N2.6 billion has been raked in from the multitude of aspirants who have indicated interest in becoming president though some of the aspirations are like a fall on a stony ground.
Some political pundits have posited that the high number of contestants could be foreplay to the drama that could play out in a situation where the party settles for a consensus candidate. Others have argued that some aspirants are in the race as a bargaining chip for a position in the future government in the event that the party wins in 2023; a case of nothing ventured, nothing gained.