BY: Nwafor Darlington,
The rumour or do we say speculation has been on for months that former President Goodluck Jonathan is on his way to the governing All Progressive Congress (APC) where he may pick up the party’s ticket for the 2023 election.
Those flying this kite say the “closeness” between President Muhammadu Buhari and his predecessor is the reason for this permutation or proposal.
They argue that the North can only return the presidency to the South on condition that GEJ who they trust succeeds Buhari.
In recent times, political observers have been pairing Jonathan with Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno State as likely running mate. Some say it’s Jonathan and Abubakar Malami the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice. Others say, it’s Jonathan and Gov. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State
Suffice this to suggest that all those flexing their muscles as presidential aspirants in the APC ahead of the 2023 election may be bunch of jokers or jesters should the GEJ defection kite eventually fly.
“They may be disappointed at last if the agenda to sell GEJ candidacy works,” says a top government functionary. The sources added, GEJ will be used to dislodge those who see themselves as political Giants in the party. Already they are silent now given the body language of the presidency and their seeming cold relationship with the president.”
So GEJ will be used as a force to frustrate the ambitions and interests of these politicians who are no longer trusted by the North and have fallen out of favour of the Presidency.
The big question then is, Will GEJ defect from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on whose crest he rode from grass to grace…to pitch tent with the APC which dislodged his administration in 2015?
Politicians will tell you, nothing is impossible in politics. In fact, defection is part of politics and it is the easiest move to make. They say, in politics there is permanent interest…not permanent friendship.
Going by the seeming instability in the PDP which has seen it’s national chairman, Uche Secondus under fire..and the claim that a section of the country with Gov. Nyesom Wike controls the party, it is then not absolutely impossible for GEJ to crossover to the APC to get a chance of returning to the Villa.
But what happens to honour, dignity and integrity? What happens to the feelings of Nigerians who sympathized with him following his defeat in 2015 and all the smacks of corruption poured on his administration? What happens to his loyalists who have found home and peace in PDP?
Critics even opine that a move to the APC just for the sake of “reclaiming” power will be a suicidal step for GEJ. They say it would damage his reputation and glittering image before the international community after he peacefully left office in 2015 in the face of the acrimonious election and controversy during the release of the result.
A top politician said, “It is a possibility. You stoop low to conquer. His Excellency, former President Jonathan has the character of a patient man. He may just use this virtue to return to power. There is nothing in the name of a political party. It is the character and quality of leadership of the man that should matter. More so, the North seems to have realized that he is their friend and the best person for the job from the South.”
Indeed, interesting times lie ahead of the road to 2023….