Politicians and indeed politics are hardly predictable and the Nigerian political clime has certainly lived up to this saying. It would have been seen as ridiculous if after the 2015 presidential elections someone had predicted a rumoured Goodluck Jonathan and APC link. However, in 2012 this is playing out vividly that it would not be insane to forecast the possibility.
Though still under the realms of rumour as no party has openly and directly confirmed that APC is actually wooing the former president Goodluck Jonathan to contest for president under the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC). Nevertheless, many Media outfits have severally analysed or even reported many instances that points towards the beckoning of former president Goodluck Jonathan to contest on the platform of the APC.
One of the most elaborate of these instance was the visitation of four APC sitting governors and other chieftains to the home of the former president Goodluck Jonathan. Whilst it was largely reported that the intent of their visit was to implore the former president contest in 2023, the former president however played it down via a media statement. In a statement by his media Aid, the former president intimated that they only visited to felicitate with him on his 63rd birthday just as every other person’s that visited on that day.
APC delegation visit to Goodluck
Recently, there was a publication alleging certain APC individuals from the South – South have been mandated to stare up campaign asking the former president Goodluck Jonathan to contest in 2023. According to reports, as the campaign gathers momentum, prominent APC governors alleged to be behind the campaign will then openly support to give it a solid backing.
More recently, Sahara Reports revealed a possible Jonathan and El – Rufai pair for the 2023 presidential elections as lined up by a particular faction of the APC. This has further strengthens the rumour making the rounds and as well stare up debate of a possible Goodluck Jonathan defection to the APC.
Again in a bid to play down his possible defection rumour and speculations circulating, the former president Goodluck Jonathan in a Thanksgiving Service held to appreciate God over the Supreme Court’s judgement which miraculously brought in governor Douye Diri, he reassures his party the PDP of his loyalty to the party. Though his message of full loyalty was clear, he however did not mention anything concerning his possible defection rumour.
Former president Goodluck
In another reactive move, the former senate president/chairman PDP Reconciliation and Strategy Committee, Bukola Saraki led his delegation to the home of the former president in Abuja. After meeting with the former president, Saraki in an interview revealed that their reason for the visit was to inform the former president about their mandate bestowed on them and as well seek his advice on how to go about their assignment.
In trying to clear the air on the possible defection of the former president, he added that in the meeting, the former president reassured them that he is still committed to the PDP and is willing to work in any capacity given to him in order to move the party forward.
Goodluck and Saraki
With all of these events reeled out, one can easily add up that there may be some iota of truth with regards to the rumour going round media of a possible wooing of the former president Goodluck Jonathan to join the APC. Be that as it may, the PDP would have to offer something that will keep the former president from giving in to this huge offer in front of him. Hence the relevance of the Goodluck Jonathan card.
Typical of a Nigerian politician, they have studied the mood of the nation. Adding that power by verbal gentleman agreement according to both the PDP/APC ought to return back to the South, it is difficult at the moment to find that Southern elite that has a carriage that can gather support across North and South massively.
From a regional sentimental view, the Southern divide of Nigeria has 3 zones South – West, South – East and South – South. A South – Easterner may easily attract support from the South – South but may find it difficult to attract same support from the South – West. On the order hand, a South – West candidate may not likely attract heavy support from the South – East and South – South. Suffice to say that this does not imply that the South – South enjoys massive support from the others as well.
Yemi Osinbajo vice – president
Whilst it hard to find that individual in the South that may enjoy such support, hence the Goodluck Jonathan card. Again, this does not also imply a sure bet but it’s a card that can comfortably withstand any other candidate from the South. Close to the Goodluck card is the current vice – president Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
Now to the Northern part of Nigeria, if all the willing candidates face the North, they are few names that can enjoy the support a Goodluck card will enjoy. For instance, close to Goodluck is Rochas Okorocha whom is largely loved by Northerners but may find it hard to earn the blessings and support from those in the top echelon of Northern politics when compared to a Goodluck ticket. Likewise an Osinbajo card may not as well pull such support too.
Senator Rochas Okorocha
The latter is purely based on trust since the current vice – president has all the prerequisite qualities. He is a sound academia, perceived by many as honest and sincere and above all a workaholic. However, some Northern political leaders may not be comfortable with him considering his strong affiliation with Bola Tunubu whom with less power is already a political power house. The same trust issue will hardly favour a Rochas card as well due to cold sentiment between the North and South – East that is yet to be completely extinguished.
Now whether all of these is a mere distraction or a plot to forcing the PDP to make a move or it’s a genuine appeal all depends on a matter of time. However, a take home is that a Goodluck Jonathan card will not be an easy wave no matter the other candidates in 2023.