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2023: Bayelsa APC splits over push for Jonathan

2023: Bayelsa APC splits over push for Jonathan


2023: Bayelsa APC splits over push for Jonathan

As major power blocs in the All Progressives Congress (APC) intensify lobbying ahead of primaries, speculations were rife on Monday that former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan may join the ruling party on Wednesday or Thursday, barring any last-minute change of mind.


Though neither the Bayelsa State-born politician nor the APC leadership offer any categorical position on the move, there were indications that some influential leaders of the party were among those behind the move to drag him into the presidential race for APC ticket.

Members of the clique were said to have revived the project of having Jonathan on the ballot after making an initial retreat shortly when they sold the dummy more than a year ago.

The idea of the ex-president seeking a return to power about seven years after leaving office became more pronounced, following the decision of the APC to zone its presidential ticket to the southern part of the country.


Governors from the 17 states in the South along with other eminent persons and groups have consistently advocated power shift from the North at the expiration of the tenure of incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari on May 29, 2023.

Months after going back to the drawing board to re-strategise, members of the clique pushing for a fresh mandate for Jonathan reportedly resolved to come out aggressively when the APC unveiled its action plan for the party primaries that will culminate in the choice of a candidate for the February 25, 2023 presidential poll.

The social media has also been abuzz with arguments for and against the touted plan by Jonathan to join the APC and run for president on its platform.

The move to have him run on the APC platform, instead of the PDP under which he was elected president after serving as vice president to the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, has apparently ruffled feathers in the camps of APC members that have since declared their bid.


The leader of one of the main caucuses in the party that played a leading role in the buildup to the March 26 convention that produced the current members of the National working Committee (NWC) of the APC, who craved to remain anonymous told Nigerian Tribune that it would be a value addition for Jonathan to join APC and seek its ticket.

He opined such development would poohpooh the argument in certain quarters that there was no difference between the APC and the PDP, claiming that the ex-president would not have thought of making the move if there was nothing good in the ruling party.

Conversely, a chief promoter in the campaign organization of a leading presidential aspirant current holding a top elective public office, simply dismissed the said move by Jonathan to join APC and run for its presidential ticket.


“It is a non-issue to us. We are ready for him if he eventually decides to come onboard. We are not losing any sleep,” he said.

Some groups championing the aspirations of such aspirants have promised to purchase the nomination and expression of interest forms at N100 million each with the sale starting on Tuesday in Abuja.

One of the theories behind the Jonathan project-for president under the APC is that he will be made to serve for four years after which a candidate from the North will be made to succeed him as president.

It will be recalled that the building blocks for the project as laid by the hitherto interim national leaderof the APC when some key members and stakeholders paid a visit to him at his residence in Abuja during his birthday, euoligising him for being a statesman and role model.

The current move to drag him into the presidential race notwithstanding, the former president is believed to have a number of obstacles to overcome.

One of the issues is protracted in the Bayesla chapter of the APC, has led to the two factions of the party laying claim to be legitimate and authentic.

Nigerian Tribune noted that delegates from state were not allowed to participate in the recent APC convention held in Abuja.

While one faction comprises loyalists of a former Minister of State for Agriculture, Heineken Lokpobiri, the other consists of supporters of the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva.

The chairman of the Sylva faction of the party is Dennis Otiotio, while Chief Ebierin Ituba leads the faction loyal to Lokpobiri.



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