Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan has kept millions of Nigerians guessing over his possible presidential ambition in the 2023 general elections. There had been speculations that Jonathan has dumped the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to actualise his ambition on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC)
While the APC chairman gave signs that the indications are true, the PDP ward chairman of the former president’s home community maintained that he has not seen the defection notice and therefore believes he is still a member of the PDP.
In all of these, sources close to the former President clearly admitted that GEJ as he’s fondly called is excited about the whole idea and might want to give it a try, although he is currently out of town.
Recall that he once addressed a cheering crowd which stormed his private residence to demand his return to Aso rock, some weeks ago and told them to keep their fingers crossed on the matter.
His silence on the matter, to some pundits, shows clearly that he is so much in the race. Although he has not submitted his form, the provision for substitution until August this year as the party makes room for might be a way to bring him in at the height of the political tension.
Nigerians are however asking why would Goodluck Jonathan agree to parley with the same charade of politicians who assassinated his character in so many ways and called him so many unprintable names and eventually kicked him out of office.
But nor many people know that Jonathan had initially rejected some of the conditions given to him by members of the Aso Rock (Presidency) cabal to get the 2023 presidential automatic ticket of the ruling APC. One of the conditions was that the former President must officially defect to the APC with some PDP governors in the South-South and South-East regions.
What then would have informed his new interest to return to power?
The first motivation is hinged to his one-term restriction which of course favours the cabal. GEJ is aware that the major interest of the cabal is to serve the South with the clamour for a southern president based on the zoning system and then return power to the north in 2027 as the constitution would not allow Goodluck Jonathan to run for the third term. GEJ is aware that the north will back him up fully to clinch the ticket and ultimately win the election if he joins the aspirants’ train.
One other reason Jonathan might be interested in the race, according to one of close allies, is to get back at Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Our source reveals that Jonathan had believed that the chief architect of his defeat in 2015 was Tinubu, and so would be delighted to edge him out of the opportunity to get the ticket.
In the 2019 colloquium organized in honour of Asiwaju, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo took a swipe at Jonathan during his speech and refresh the minds of Nigerians on the shortcomings of the GEJ-led administration, he went further to urge Nigerians not to forget or forgive them.
News coming from Aso Villa also revealed that GEJ is interested to return to power because he has seen clearly where he went wrong and he’s willing to return majorly to right all the wrongs committed in his first term. He has been coming in and out of Aso Rock since President Buhari’s second term and has been holding a closed-door meeting with him for many years. The indication is that he has been giving President Buhari clues on how to manage the moles and corrupt elements in his government having a first-hand experience of internal betrayal.
The last eight years must have given him an opportunity to assess the state of the nation as a private citizen – the rare privilege of a double-angled perspective. This has evidently built him the strong will to contend with these issues head-on.
Former President Jonathan is also aware that with hardly any ethnic or religious controversies to his name, his democratic credentials easily floor any other aspirant, a factor which will greatly influence his acceptability and tilts voting outcomes in the North, in his favour. He knows that his large followership across the other regions in the south is unmatched.
What other reason will be more than the fact that he wants to reclaim the credits for all his projects that were inherited by the APC government, who are laying claims to have done better than him?
For the transportation sector, his efforts laid the foundation for a national intermodal transport system which combined roads, railroads, waterways and aviation. It revived Nigeria’s rail system which had, before now, been moribund for over 30 years, built road infrastructure, and transformed the aviation sector.
More to his achievement is his recent appointment as a member of the Board of the International Advisory board of the European Corporate Council on Africa and the Middle East (ECAM Council) last week.
He is currently the Chairperson of the International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP), ECOWAS Special Envoy on Mali and Chairman of ECOWAS Council for the Wise, Chairman, West Africa Elders Forum and United Nations Crisis Manager for Africa, among many other international appointments.