Despite several attempt by loyalists of former president, Goodluck Jonathan to dissuade him from running on the All Progressives Congress ticket, the former president, in a close door meeting last night has formally met with the National Chairman of the ruling party in Abuja.
Recall that Northern Group had Purchased the Presidential Nomination and Expression of Interest Forms for the former leader under the umbrella of the ruling party (APC).
But in a statement by his spokesperson, Ikechukwu Eze, Goodluck Jonathan had denied joining the 2023 presidential race.
The statement reads “It has come to our notice that a group has purportedly purchased Presidential Nomination and Expression of Interest forms, of the All Progressives Congress APC, in the name of former President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
“We wish to categorically state that Dr. Jonathan was not aware of this bid and did not authorize it.
“We want to state that if the former President wanted to contest an election, he would make his intentions clear to the public and will not enter through the back door.”
The rejection of the so-called nomination forms by the northern group however dominated talks when Jonathan met APC chairman Abdullahi Adamu.
According to Vanguard, the former president had concluded plans to accept the nomination form and meet with the APC leadership since Sunday morning but was strongly prevailed upon by those seen as his ‘inner caucus friends’ to shelve the move and remain in the PDP even without being active in the party.
“These people have been pressurizing Jonathan until the very last minute not to accept to run on the APC ticket no matter how tempting the conditions may be. That was why the former president did not present himself to the APC National chairman on Sunday when the form was to be formally presented to him by the Almajiri who want to show him appreciation for what he did for them during his tenure by building schools and rehabilitating them,” the source said.
It was learnt that the confusion that trailed the purchase of the form for Jonathan arose because of the spirited efforts by his core loyalists in the People Democratic Party, PDP, to dissuade him from joining the APC and running on its platform, saying that such would be detrimental to opposition party and belittling of his image.