Ahead of the 2023 general elections, governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress may have begun moves to pull former President Goodluck Jonathan into the race, 1stnewsonline.com has learnt.
It was gathered that some APC governors and party leaders on Friday night in Abuja held a meeting with Jonathan where the subject of their discussions centred on issues not unconnected with the 2023 presidential election.
Our correspondent, however, gathered from sources privy to the meeting that the APC governors and leaders mounted pressure on the former president to prepare to take another shot at the nation’s number one seat in 2023 since he’s still constitutionally allowed to lead the country for another term of four years.
The APC governors who met with Jonathan, it was gathered were led by the Governor of Kebbi State, who also doubles as the Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Atiku Bagudu. The others were Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru and the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, who just defected to the ruling party a few days ago.
Also at the meeting were some APC leaders, including former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, said to have visited Jonathan in commemoration of his 63rd birthday.
But it was learnt they were part of those who held a private meeting with ex-President Jonathan during their visit.
The Northern Governors’ Forum also congratulated Jonathan on his birthday.
However, no member of the Peoples Democratic Party attended the meeting, sources said.
Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, had commended Jonathan for continuing to serve Nigeria with zeal and commitment.
Lalong also described the former president as a true democrat whose “passion for the growth of democracy is reflected not only in his records while in office but also of his current engagements where he has travelled round the world to monitor elections and also engage with stakeholders”.
The Plateau governor further praised Jonathan’s patriotism and dedication to the unity, peace and development of Nigeria as well as his good counsel on various issues.
Lalong urged the former president to remain focused on his life of service which has brought honour and goodwill to Nigeria.
On his part, President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier congratulated Jonathan on his birthday, describing him as a leader who has brought honour to his country.
The former president had lost his bid for a second term in office in 2015 to Buhari in 2015, but the duo have remained close since then with Jonathan representing the country in quite a number of international events.
Also, a year ago in his Otuoke, Bayelsa country home, Jonathan had hosted both Badaru and Bagudu when the governors paid him a thank you visit following the victory of the APC governorship candidate in the 2019 governorship election in the state, David Lyon.
But Lyon was later sacked by the Supreme Court which declared PDP’s Douye Diri the winner of the election.
Political watchers say the North and the APC are warming up to Jonathan with a view to queuing behind him for the 2023 presidential election on the platform of the party.