Four All Progressives Congress’ Northern state governors and some chieftains of the ruling party in the South have hatched a plan to draft former President Goodluck Jonathan into the 2023 presidential contest, FirstNews Online has learnt.
The 10 APC chieftains, most of whom are from Jonathan’s home state of Bayelsa, it was gathered, have been charged with launching the project to draft the former president into the forthcoming presidential race.
The team, it was learnt, had been given the mandate by the four Northern governors to begin a media campaign to promote Jonathan’s 2023 presidential ambition.
Already, the team of APC chieftains led by a close ally of the former president who is also from Bayelsa, it was learnt, have met on two different occasions to map out their strategies for embarking on the campaign for Jonathan’s candidacy.
A source said that the arrangement is for the team of Southern APC chieftains to kick off the campaign for Jonathan’s return in 2023 while the Northern governors, who have promised to back him will convince the ruling party to give him its presidential ticket.
The first step towards achieving this, it was learnt, is to immediately launch a campaign for the South-South to complete in 2023 the second term of the eight-year tenure truncated by Jonathan’s defeat by President Buhari in 2015.
According to the source, “Ten known politicians mainly from Bayelsa State have come together as a group. Their job is to start a media campaign on the need for the South-South to complete its tenure.
“They believe that since every other zone that produced the President ruled the country for eight years, the South-South should be allowed to complete its tenure.
“The four Northern governors backing the return of Jonathan in 2023 wanted the South-South to start the campaign first while they play a supportive role in midwifing the process. They want the argument to originate from their zone of interest.”
It was further learnt that the Southern APC chieftains had already met with Jonathan to intimate him of their plans ahead of their meeting with the Northern governors behind the former president’s 2023 return to Aso Rock Villa.
Although Jonathan has shown interest in the project, according to the source, the former president has not denied link with the 2023 agenda.
“The plan of these APC governors is to allow power return to the north after four years since Jonathan is entitled to only four years. The North believe that their tenure under the late President Musa Yar’Adua was cut short and they need to quickly return to power after 2023″, he added.
He also said notable figures in the Bayelsa State Government had bought into the project as they are also ready to defect to the APC.
“If the plan goes well, Jonathan will defect to the APC and significant number of politicians in PDP across the South-South including Bayelsa will join him”, he said.
Jonathan’s kinsman and public analyst, Wisdom Ikuli, had earlier said the former president deserved a return to Aso Rock Villa as the helmsman.
“If we say we are fighting for equity and we believe in justice and fairness, then, the people of South-South should be given the remaining one term because they have done one term. When they complete that one term, it will now rotate to another geo-political zone,” he said.
But some APC chieftains have warned that APC governors continued plot to bring Jonathan back to Aso Rock may lead to the collapse of the ruling party.
Jonathan himself has not publicly declared his intention to run in 2023, but he has also not denied nursing a presidential ambition.