The rumored consultations with former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to run for president in 2023 have elicited mixed reactions.
Jonathan, who served as president from 2010 to 2015 before being defeated by President Muhammadu Buhari, has been rubbing shoulders with his successor and the ruling All Progressives Congress’ top brass (APC).
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Several political stakeholders from across the country, including leaders from the Niger Delta region, were hosted by the former president during his state’s Christmas and New Year celebrations in Bayelsa State.
Jonathan is said to have told his ‘coordinators’ across the country to be ready for the challenges ahead at a meeting held at Aridolf Hotels in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State’s capital.
This comes after he paid a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari on December 23, 2021 in Abuja.
Meanwhile, some Nigerians believe that the former president should run for re-election and complete his second term.
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However, Comrade Wilfred Frank Ogbotobo, a Bayelsa State APC chieftain, has stated that if Jonathan contests the 2023 election, it will be detrimental to the South South region.
“Goodluck Jonathan did not win the presidency through personal effort, but by the grace of God,” he said. His first attempt at running for office failed, and he was soundly defeated in the polls. This should have served as a reminder to him that he’s had his fair share of good fortune.
“It will be politically detrimental to the South South in that the region will be shortchanged by four years if he contests and wins the presidency in 2023, just as it was in 2011 when he broke the rotational agreement.”
“He has the constitutional right to do so,” he said, “but he should not use himself as a pawn for forces bent on sabotaging the South-interests.” South’s
Similarly, a senior official with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the former president would not be so ungrateful as to abandon the party that launched his political career in order to pursue his presidential ambitions with the APC, which deceived Nigerians in 2015 to gain power.
Despite the fact that he was not authorized to speak on the subject, he stated that the PDP will give Jonathan all the support he needs to pursue his ambition on the party’s platform, though he added that he would not be able to run as a sole candidate.
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When contacted, Jonathan’s spokesman, Mr Ikechukwu Eze, stated that he was unaware of any political gathering in preparation for the 2023 election.
“I’m not aware of any presidential campaign meetings, but I am aware that the former president was in Bayelsa State for his Christmas and New Year celebrations.” “Some leaders from the Niger Delta region paid him homage while he was there, and people always visit him as a former leader here in Abuja,” he said.