FILE: President Buhari and ex-President Goodluck Jonathan
By Dirisu Yakubu, ABUJA
Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, insinuations are rife that President Muhammadu Buhari is secretly wooing his predecessor in office, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
Jonathan, it would be recalled, conceded defeat while official results of the 2015 presidential elections were yet to be announced; a development that fetched him national and global acclaim.
After a few months of throwing jibes at each other, particularly on how PDP allegedly mismanaged the affairs of the nation while in power, Buhari appeared to have made up with Jonathan.
The two have been regularly meeting at the Aso Rock Villa behind close doors.
To further fuelled the rumours, Buhari would time and again showered praises on Jonathan, saying his decision to throw in the towel saved the nation’s democracy.
Although Jonathan is yet to address the speculations of his flirtation with the APC, Southern leaders have taken turn to counsel him against the move.
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The stakeholders said doing so would not only tarnish his legacy, but would affect the chances of a President from the South staying beyond 2027, in the event that Jonathan falls for the bait and wins at the poll.
In the past few years, Jonathan did nothing to dismiss these speculations as he avoided PDP events.
The former President was not at the well-attended expanded national consensus meeting as well as the national elective convention in 2021.
Not possible — PDP
However, spokesman of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, in a chat with Vanguard, dismissed speculations linking Jonathan to the APC.
While admitting that the former President had indeed been absent in PDP events in recent times, he insisted that proper apologies were sent given Jonathan’s international standing.
His words: “We don’t want to join issues with a sinking party which continues to fool Nigerians all the time.
“This time, they are flying a kite that Dr. Jonathan is likely to join them.
“All I can say is that the leadership of the Dr. Iyorchia Ayu-led National Working Committee is reaching out to members of the party, including the former President, to join hands with it to help rebuild and rescue Nigeria.
“APC is a special duty vehicle invented to crash Nigeria on a purposeless journey called next level.
“But we call on Nigerians to team up with the PDP to help win back the nation of our collective dream.
“I insist that we are not aware of our esteemed international statesman, Dr. Jonathan entering into any form of talks with the APC in a bid to join them,” he said.