By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
The bid to draft former president Goodluck Jonathan and Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele into next year’s presidential race on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress appeared to have hit the rocks with uncertainty over their interest in the race.
Saturday Vanguard learnt last night that both the expression of interest and nomination forms, which different groups bought for them were neither completed nor submitted at the close of deadline for the submission of forms yesterday.
Although no reason was given for their sudden loss of interest in the APC presidential ticket, a reliable source confided in Saturday Vanguard that the whole process surrounding the participation of the former president in the race as a consensus candidate of the party, had been enmeshed in uncertainty and controversy, leaving the former leader with no choice but to opt out. Emefiele was said to have taken no further action after his lawyer sought the interpretation of court on the electoral law. He wanted to know if section 84(12) that compels appointees to resign before contesting elections.
For President Jonathan, it was learnt that some key loyalists of the former president, who could have given him the nod to go ahead with the race, had since become convinced that it would not be possible for the APC to concede the ticket to him, given the mood in the party and the body language of its leaders.
Jonathan’s backers, it was also gathered, had also not been forthcoming with details of how they intended to push through with his candidature given the array of other presidential aspirants who are laying claim to being ‘anointed’ by the powers that be.
The Jonathan’s circle of friends, it was learnt, were convinced that the renewed moves by some hawks within the APC to throw open the APC presidential ticket as is being done by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, would also not favour their leader and therefore, advised him to steer clear of the muddy political water and keep his head high as a former president. “We are not sure of anything as at the time I am speaking with you. We cannot say if the forms had been filled and submitted as at the close of submission of forms on Friday. We are monitoring the situation,” a source close to the former leader said without giving details.