The Personal Assistant to the President on Digital and New Media, Bashir Ahmad, has taken to his Twitter handle to announce that former president, Goodluck Jonathan, has defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
His comment trails a report that northern socio-cultural groups had purchased the APC’s N100million Expression of Interest and Nomination forms for Jonathan to contest for the 2023 presidency.
Ahmad, in a tweet, said, “So Goodluck Jonathan has dumped the opposition PDP and now a member of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).”
SaharaReporters had earlier reported that the coalition of groups, said to also be of Fulani extraction, picked the forms from the party’s organising secretary at the International Conference Centre (ICC) in Abuja, on Monday evening.
There have been speculations that Jonathan was preparing to defect to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and seek the presidential ticket of the party.
However, some Nigerians, including human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, argued that his candidature would breach the constitution.
Falana had based his position on Section 137 (3) of the Constitution, which provides as follows: “A person who was sworn in to complete the term for which another person was elected as president shall not be elected to such office for more than a single term.”
Meanwhile, there had been a report earlier this month that some political hawks in the APC including President Buhari, are planning to woo Goodluck Jonathan to the party and get him fielded as the party’s 2023 presidential standard-bearer.
However, a senior presidential aide debunked it claiming that President Muhammadu Buhari only has great respect for Jonathan, particularly with the way he handled the outcome of the 2015 presidential election by graciously accepting defeat and congratulating him (Buhari) despite pressures from some of his loyalists to do otherwise, Buhari does not want him to succeed him in 2023.
“It is pure mischief for anyone to say President Buhari is the one behind the move by some politicians to draft the former president into the party and make him contest the 2023 presidential election…”
The former President, it was gathered, had severed his ties with his party, the PDP since 2019.
He never supported the PDP governorship candidate in the Bayelsa governorship election while his mother and his kinsmen also celebrated the victory of the APC in the election.