There have been reports that a coalition of northern socio-cultural groups, basically of Fulani extraction, purchased N100 million nomination and expression of interest forms of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), for former President Goodluck Jonathan to contest for President again in 2023.
Following the reports, Jonathan rejected the presidential form of the ruling APC purchased for him on Monday, purportedly by a group of supporters from the northern region.
Speaking through his Media Adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, the former president said it was an insult for the group to have bought him the forms without his permission.
However, sources told SaharaReporters on Tuesday that claims by the former President that he did not authorise the purchase of the multi-million-naira forms are far from the truth.
“Contrary to his denials, former President Goodluck Jonathan gave over N200 million to the governor of Jigawa, Mohammed Badaru, to purchase the APC nomination and expression of interest forms for him,” a source privy to the arrangement told SaharaReporters.
Interestingly, the Jigawa governor, Badaru last week joined other interested presidential aspirants to vie for the ticket of the APC by buying the N100 million nomination and expression of interest forms.
“I will join the Presidential race since everyone knows I’m a highly qualified person to do the job,” Badaru was quoted as saying during an APC stakeholders’ meeting held at Government House in Dutse last Tuesday.
The governor was also said to have told the gathering during the meeting that he was pressurised by his colleagues to contest for the presidential seat.
His media aide, Auwalu Sankara, said his principal had sought President Muhammadu Buhari’s blessings before buying the forms.
But SaharaReporters learnt that the Jigawa governor had bought the forms and come up with the statements as a ruse to deceive Nigerians; as he was indeed working for Jonathan.
It was further learnt that Jonathan backed out of the plan and swiftly came up with the denial after the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, had refused to guarantee that the former President would be the consensus candidate of the ruling party.
Jonathan was Nigeria’s leader as a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which is now an opposition party.
“The reason why he (Jonathan) gave him that much money – over N200 million – was that he asked the governor to buy himself a form too in order to cover up the deal,” the source said.
“And upon purchasing the form, Jonathan alerted Buhari. Buhari told him to meet with the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, but Adamu said he can’t guarantee him as a consensus candidate
“At that point, GEJ (Goodluck Ebele Jonathan) started denying that he purchased the form,” another source said.
SaharaReporters broke the story of how a cabal in the ruling APC had pushed for Jonathan to succeed Buhari, after being impressed by how the former President never openly criticised Buhari government despite its ineptitude and the insults the APC, as an opposition party, hurled at him (Jonathan) ahead of the 2015 presidential election.
The fact that Jonathan cannot spend more than one term in office, if they can manage to get him there, is also not lost on the cabal. However, SaharaReporters has also reported how Jonathan was later called a betrayer by the cabal after he failed to fulfil some of the conditions given to him, including convincing some PDP governors to defect to the APC.