Why Jonathan May Be President Again In 2023!

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No doubt that there is always no smoke without fire as it said in African proverbial literature. Also, the fact that in politics, what is permanent is interest and not enmity!

At present, the clamour and agitation for power shift to the southern part of Nigeria is heating up the polity. While the southwest is formidable in the APC and well-positioned to rift power from the north in cordial agreement, the southeast seems volatile with insecurity threat that poses mistrust to the north, especially the recent faceoff from eastern security network with the Nigerian armed forces. In the same vein, the north perhaps is viewing the recent regional security network in the southwest as a threat to its alliance. Though, one may not conclude yet, as anything is possible in politics even within 24 hours!

However, the internal party movement and power scheme within the APC, which is now 100 per cent in the hands of the north, could be a deciding factor for an alliance with any region and or personality it deemed fit and trustworthy from the south to assume the n0. 1 seat of power in Nigeria. At this level of politics, party affiliation doesn’t count much when the kite is to be flown for interested political folks to dare!

Such is the hunt or lobby for ex-president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to defect to the All progressive congress and be rewarded for his sportsmanship and for the south-south region to completes it tenure of eight years, having served four years from 2011 to 2015.

Thus if the romance by some notable APC echelons is anything to buy, then, the kite is already in the sky. Recall that on Jonathan’s birthday, key stakeholders, mostly governors of the APC fold from the north paid a courtesy visit to the former president to his Abuja resident. That’s notwithstanding the fact that GEJ himself has been romancing with Aso Rock with several visits and invitation from the presidency, most of which were closed-door meetings.

The romance no doubt is causing great ripples in the PDP such that gov. Wike of Rivers State, former vice president Atiku Abubakar and other governors of PDP are worried and not at ease at all over the game refers to as war without bloodshed according to the quote of Mao Tse Tung which is been outplayed by Jonathan, the presidency and the APC. Of particular concern to these stakeholders of PDP, is that the visit to Jonathan’s Abuja residence during his birthday celebration witnessed chieftains of the ruling party, led by the APC caretaker committee chairman himself, gov. Mai Mala Buni, among the APC governors on Buni’s entourage, were David Umahi of Ebonyi State, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi state and Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa state. It was learnt that former senate president Ken Nnamani was also on the entourage.

The PDP bigwigs viewed the visit to Jonathan with no parallax prism at all, due to the fact that the former president had never received such august visitors from the APC camp since he lost election and consequently vacated office in 2015. To add is the fact that the visit was coming a few days after the defection of governor Umahi from the PDP to the APC, certainly, this calls for concern in the opposition camp. This was not helped by speculations making the rounds that the APC may consider Jonathan for its 2023 presidential ticket through some compromises and political Horse-trading but never a Trojan Horse. More disturbing to the PDP leaders is the former president’s perceived quietness over the seemingly greek offer from the ruling party.

Perceptions from some quarters in the media, have it that Jonathan in his usual style of lackadaisical over issues of serious magnitude is compounding the fears in the PDP camp over the speculated moves by some actors in the ruling APC to woo him into the 2023 presidential contest. Though, GEJ as he is fondly called has maintained that it is too early to start discussing 2023 election. That coy response has continued to rattle some of his compatriots in the PDP as a party.

Now, if the scheme as rumoured is correct and Jonathan knightly accepts to be corralled into the 2023 race by the APC, it may likely sink the presidential ambitions and political future of a number of PDP bigwigs. It could also spell doom for the opposition party in the short and medium-term. In the event of Jonathan picking the APC ticket and winning the election, agitations for power to revert to the north in 2027 could be the game plan since constitutionally, Jonathan is eligible for only one term if he chooses to contest in 2023.

So Jonathan could pose a great threat to people like Atiku, Tambuwal/Wike, and few others who are believed to be a nursing ambition for the presidency come 2023. It is also in the glare that wike’s recent attack on the PDP national chairman, Uche Secondus, who the governor accused of scheming for a fresh tenure at the expiration of his current one since his tenure shall end by December 2021 and a fresh tenure for Secondus could rob wike of his speculated ambition.

If tradition in the PDP is anything to go by, a candidate on a joint presidential ticket cannot emerge from the same zone with the chairman of the party. So, for wike to have his way, the chairmanship of the party would have to shift to another geo-political zone. Of course, it is an open secret that the PDP chairman owed his present position to wike’s domineering influence in the party.

The governor, against all odds, had deployed enormous human and material resources to ensure that Secondus emerged victorious at the party’s 2017 national convention but now viewed to be too powerful and arrogant to some PDP chieftains and power brokers.

Analysts are of the view that the strident calls by these party chieftains of southern extraction for power shift, might have informed the decision of a faction in the APC interim leadership to play the Jonathan card. The calculation, according to inside sources, is to have one of the members of the faction run a joint ticket with the former president.

Speculations have it that “if Jonathan digest the offer and the plan scales through, it means there will be demands by the same persons fronting him, for power to move back to the north in 2027.” Since Jonathan’s eligibility to contest was the constitutional amendment bill number 16, assented to by President Buhari in June 2018.

The bill prescribed that a vice president or a deputy governor who succeeds and completes the tenure of a president or governor can only run for the office one more time. As vice president, Jonathan had succeeded the late president Umaru yar ‘Adua who died in 2010. He had gone ahead to contest and win the presidential election in 2015. He had contested again in 2019 but lost to Buhari and the APC. Constitutional analysts, however, hold the view that the law cannot be made to take a retroactive effect in the Jonathan case. They insist the law could only take effect from June 2018 when the bill was assented to by the president. It is also a pointer to why some echelons of the APC created a dichotomy or faction amongst the party’s machinery in June 2020. A scheme believed to have been orchestrated to frustrate or edge out the southwest region particularly the ambition of Bola Tinubu and governor Kayode from the presidential flag of the APC in 2023. But could this be true against particularly, Bola Ahmed Tinubu who contributed enormously in the realization of the pact that enthroned APC, the north and President Buhari to power? Nevertheless, in politics, it is solely interest and not lasting enmity!

Written by Daniel Atayi. Cf: 08137015949. Email: investigativepressman@gmail.com

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