Two days after former President Goodluck Jonathan got a reprieve from a Federal High Court, removing the constitutional obstruction that now makes him eligible to contest the 2023 presidency, President Muhammadu Buhari has distanced himself from any plot to draft Jonathan into the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential race.
Indications have emerged that while few APC members, including a Northern governor, are behind the plot to draft Jonathan into the ruling party’s presidential primary, a Presidency source late on Sunday, however, revealed that President Buhari has taken measures to distance himself from the plot.
The impeccable source in the Villa disclosed that instructions have consequently been given that there shall be no public release of photos of any meetings between the former President and the incumbent at this time as the President does not want such images to be used to confer any modicum of support to the plot to get Jonathan into the race.
According to the source, there are also concerns that the aides of the ex-President are “actively involved in keeping the plot alive in the media by releasing photos of his visits to the APC Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu and Alhaji Mamman Daura, the President’s influential nephew, to insinuate that these two gentlemen are in support of the plot.”
However, while speculative news reports have claimed the APC has granted Jonathan a waiver to join the presidential race even though he is not known to have properly fulfilled membership requirements, there has not been any formal confirmation that he submitted the presidential nomination forms or whether he would be included in the screening expected to happen this week.
Although President Buhari has not indicated who he is backing for the APC presidential primary, the Presidency source explained that “Jonathan is certainly not in the picture at all and the mentioning of his name has been invoking feelings of absurdity and ridicule in the Villa.”
The source recalled that “when during a public interview earlier this year, a journalist asked the president to use one word to describe the PDP, he instantly said ‘failure,’ how then would the same person who strongly feels that way would then be contemplating supporting the same PDP candidate he roundly defeated?”
Recall just recently, the National Vice Chairman, North-West of All Progressives Congress, Salihu Lukman, had confirmed that former President Goodluck Jonathan is not a member of the party.
Lukman disclosed this in a telephone interview with The Press Men at a time media reports are suggesting that some leaders of the ruling party are dragging Jonathan into the APC presidential race.
He said he found the news touting Jonathan as the party’s joker or anointed candidate annoying.
He said, “I can tell you this straight away, Jonathan is not a member of the APC as far as this party is concerned.
What is being discussed in the media is very strange to many of us. We are not even aware that anybody has bought form in the name of Jonathan and we have closed the sales of forms.
“All those media speculations, yes we know everything can be possible in this country. But as far as this party is concerned and some of us are there in critical structure, that is not going to be possible.
Jonathan’s recent absence at the Peoples Democratic Party’s Presidential primaries a few days ago had also sent tongues wagging as feelers had posited that his absence had sealed the deal to bring him into the ruling APC.
“You can quote me on this that I said it is not going to be possible. Anybody who is talking about it is just talking nonsense.” Lukman said