What I Will Do If Ex-President Jonathan Joins All Progressives Congress, Contests For President—Governor Wike
Nyesom Wike the state governor of Rivers has said he will not support former President Goodluck Jonathan if he defects to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to contest in the upcoming 2023 presidential election.
Governor Wike disclosed this in an interview with BBC Pidgin on Thursday.
This came after the defection of Femi Fani-Kayode who was the former aviation minister and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Thursday.
Infoxclusive learnt that Goodluck Jonathan, the former Nigerian President may soon defect to the All Progressive Congress.
Let is be Recalled that John Akpanudoedehe, the National Secretary, APC Caretaker, and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee, had stated that Goodluck Jonathan would be given a founding member status if he joins the APC.
He maintained that the Ex-President would be allowed to contest in 2023 on a fair ground.
This was disclosed through the party officials while featuring as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics on Wednesday.
Governor Wike reacting on BBC, when he was asked if he will support Goodluck Jonathan to secure the presidency he lost in 2015, he said he will only support him if he contests as a member of the PDP despite that they both hail from the same South-South region of the country.
“When you said pick ticket, from which party? Is it APC or PDP?” Wike queried.
“To pick ticket means you’re representing the interest of a party. I’m in PDP and I will not be involved in anti-party activities. If he is APC, I won’t support him because I’m not into that kind of politics.
“It is not about ethnicity for me, but about the party. If he joins APC I can’t support him,” Wike added.
A top source had told SaharaReporters that the President Muhammadu Buhari Presidency had started courting Jonathan since 2020 to bring him into the APC to run for the presidency and succeed Buhari.
According to the source, the Presidency cabal wants to make Jonathan the next president as they know he won’t investigate atrocities committed by Buhari’s regime.
And Jonathan, who is purportedly nursing a presidential ambition to complete two terms in office, an opportunity denied him by the APC in the 2015 presidential election, has agreed to play the game, especially considering the slim chances he has in the PDP with the wealth and connection of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.
Atiku was the PDP presidential candidate in the 2019 election.
Although Atiku has yet to declare interest in the race, he appears to be testing the waters, as some groups showing support for his 2023 ambition have already emerged.
The source further said Jonathan is also wary of the threat posed by the ambitions of the Governors of Sokoto and Rivers states, Aminu Tambuwal and Nyesom Wike respectively, said to be considering a joint ticket.
However, Jonathan was said to have given certain conditions to Buhari’s cabal which have yet to be fully fulfilled hence the delay in joining the ruling party.
“About a year ago Jonathan started consulting with APC to see how he could join the party. Jonathan realised that his chances in PDP were slim due to Atiku’s influence and opposition posed by PDP leadership, including Wike who is interested in a joint ticket with Tambuwal,” the source had said.
Noting how the move by the Buhari cabal is also kill another bird, which is the ambition of Tinubu to succeed Buhari in 2023, the source added, “Buhari and his cabal had decided to discard Tinubu and started courting Jonathan. Jonathan assisted APC candidate in his state to win election but a court squashed his victory before he could be sworn in.”
The source continued, “Buhari cabal knew Jonathan could only do one term, in fact only 2 years constitutionally. They also know Jonathan is a softie who won’t go after members of the current regime.
“But Jonathan insisted on one condition that monies and assets of his which were seized and frozen by the Buhari government should be returned including, those belonging to his wife, Patience. He told them he had no money and the cabal agreed that they would unfreeze his assets and bankroll him.
“He has insisted that they must demonstrate good fate before he would take the plunge. And they have started to resolve some of the issues raised by Jonathan. For instance, one of his cousins $40 million was returned via two court rulings.”
Recall that in May 2019, an Abuja Division of the Federal High Court discharged and acquitted Jonathan’s cousin, Robert Azibaola, of $40 million laundering charges filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).