Former President, Goodluck Jonathan, has turned down offers to contest 2023 presidential election on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) after a group of cattle breeders purchased the party’s nomination and expression of interest forms for him at N100 million.
Jonathan said that he was not aware of the moves made by the cattle dealers and never authorised the group to embark on such a purchase on his behalf ahead of the 2023 general election.
His rejection came hours after the cattle breeders on Monday procured a presidential nomination form for him to contest next year’s election on the platform of the APC, even when he was yet to officially declare his move to become a member of the ruling party in the country.
In a statement released by his Media Adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, the former president described the move as a back-door arrangement and that he would never adopt such a strategy for the election.
According to the statement, while we appreciate the overwhelming request by a cross-section of Nigerians, for Dr. Jonathan to make himself available for the 2023 Presidential election, we wish to state, that he has not in any way, committed himself to this request. Buying a presidential aspiration form in the name of Dr. Jonathan without his consent, knowing the position he had held in this country, is considered an insult to his person. The general public is therefore advised to disregard it”.
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The forms of the former president made it the 25th aspirants to purchase nomination and expression of interest forms from the APC ahead of its presidential primary scheduled for May 30th.
Members of the group, who were said to be cattle traders, bought the forms and indicated that Jonathan would get all their support for the seat next year.
It would be recalled that he took over power when the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua died in 2010 and contested the 2011 election, which he won.
It would be recalled that he lost his reelection to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 and acknowledged defeat before the final collation of the election results.
Sources said that some of the governors on the APC platform were from the northern part of the country and were said to be behind the return bid of Jonathan into the race.
Multiple sources, who are in the know, said the two governors, close to Buhari, have secured the buy-in of a section of the presidency to actualise their agenda of drafting the former president into the presidential race.
Earlier in the month, he told some of his supporters who were insisting he should declare to “be on the watch”, a disposition political pundits described as acceptance.
In the last seven years, the former president has not been attending activities of his party. This is just as his romance with President Buhari and top shots of the ruling party takes the centre stage, a development that has pitched him against opposition leaders in the country.