Some All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirants are reportedly angry over moves to draft former President Goodluck Jonathan as the party’s consensus presidential candidate.
The likes of Ahmed Bola Tinubu, Rt Hon Rotimi Amaechi, vice president Yemi Osinbajo and Other presidential aspirants angry as Jonathan’s backers seek adoption as APC consensus candidate for the 2023 presidential election.
It was gathered that some top members of APC leadership are pushing to adopt Jonathan as their consensus candidate and this formed part of the discussions between the former President and the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu on Monday night.
According to the report, moves to pick Jonathan as the consensus candidate are being orchestrated by party leaders, including two northern governors.
But these moves have reportedly resulted in anger among other contestants who feel it would amount to injustice if the former President is given a free run.
A source, who was privy to the meeting between Jonathan and Adamu, said the former president had inform the APC Chairman of his interest to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
The source stated, “He fears the backlash and the opposition he will meet from members who are already in the race. He is still insisting on consensus so that he will not face the rigour of indirect primaries.
“Already, his backers, including the national chairman have started working on the consensus arrangement. They have reached out to the few presidential aspirants from the North who will readily step down for Jonathan.”
Another source said, “Jonathan’s meeting with the APC chairman went well. He sought the party leadership’s support for his candidacy and also demanded assurances that he would be exempted from the mandatory screening and other stringent conditions in the form.
“He would not be available for the screening because he won’t be in the country for two weeks as he is going to Dakar, Senegal for the ‘Dialogue on sustaining democratic principles in the ECOWAS sub-region organised by the West African Elders Forum.’”
Meanwhile, reports had emerged last month claiming Jonathan had given some conditions for his backers in the APC before he could join the party’s presidential race.
One of such conditions includes an open endorsement of his presidential ambition by President Buhari.
He is also insisting that he should not be allowed to go through the party primaries with the likes of the national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo; former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, Rotimi Amaechi, Governor Dave Umahi and Dr Ogbonnaya Onu.
Recall that a Northern group had purchased the Presidential Nomination and Expression of Interest forms for the former leader under the umbrella of the ruling party.
But in a statement by his spokesperson, Ikechukwu Eze, Goodluck Jonathan had denied joining the 2023 presidential race.
The former president stated that if he decides to join the contest to succeed Buhari he won’t do so from the ‘back door