APC And Plot To Draft Jonathan Into Presidential Race

With the happenings and stories one hears every day in the country, one cannot but conclude that Nigeria is nothing but a joke. It is a huge joke indeed. One of the latest jokes is the ugly idea being tinkered with by those who believe they can gamble with people’s intelligence, which is the claim that some chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are wooing former President Goodluck Jonathan with the presidential ticket of the party in next year’s election.

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This allegation has been in the news for some time now. But, neither the National Chairman Abdullahi Adamu nor any other member of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has deemed it fit to debunk it by putting the record straight. It was even reported that before the so-called almajiris bought the presidential form for Jonathan that he held a personal meeting with the national chairman.

Jonathan was also reported to have told those pleading with him to join next year’s presidential race on the APC platform that he does not want to contest the primary for the ticket of the party with the likes of the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. In other words, he wants to be adopted as the beautiful bride to fly the party’s flag.

The notion that some persons in the presidency and even the APC top hierarchy are tinkering with such an idea simply proves the irresponsibility of those in positions of authority who believe they can ride roughshod over the public’s sensibilities and get away with it.

Now, the question remains: when the party was being put together by Asiwaju Tinubu and a few others where were those who today believe they are holding the reign of power and can therefore do what they like with it?

For the Nigeria of today, Tinubu appears to be the favourite aspirant; unless the Creator says otherwise. Nigeria for once needs an economist to manage our resources. The country has had enough of charlatans holding the office of the presidency.

Go back to history and examine the profession of those who have held the lofty position in the country’s history; none was an economist. Those who have held the position were mostly classroom teachers or retired military generals. Even Jonathan was a zoologist. Only the late Obafemi Awolowo who did not fulfil his wish to govern the country was an accountant.

While the so-called friends of Jonathan are gradually testing the waters with the idea, Jonathan himself had conveniently looked the other way. It was only recently that he indicated that he did not ask any group to purchase the APC presidential form for him.

One cannot even but wonder when almajiris (street beggars and urchins) have become so wealthy that they can afford to come up with such an amount to purchase the presidential nomination form for a former president. Jonathan indeed must be loved beyond imagining for such to happen.

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But, the matter has now come to a head and Jonathan should be bold enough to tell Nigerians the true position of things, so everything can be properly sorted out in good time.

However, when one looks at the whole scenario, one cannot blame those who are making the ridiculous proposition. After all, was the National Chairman Abdullahi Adamu not a former member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) who later joined the APC?

If there is a plot to draft Goodluck Jonathan into the race as a consensus candidate, it will simply amount to saying that after Asiwaju Bola Tinubu helped Muhammadu Buhari to emerge the president he could not attain that position on his own, using the instrumentality of the merger formed by him and Buhari. That could only mean that President Buhari has decided to say thank you to Asiwaju by bringing the PDP back to power through the backdoor.

Any wonder the presidency insisted on Adamu as the national chairman; a dummy which was sold to Muhammadu Buhari by members of his so-called kitchen cabinet who obviously if it is true, do not mean well for the APC and Nigeria. Unfortunately, the president swallowed it hook line and sinker without asking questions.

Therefore, the founding fathers of the APC must as a matter of course and reason come together to rescue their party. It is either a free and fair presidential primary or nothing.

If Goodluck Jonathan believes he has overnight become a beautiful bride, he should remain in his party (PDP) and aspire to emerge as a consensus candidate there. But, if he intends to aspire on the platform of the APC, he should be prepared to test his popularity against the likes of Tinubu. There should be no other shortcut to the party ticket.

Besides, is it not the same Goodluck Jonathan who was dubbed a ‘clueless’ president and chased out of Aso Rock? What has changed in the last seven years? Under his watch, Boko Haram almost took several local governments in the Northeast. He never offered any meaningful solution other than the usual rhetoric of the military being on top of the situation.

If therefore the plot of the presidency is to hand over power back to the PDP through Goodluck Jonathan, then the end of the party has come. This is the primary reason why the founding fathers of the party must reclaim their party from those who were dining and winning with the PDP when they were spending sleepless nights putting the party together.

Okolo, a political commentator, writes from Asaba.

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