2023: “I Didn’t Order Group To Obtain APC Form”, -Jonathan
Ex-President Jonathan (L) The Nomad With APC’s Nomination Form
Former President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday night, rejected the presidential nomination form obtained for him by a group, the Nomadic Herders and Almajiris Community in Nigeria.
The former president said he did not authorise any group to purchase the form for him.
Dr Jonathan, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, posted on his Facebook page at about midnight, said he was not aware of the move.
The statement reads: “It has come to the notice of His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, that a group has purportedly purchased Presidential Nomination and Expression of Interest forms, of the All Progressives Congress (the APC), in his name.
“We wish to categorically state that Dr. Jonathan was not aware of this bid and did not authorize it.
“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.
“We thank the general public for their concern, as we continue to encourage citizen participation in the affairs of the country.”
Before the rebuttal by the former president, controversy trailed the nomination form purchase.
The group, led by one Ibrahim Abdullahi, claimed that it had picked the form for the former president.
One of the former president’s aides, Reno Omokri, said it would be difficult to shave the head of a person in his absence.
He tweeted: “First of all, to whet your appetite, let me say that under the rain and under the sun, I will follow Jonathan.
“Secondly, I can’t ever be one with APC. Thirdly, nobody can shave HE @GEJonathan’s head in his absence. Read between the lines. More to come!”
But, President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman on New Media, Bashir Ahmad in a tweet on his verified Twitter handle at about 8:35 pm, said: “So, Goodluck Jonathan has dumped the opposition PDP and now a member of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).”
In a telephone chat with The Nation, Ahmad said that all circumstances pointed to the fact that the former President would be seeking to return to the office on the platform of the party that removed him from office in 2015.
According to him, a political party would sell nomination and expression of interest forms to only its registered member.
He added: “No one will give out N100 million to buy a presidential form from a party he’s not a member of. The primary reason for parties to sell their forms to you is that you must first be a registered member,” Ahmad argued.
Recently the former President while hosting some women and youths who came to persuade him to contest the 2023 election, told them the process of his joining the race was in progress.
Addressing reporters after picking the form, Abdullahi said: “I represent two of the most vulnerable communities in our country. The nomadic pastoralist and the almajirai communities have decided to purchase this form for our former president, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to come back and rule this country and continue with the good work he has started.
“You may recall that during Goodluck Jonathan’s era, he was the first President since the independence of Nigeria who has found it expedient, who was magnanimous enough to remember the almajiri community. He brought a comprehensive policy of reformation and integration of the almajirai into the mainstream educational system in Nigeria.
“It was the dream and the vision of President Goodluck Jonathan that if that programme had continued it would one day produce from the Almajiri system of education doctors and engineers. Unfortunately, that programme was kept aside as soon as he left.
“Other parts of the vulnerable community that Goodluck Jonathan wanted to give a sense of belonging was the Fulani community, the nomadic pastoralist.”
The nomadic leader said the good work of the former President made them sell their cows to raise the money for the purchase of the forms.
On the party membership status of the former President, the Fulani leader said: “Yes President Goodluck Jonathan is a member of APC.”