- Ex-President Escalates Defection Rumours To APC
Immediate past President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday raised fresh concerns among members of the rank and file of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) following his conspicuous absence from the national convention of the party at the Eagle Square, Abuja.
Jonathan, a staunch PDP stalwart had been rumoured in the past to be eyeing a move to All Progressives Congress (APC) where he hopes to clinch the ruling party’s ticket to contest the 2023 presidential poll. Now, political analysts have said his noticeable absence from the PDP convention has further made those defection rumours rife as uneasy calm looms over the convention.
A media aide to the former President, Ikechukwu Eze, had earlier released his itinerary, disclosing that Jonathan, ECOWAS Special Envoy to Mali would be in Nairobi, Kenya, for a three-day peace and security event organised by the African Union.
“Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will depart Abuja, on Saturday, for Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, to attend the 12th African Union (AU) High-Level Retreat on the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa,” the statement said, but was silent on his principal’s failure to attend the PDP convention at the Eagle Square, where the crème-de-la-crème of his party had converged.
Amid the ongoing horse trading to plot his defection to APC, Jonathan himself has remained silent on the matter of interest to his supporters nationwide, fueling reports that he may be considering the option should the presidential ticket of the APC in 2023 is part of the deal, even though many are skeptical about such bargain as reports say Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and a former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu are already scheming to bag the APC ticket on separate grounds amid call for a Southern President in 2023.
In about two years now, The New Diplomat reports former President Jonathan has become a regular visitor at the Aso Villa and has held closed-door meetings with his successor in office, President Muhammadu Buhari during those visits, with little or no details disclosed to the state house correspondents.
It would be recalled Yemi Akinwonmi, the acting national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other party officials were recently at Jonathan’s residence to convince him to stay in the opposition party.
Also, the Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike had in October urged Jonathan to remain with the PDP as his interest would best be served with the party if he intended to run for president in the next political cycle.