Mixed reactions have continued to trail the purported consultations of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to contest for the presidency come 2023.
Jonathan, who was president between 2010 and 2015 when he was defeated by President Muhammadu Buhari, has been hobnobbing with his successor and top shots of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
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During the last Christmas and New Year celebrations, which the former president celebrated in his state of Bayelsa, he hosted several political stakeholders across the country, including leaders from the Niger Delta region.
Jonathan was reported to have told his ‘coordinators’ across the country in a meeting hosted at Aridolf Hotels in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, to be prepared for the challenges ahead.
This is coming after he had visited President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Thursday, December 23, 2021.
Meanwhile, there are some Nigerians that are of the view that the former president should return and complete his second term in office.
However, a chieftain of the APC in Bayelsa State, Comrade Wilfred Frank Ogbotobo, has said it will be detrimental to the South South region if Jonathan contests the 2023 election.
He said: “Goodluck Jonathan attained the presidency not on personal effort, but by the grace of providence. His first personal attempt failed; he was roundly defeated at the polls. This should have served as a lesson for him to realise that he’s been given his fair share of good luck.
“Just like his 2011 involvement which was in breach of the rotational understanding, it will be politically detrimental to the South South in that the region will be shortchanged by four years if he contests and wins the presidency in 2023.
“He has the constitutional right though, however, he should not offer himself as a pawn for forces intent on sabotaging the interests of the South-South,” he said.
Similarly, a senior official of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the former president will not be that ungrateful to abandon the party that made him in politics to seek his presidential aspiration in APC that deceived Nigerians in 2015 to get power.
He said though he was not authorized to speak on the matter, PDP will give Jonathan every support to pursue his ambition using its platform, though it will not be possible to front him as a sole candidate.
When contacted, the spokesman to Jonathan, Mr Ikechukwu Eze, said he was not aware of a political meeting in preparation for the 2023 election.
“I don’t know of any meeting for the presidential election, but what I know is that the former president was in Bayelsa State for his Christmas and New Year celebration. While there, some leaders from Niger Delta region paid him homage and even here in Abuja, people always visit him as a former leader,” he said.