Emerging reports indicate that former President Goodluck Jonathan has formally defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to recontest for president in 2023.
Telescope.ng reports that this is coming hours after disowning a nomination form purportedly procured for him by a coalition of northern socio-cultural groups, basically of Fulani extraction.
The former president swiftly rejected the presidential form on Monday, May 9.
Speaking through his media adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, the former president said it was an insult for the group to have bought him the form without his permission.
But according to the News Agency of Nigeria, a credible source in Jonathan’s camp said the former president has finally decided to vie for the top office again.
Jonathan lost to the incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 as a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told NAN that the former president has formally joined the APC after registering at his Otuoke Ward in Bayelsa.
According to the source, Jonathan is expected to submit the duly filled forms on Thursday, May 12.
“Several bigwigs of the party have also been calling Jonathan to pledge their loyalty and support to the former president.’’ the source reportedly said.
The source told NAN late on Wednesday, May 11, that some influential African leaders had called Jonathan earlier on Monday to advise him “to contest the election in the interest of Nigeria.”
The source further stated: “At least three top African leaders called the former president on the matter. They all urged him to run. One of them specifically told him that it didn’t make sense travelling all over Africa settling disputes only to shy away from leadership responsibility in his home country.
“Another reminded him of the implication of failing to put the experiences he garnered as a former Nigerian president and as a continental statesman to good use.”
According to the source, some of the African leaders told Jonathan that Nigeria was passing through challenging times and in need of “a unifier like Jonathan at this time’’.
The source, however, did not disclose the names of the African leaders.