Human rights activist, Deji Adeyanju, has said the planned defection of former President Goodluck Jonathan to the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the 2023 elections may earn him ridicule.
Jonathan has been in the public eye amid his rumoured defection to the ruling party to secure its presidential ticket for next year.
The N100 million nomination and expression of interest forms of the ruling APC were reportedly bought for former President Jonathan by a northern group on Monday.
Jonathan, however, denied knowledge of the move.
SaharaReporters exclusively reported on Tuesday that claims by the former President that he did not authorise the purchase of the multi-million-naira forms were far from the truth.
“Contrary to his denials, former President Goodluck Jonathan gave over N200 million to the governor of Jigawa, Mohammed Badaru, to purchase the APC nomination and expression of interest forms for him,” a source privy to the arrangement had told SaharaReporters.
Interestingly, the Jigawa governor, Badaru had last week joined other interested presidential aspirants to vie for the ticket of the APC by buying the N100 million nomination and expression of interest forms.
“I will join the Presidential race since everyone knows I’m a highly qualified person to do the job,” Badaru had been quoted as saying during an APC stakeholders’ meeting held at Government House in Dutse last Tuesday.
The governor was also said to have told the gathering during the meeting that he was pressurised by his colleagues to contest for the presidential seat.
His media aide, Auwalu Sankara, said his principal had sought President Muhammadu Buhari’s blessings before buying the forms.
But SaharaReporters learnt that the Jigawa governor had bought the forms and come up with the statements as a ruse to deceive Nigerians; as he was indeed working for Jonathan.
It was further learnt that Jonathan had backed out of the plan and swiftly come up with the denial after the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, refused to guarantee that the former President would be the consensus candidate of the ruling party.
“The reason why he (Jonathan) gave him that much money – over N200 million – was that he asked the governor to buy himself a form too in order to cover up the deal,” the source had said.
“And upon purchasing the form, Jonathan alerted Buhari. Buhari told him to meet with the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, but Adamu said he can’t guarantee him as a consensus candidate.
“At that point, GEJ (Goodluck Ebele Jonathan) started denying that he purchased the form,” another source had said.
SaharaReporters much earlier broke the story of how a cabal in the ruling APC had pushed for Jonathan to succeed Buhari, after being impressed by how the former President never openly criticised the Buhari government despite its ineptitude and the insults the APC, as an opposition party, hurled at him (Jonathan) ahead of the 2015 presidential election.
The fact that Jonathan cannot spend more than one term in office, if they can manage to get him there, was also not lost on the cabal.
But in a post via his social media handles on Thursday, Adeyanju warned Jonathan against the move.
According to him, the APC may embarrass Jonathan during its national convention in Abuja.
“What is Goodluck Jonathan really looking for again? These APC people are extremely dishonest; they may embarrass him at Eagle Square.”