2023: Northern Emirs Lobby Jonathan To Join APC Over Zoning Controversy
Some northern Emirs have reportedly begun lobbying former President Goodluck Jonathan to defect to the All Progressives Congress and run for President in view of the raging debate of zoning between northern and southern elements.
“Jonathan has spoken with Buhari on the matter and he is considering joining the APC,” an associate of the former President authoritatively confirmed this to Newsmen.
It was learnt that two top traditional rulers in the North-West and one in the North-East had encouraged the former President to give the Presidency another shot.
“The deal is for Jonathan to join the APC, then get a waiver to contest. Currently, Jonathan can only be in office for another four years, then return power to the north. They also believe he could be a stabilising force in the country, especially now that the country is deeply divided,” another source said.
Currently, several northern elements – especially those in the Peoples Democratic Party – are insisting that there should not be zoning ahead of the 2023 poll. Some of those opposed to zoning include a former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso; former Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State; Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed; and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal.
However, many southern elements believe that since Buhari would have spent eight years by 2023, it would only be fair for the next President to be from the South. Already, former Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State; ex-Governor Orji Kalu of Abia State and Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, have declared their intentions to contest.
In the South-West, the national leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu, has revealed his intention to contest the presidency, while Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State are rumoured to be eyeing the same seat.
“Former President Atiku Abubakar’s camp is selling the idea of Atiku doing just one term and returning power to the south. However, only Jonathan can promise to do one term and abide by it because he is limited by the Constitution,” said an APC chieftain.
“Also, the South-East and South-South see Jonathan as one of their own. The South-West, through Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, had been in power for eight years while the current Vice President is also from there. The north also feels there should not be zoning. Jonathan is a safe option at this point,” he added.
Jonathan had visited President Muhummadu Buhari several times in the last couple of months, more than any other former head of state. On all occasions, Jonathan had refused to speak to State House reporters while the Presidency claimed he came to brief Buhari over happenings in troubled African countries.
Also, Jonathan had not been seen at any event organised by the PDP in the last one year. He also refused to attend the party’s national convention last year, several months after the PDP reconciliation committee led by a former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, visited him and pleaded with him not to defect.