Politics

APC governors led by chairman Buni reportedly meets Ex-President Jonathan behind closed doors

Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan during a book presentation in Rivers State

Report has it that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are worried over Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s meeting by top chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Hours after the defection of Governor David Umahi from the PDP to the APC, some APC governors and other chieftains led by the Chairman of the APC caretaker committee, Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State, met with Jonathan at his residence in Abuja.

David Umahi (Ebonyi), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi) who is the chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, and Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), were all at the meeting which happened behind closed-doors.

There are reports that the APC was wooing Jonathan to join the party ahead of the 2023 Presidency.

Confirming the visit, the spokesman of the APC, Yekini Nabena, stated that the APC leaders were lobbying Jonathan and other PDP governors.

“Politics is all about number and you know we are not forcing people, it’s all about lobbying. So, we are doing this ahead of 2023.

“But we can’t force the former President; we can only lobby him. He has seen the good development President Buhari is doing. I think that is why even the Ebonyi State governor left the PDP.

“You can see what the centre is doing, it is different from what the PDP has done in 16 years. So, we do our things practically and not on paper.

“We are also talking to some PDP governors and every important person in this country. Those that have the interest of the nation at heart, we will continue to lobby them to join us in the APC,” he said.

Asked whether the APC would give Jonathan an automatic ticket to run for presidency in 2023, he said; “well, until we get to that bridge. The Bible says when you are born again, everything about you becomes new. So, once you come into the party, you are a full party member.”

Reacting to the development, the PDP Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Diran Odeyemi, told DailyTrust that; “It is a hypothesis, it’s a calculation of the APC. We have our own calculation too. And it is our calculation that the best candidate that will emerge in the PDP will take Nigeria to the promised land. So, we are keeping our strategy to our chest.

“What the APC is doing is propaganda. If PDP is having a general problem that anyone can talk about, that is when you can talk of every other governor leaving the party. Governor Umahi’s defection was personal but there is no reason whatsoever for any governor in the PDP to join APC at this time.

“And we wonder which of the APC they are joining. Is it the APC of Bola Tinubu or the APC of Buhari? Because we know the APC is in crisis.

“Visiting Jonathan to rejoice with him as a former president is nothing new. Anybody can rejoice with him on his birthday. So, it doesn’t translate to the idea of him joining them.

“And they should stop making noise about visiting people because Umahi joined them now. They should not deceive Nigerians that more PDP governors will join them,” he said.

Ex-President Jonathan has however noted that the visit by the APC chieftains is not political.

Mr. Ikechukwu Eze, Jonathan’s spokesman, noted that the visit was a birthday visit, adding that both PDP and APC visited him as a father a statesman to celebrate with him.

“PDP governors also visited him; it was not only APC governors. Governor Bala Muhammad was there, they visited him as a father and statesman to celebrate with him, it was not a political party affair.

“Anything you are hearing about 2023 is rumour and we don’t have time to be responding to rumours, the former President is a very busy person to be listening to rumours.”

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