It all started on Social media some weeks back when ex-president Goodluck Jonathan was trending on Twitter.
Soon, his campaign posters adorned the major cities of the Federal Capital Territory (F.C.T) Abuja.
While the posters did not identify the party which Jonathan is affiliated to, the posters have been spotted majorly at the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the country’s capital.
With a big picture of the ex-president in his South-south attire and a bowler hat, the inscription on the posters read: “Goodluck Jonathan You Must Run”. This is happening months after an Abuja-based Christian Minister, Pastor Felix Prize Aluko prophesied that Jonathan was going to return as president in 2023, under the platform of the APC.
POLITICS NIGERIA also recalled that Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), along with some APC governors, paid a courtesy visit to the former president, fuelling suspicion of moves to woo Jonathan to the party.
The committee was alleged to have spoken on the idea of dragging the ex-President to come and contest the 2023 presidential election on the platform of the APC but the defunct CECPC refuted the allegations, saying the governors only paid a courtesy visit to the elder statesman.
On Friday, his supporters protested at his Abuja office, demanding that he should declare for the 2023 presidential election. Jonathan, however, told them to “just watch out”.
“I cannot declare because some processes are still ongoing. Yes, you are calling on me to come and declare for the next election. I cannot tell you I’m declaring. The political process is ongoing; just watch out. The key role you must play is that Nigeria must get somebody that will carry young people along.”
The protesters who came with various placards had inscriptions such as “Goodluck declare now”; “We are sorry, Goodluck, don’t abandon us, come back”; “Goodluck please come”; and “Goodluck we love you” among others.
The question many Nigerians have continued to ask is whether the return of Jonathan would correct his past failures. Even though the Otuoke-born politician is no neophyte in the scheme of things, having previously served as Deputy Governor and Governor of his native Bayelsa state, and later, Vice-President, he failed to tackle corruption, insecurity and other vices during his reign as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Nigeria has a rotational power arrangement between the North and the South, albeit unofficial. The current realities favour a power-shift to Southern Nigeria from the North. Multiple sources told POLITICS NIGERIA that the attraction to Jonathan’s possible candidacy from the Northern Nigeria politicians is that he will serve just one term of four years and power would return to the north.
Political analysts are of the opinion that Jonathan contesting the 2023 presidential election is not to correct his past but to favour the northern alliance.
“What past did you expect him to correct? I believe they are simply pushing him to contest so that power can return to the north after four years. We all witnessed the security challenges in the land and massive corruption during his tenure. We cannot afford to bring back a man who was voted out because he failed. It is simply the selfish interest of the political class in the north,” said Bioye Alabi, a political pundit.
For Gbenga Ajayi, the call for Jonathan to return to power is “a trap for him to complete the failure of this administration. It is a very dicey situation for the former president. He left honorably and he needs to be wary of those intending to destroy his name more. His return signifies the height of human insatiability.”
He added that Jonathan also contributed to Nigeria’s poor economy which “he cannot perform magic to fix in another four years. What is the guarantee that he will not fail like he did before he was voted out in 2015?”
The article was originally published on Politics Nigeria.