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Sunday, June 26, 2022

APC Form Bought Without My Consent, Says Jonathan

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has finally distanced himself from the presidential nomination form bought for him by a Fulani group and some almajiris from the North.

The group led by one Ibrahim Abdullahi, which picked the expression of interest and nomination forms for Jonathan around 6:30 pm on Monday, said the good work of the former President made them to sell their cows to raise the money for the purchase of the forms.

On the party membership status of Jonathan, the Fulani leader said, “Yes President Goodluck Jonathan is a member of APC.”

In a tweet later on Monday night, Presidential spokesman, Bashir Ahmad, insinuated that Jonathan may have finally defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and has picked one of its presidential nomination forms.

Ahmad, who is Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on the New Media had at about 8.35 pm, in a tweet on his verified Twitter handle tweeted “So Goodluck Jonathan has dumped the opposition PDP and now member of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC)”.

But in a rebuttal by Ikechukwu Eze, his Media Adviser, Jonathan has distanced himself from the saga and the bourgeoning controversy.

But even in his denial, the former president seem not to be sure footed as the first statement he issued, which was more forceful, was later revised.

In the first statement which was subsequently revised, Jonathan said it was an insult to his person, knowing the position he had held in the country, for anyone or group of people to procure a presidential aspiration form in his name without his consent.

Based on that, he urged the general public to disregard it.

The first statement read: “It has come to our notice that a group has purportedly purchased Presidential Nomination and Expression of Interest forms of the All Progressives Congress APC, in the name of former President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

“We wish to categorically state that Dr. Jonathan was not aware of this bid and did not authorize it.

“We want to state that if the former President wanted to contest an election, he would make his intentions clear to the public and will not enter through the back door.

“While we appreciate the overwhelming request by a cross-section of Nigerians for Dr. Jonathan to make himself available for the 2023 Presidential election, we wish to state that he has not in anyway committed himself to this request.

Buying a presidential aspiration form in the name Dr. Jonathan without his consent, knowing the position he had held in this country, is considered an insult to his person. The general public is therefore advised to disregard it.”

But in the revised statement, also from Ikechukwu Eze, Jonathan was more conciliatory and did not frown at those who bought the forms on his behalf as he did in the first statement.

While still claiming that he was not aware of the move and denied authorising the purchase, he neither said it was an insult to his person nor advised the public to ignore the gambit.

The revised letter reads: “It has come to the notice of His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, that a group has purportedly purchased Presidential Nomination and Expression of Interest forms of the All Progressives Congress ( APC), in his name.

“We wish to categorically state that Dr. Jonathan was not aware of this bid and did not authorize it.

“While we appreciate the overwhelming request by a cross-section of Nigerians for Dr. Jonathan to make himself available for the 2023 Presidential election, we wish to state that he has not in anyway, committed himself to this request.

“We thank the general public for their concern, as we continue to encourage citizens’ participation in the affairs of the country.”

Many Nigerians blame the former President for not speaking out forcefully against the gambit before now.

Speaking to reporters, a chieftain of the PDP said Jonathan sounded unconvincing.

“This statement is an afterthought and I doubt if any Nigerian believes Jonathan. Recall that on April 22, 2022, a group of people had stormed the Abuja private office of Jonathan, urging him to declare for 2023 presidential race.

“Rather than shooting down the idea there and then if he was not interested, what did he do?

“Jonathan assured them that the political process was ongoing and that they should just watch out. So, how could their going out to buy form for him be an insult to his person?

“In any case, where did they get the money to buy the form? They said they sold their cows to raise the N100 million for the forms. Unless they are kidnappers who have been collecting ransom, that is impossible.” he said.

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