APC governors’ visit to Jonathan on his birthday heightens speculations on his 2023 return bid

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By Ainofenokhai Isa

The All Progressives Congress, APC, governors on Friday met with the former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in Abuja.

Although, the meeting coincided with Jonathan’s 63rd birthday, the visit by the governors insinuated Jonathan into a possible return bid to the presidency.

As a sitting president who contested in the 2015 presidential poll on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he was defeated by Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Contrary to expectations that Jonathan might make a take-over of government by the opposition party problematic, he shocked the world and Buhari by putting a call through to him to congratulate him on his victory.

Buhari has continued to talk in glowing terms about Jonathan’s patriotism and magnanimity in defeat, significant enough to make him (Jonathan) concede victory to him.

Buhari has cultivated a close relationship with Jonathan in recent times especially since winning a second term. He has dispatched him as envoy on peace missions to a number of African countries.

There have been feelers that Buhari is considering supporting the former president to return to power to complete his second term in office.

The platform on which the speculated political deal will be delivered remains as of now in the womb of time.

The plan, as calculated, may serve a number of purposes and ends.

It may serve as a compromise bid to douse the likely tension that the scramble for the 2023 presidency may precipitate in the south between the Southwest and the Southeast zones.

Southwest had already served for eight years from 1999 to 2007 with Olusegun Obasanjo as president. South-south zone got the presidency in 2010 to 2015 with Jonathan who served out the term of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua from 2010-2011 before winning election to run his first term from 2011 -2015.

With the jostle for the presidency becoming more intense as the Southwest and Southeast get set to stake their bids, playing a compromise card around Jonathan by Buhari’s North becomes a possibility.

This will serve to enable Buhari show appreciation to a man whose calm, peaceful and pacific dispositions to power enabled him to assume the presidency without any problems in 2015.

As someone said:”it may be a case of quid pro quo- reciprocal gesture.”

But, perhaps, more significantly is that it will also serve to speed up the process of presidential power returning to the North in 2027.

If the Jonathan’s speculated comeback bid crystalliaes, he will spend only four years instead of eight years and by 2027, the presidency will be deemed to be open for contestation by the North.

The North will not have to wait till 2031. The 2023 presidential speculations are, indeed, getting more and more rife and worthy of considerable interest.

Meantime, the reason for the meeting of the APC governors with Jonathan had yet to disclosed as of press time.

It is, however, believed that it was for something more than mere birthday felicitations.

It was also believed that the birthday was to serve as a smokescreen to divert attention and public curiosity from such a visit by APC governors.

Regardless, the thinking in some quarters is that the visit was one in the series of overtures and preparatory meetings to cultivate the interest of Jonathan in the 2023 presidential enterprise.

Jonathan, as believed, has a nationwide appeal and his competence is daily being revalidated by the not-too-inspiring performance of the APC administration, such that he is no longer seen as clueless after all.

The APC governors that visited Jonathan, according to TheCable, were David Umahi, governor of Ebonyi who recently defected to the APC from PDP; Atiku Bagudu, governor of Kebbi and chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum; and Abubakar Badaru, governor of Jigawa.

Recall also that on the eve of Jonathan’s 63rd birthday, precisely on Thursday, November 19, Predident Buhari beat everyone to congratulate the Otuoke-born politician on his birthday (November 20).

In his message, President Muhammadu Buhari prayed that the Almighty God would grant Jonathan longer life, good health and more wisdom to keep serving the nation and humanity.

The Northern Governors’ Forum had also sent warm felicitations to Jonathan on the occasion before a deluge of felicitations by well-meaning Nigerians.

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