By Uche Amunike
Nigeria’s former President Goodluck Jonathan has supposedly joined the 2023 presidential race as the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has just received his 100 million naira for the Presidential form.
In a letter dated 9th May and addressed to the APC National Organizing Secretary, the Heritage bank notified the APC of the receipt of the N100m paid into their account.
The letter, which was titled ‘Notification of Credit into Account: All Progressives Congress (APC) Collections Account 5600007616’, was signed by both the Heritage Bank’s Regional Head in Abuja, Daniel Oniko and the bank’s Experienced Center Manager, Isaiah Ediae.
Its content: ‘we write to confirm that your subject account has been credited with the sum of N30,000,000.00 (Thirty Million Naira Only), being Expression of Interest form for Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for Presidency.
‘Please take this as a credit advice of the transaction in this regard’, it concluded.
Another N70,000,000.00 (Seventy Million Naira was received by the bank for former President Goodluck Jonathan’s Nomination Form which made the bank write a second letter notifying the APC of the receipt of the N70m.
Jonathan reportedly became a member of the APC in 2021 which made him part of the long list of over 35 aspirants that have already paid for the APC 2023 Presidential forms awaiting clearance at the party’s convention by end of May.
There have been speculations that Jonathan will only accept to join the APC presidential race if he is endorsed by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari.
Recall that in February 2022, some northern emirs approached former President Goodluck Jonathan with the request that he joins in the 2023 presidential race. Nigerians are not sure of his defection to the ruling party, but he has notably stayed away from activities of the PDP in recent times, including their last National Convention.
Just last month, posters of the former president flooded the APC National Secretariat, Abuja, even as different groups demonstrated outside his office in the Maitama area of FCT with placards that said, ‘Jonathan, Please Run’; ‘Jonathan, Declare Now’; Goodluck Please Come Back, We Love You’; ‘Jonathan, Do the Needful’ and :Jonathan For 2023’.
In response, the former President eventually invited the leaders of the protesters for a private meeting where he responded that he was not sure of running but asked them to watch out.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan served as President of Nigeria from 2010 to 2015 after he lost the 2015 Presidential election to the incumbent, Gen Muhammadu Buhari. He remains the first incumbent President in Nigeria history to concede defeat in an election.
After leaving Office, Jonathan has continued to remain relevant in the political sphere of Nigeria and beyond. He was appointed as Honorary Special Adviser to the Bayelsa Foundation Trust Fund Board. He also emerged Chairperson of the newly-inaugurated International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP). He was eventually appointed Special Envoy of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in July 2020 where he led mediation talks during the 2020 Malian protests.