Former President, Goodluck Jonathan, on Monday rejected moves by a shadowy group, the Fulani Cattle Breeders Association, to draft him into the 2023 presidential race against his will.
Jonathan, a chieftain of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), handed over power to the incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari, on May 29, 2015.
Since then, he has not announced any decision to change his political affiliation to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), despite speculations to that effect.
However, after months of rumour about the former President’s plan to move over the APC, a group cattle breeders announced on Monday that they had procured the APC presidential nomination and expression of interest forms on his behalf to enable him contest the 2023 presidential elections on the platform of APC.
Evidence of the payment of N100 million to the APC nomination forms sales committee surfaced online for confirmation on Monday.
But in a swift reaction to the development, Jonathan’s spokesperson, Ikechukwu Eze, said in a statement on Monday, the former president was neither aware of any prior moves by the cattle dealers, nor ever authorised them to procure any presidential nomination forms on his behalf in the run up of the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
The statement by Eze read: “It has come to our notice that a group has purportedly purchased the 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 any 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 elections, we wish to state that he has not in any way committed himself to this request.
“Buying a presidential aspiration form in the name of 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,” the statement said