The Spokesman of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Ikechukwu Eze has dismissed as mere speculation the growing media reports that the former president would defect from the Peoples Democratic Party to the ruling All Progressives Congress and run for president in 2023.
Although many claimed that Jonathan’s frequent visit to the President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa were pointers to the reports, Eze said the meetings had nothing to do with defection or presidential ambition.
Jonathan, who was the candidate of the former ruling party in 2015, was defeated by Buhari, who was the APC candidate.
Since he assumed office, the APC regime had waged war against some aides of the former President considered to be corrupt, with several numbers of them tried for alleged corruption.
However, as the call for power shift to the southern part of the country intensified, some northern interest groups within the APC were allegedly afraid of losing power for eight years Buhari’s successor might spend in office.
It was being speculated that power brokers felt that Jonathan, having been in office for four years, could be supported to spend a term in office to make it possible for another northerner to emerge President after being out of power for just four years.
However, Eze dismissed the postulations, saying that Jonathan’s regular presence at the Villa was to brief his successor on his assignments as special envoy, Economic for West African countries, adding that the ex-President met with Buhari on Thursday to brief him on the political developments in the Republic of Mali.
Eze, who was initially reluctant to speak on the alleged political permutations, said, “Everything they are saying is speculation,” when probed further by our correspondent.
He stated, “Defection issue and presidential ambition are all rumours. It has no foundation. We do not want to be reacting to such (things) again. We have issued statements on this before.
“Former President Jonathan went to the Villa to brief the President on the forthcoming ECOWAS meeting in Ghana. The meeting will discuss the political happenings in Mali. So, as a special envoy, he was at the Presidential Villa to brief President Buhari.
“There are issues in Mali and at the forthcoming meeting, ECOWAS leaders are to look at the transition timetable proposed by the Malian rulers and take a position on it. It is also at this meeting that a decision would be taken on whether to sanction the Malian military ruler or not. This is the issue that took oga (Jonathan) to the villa.”
Asked about the political meeting the former Bayelsa State governor reportedly held with members of his defunct political co-ordinators, Eze said there was no iota of truth on the alleged agenda of the meeting.
He noted that there was no way Jonathan’s friends would not visit him in his home state in Bayelsa during the yuletide.