Amid attempts by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s loyalists to prevent him from running for the All Progressives Congress, the former president formally met with the ruling party’s National Chairman in Abuja, ostensibly to clear up some gray areas regarding his candidacy.
Former President Jonathan, who was reported to have rejected a N100 million nomination form obtained for him by some Fulani herdsmen, later met behind closed doors at Adamu’s house.
A source close to the former president said that the meeting, whose details were not made public, lasted between 9pm and 10 pm in a bid to sort out some grey issues regarding Jonathan’s bid to fly the party’s presidential flag in next year’s poll.
It was learnt that the confusion that trailed the purchase of the form for Jonathan arose because of the spirited efforts by his core loyalists in the People Democratic Party, PDP, to dissuade him from joining the APC and running on its platform, saying that such would be detrimental to opposition party and belittling of his image.
According to a reliable source, the former president had concluded plans to accept the nomination form and meet with the APC leadership since Sunday morning but was strongly prevailed upon by those seen as his ‘inner caucus friends’ to shelve the move and remain in the PDP even without being active in the party.
“These people have been pressurizing Jonathan until the very last minute not to accept to run on the APC ticket no matter how tempting the conditions may be. That was why the former president did not present himself to the APC National chairman on Sunday when the form was to be formally presented to him by the Almajiri who want to show him appreciation for what he did for them during his tenure by building schools and rehabilitating them,” the source said.
“The main argument of those opposed to Jonathan running on the APC ticket is that it would be belittling to his image and standing in the world for him to do so given where he had been and what he represents as a former president of Nigeria. But the point is that the deadline for picking the form is this week and if he does not accept the form, the window would be closed and the opportunity lost,” one source explained.
“That was why the former president had to meet Adamu last night and their meeting was very productive as both men came out happily at the end of the one-hour meeting in Adamu’s house in Abuja,” the source explained.
It will be recalled that following the purchase of the form for Jonathan, his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze, had described the action as insulting and unacceptable to Jonathan, saying that he was not consulted.
But a close source confirmed last night that Jonathan was moving ahead with the plan to run on the APC ticket.