A cross-section of Niger-Delta citizens have called on former president Goodluck Jonathan to put his cards on the table after the rumours of his intention to join the All Progressives Congress, APC, and run for president.
Stakeholders, who spoke to Vanguard on Friday, insisted that it would be outrageous for the former President, with his hard-earned integrity and self-respect, to join forces with APC that bullied him out of power in 2015.
However, some of his followers argued it was his decision to make and should be left alone.
Two-time Commissioner for Information, Orientation and Strategy in Bayelsa state, Chief Nathan Egba-Ologo, said:
“The whole situation is still shrouded in uncertainty as the principal player in the whole drama is yet to make a categorical statement on it.
“However, all the indications seem to point in the direction of his joining the race.
“In which case, it can be assumed that former President Jonathan must have definitely gotten the necessary assurances and clearances that has given him the confidence of not only getting the party’s ticket, but that he also stands a good chance of winning the general election.
“For me even in spite of the frenzy of activities, I still consider the situation speculative and so would prefer to wait and hear the former President declare his desire to contest and his reasons before expressing my opinion about it.”
Former Principal Private Secretary to Jonathan, ex-Special Adviser on Parastatals in the Presidency and Publisher, Environment Watch, Braeyi Ekiye, opined:
“Life is full of choices, former President Goodluck Jonathan should be allowed to make his choice; to decide for himself, bringing into bear the variables before him.
“He best can feel the current political temperature in the country and see the brighter side of, or the odds against his participation in the 2023 presidential election under APC platform or any other party other party.
“However, the whole scenario of his intended plunge into the presidential race is shrouded in secrecy.
“It is baffling and this has tended to brand his ambition as lust for power. Yet, the man Jonathan is not known for inordinate ambition.
“So you might ask: What is going on here? There has to be some explaining from him why he desires to return to Aso Rock.
“As we speak, he is yet to address the nation as to the reason(s) for his desire to contest the 2023 presidential election.
“This speculation is being feasted on by the media and given vent to all sorts of rumors.
“My worry is that the former President should not allow his well-earned honor, dignity and character to be washed in the murky deceitful, self-seeking Nigerian political waters.
“I doubt if the present dislocated so-called Nigerian federal system of government would avail him the space to make a difference in the governance of this nation if voted into power.
“Can the present system allow him to give a deep bite to badly needed Constitutional reforms in the country?
“What Nigeria needs now is a restructured political system anchored on true fiscal federalism and the jettisoning of the present fraudulent Nigerian 1999 Constitution which has held the nation hostage and kept this unholy Union stunted in growth and development over the years.
‘Tens of Jonathans, Moghalus and Peter Obis can do little or nothing to dramatically change the despicable narrative.
“The paradigm shift is that of the rebirth of a failed nation where the ‘Nigerianess’ is entrenched in the citizenry and fired by a sense of nationalism to move Nigeria forward as a united, peaceful and prosperous nation.
“Perhaps it is instructive to remind ourselves of what the famous Yoruba dramatist, Hubert Ogunde of blessed memory once said to the Yorubas in the height of political turbulence (Operation Wetie) in the Yoruba land: ‘Ronu’.
“These are times for our revered former President Jonathan to think, to Ronu, and to do in a manner that would stand him up as upright, dependable, and whose honour and dignity cannot be sacrificed on the altar of lust for power.
“And that, by his decision, he would continuously be seen as a ‘democrat’ of uncommon calling globally.”