Nigeria’s former president Goodluck Jonathan was conspicuously absent at the PDP convention amidst rumors of possible defection to APC.
Jonathan who is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), may have deliberately avoided the just-concluded PDP Convention in Abuja in a move towards joining APC ahead of the 2023 general election.
Infoexpert24 gathered that aside from Jonathan’s absence at Saturday’s convention, the former president has not been attending the PDP National Executive Committee meetings, nor involved in the effort to resolve the party’s internal crises.
There are also speculations that the All Progressives Congress (APC) might put forward Jonathan as its candidate in the 2023 presidential election.
Jonathan said Friday he was leaving Abuja on Saturday for Nairobi, Kenya, to attend the African Union retreat on the promotion of peace, security, and stability in Africa.
Ex-President, Jonathan Plot To Join APC Thickens As He Snubs PDP Convention
However, some PDP leaders believe the former president only used the trip as a “convenient excuse” to stay away from the party convention.
“If indeed he was interested in the convention and the affairs of the party, he would have attended briefly and perhaps give a short speech before traveling on Saturday, ” one party chieftain told PREMIUM TIMES.
“He could also have sent his former deputy, former Vice President Namadi Sambo, or anyone else to deliver a goodwill message on his behalf.”
Party insiders said Governor Douye Diri of Jonathan’s own Bayelsa State, and his Oyo State counterpart, Oluseyi Makinde, met with the former president on Friday to persuade him to attend the convention.
Sources revealed that when Jonathan said he had a scheduled flight to Nairobi, the governors urged him to at least make a brief visit to the convention ground. They also offered to arrange a flight for his trip after the event if necessary but he declined.
Prior to the convention, even before the list of Bayelsa delegates was compiled, Governor Diri reportedly met Mr. Jonathan to request him to lead delegates from the state to the event. Our sources said Mr. Jonathan agreed.
Some party chieftains interviewed by PREMIUM TIMES said they suspect Mr. Jonathan’s heart was no longer with the party.