Can former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan be thrice lucky? In the last few months, the former president is being linked with the 2023 presidency and he has not come out openly to debunk the idea and he has not also made his intention know officially that he is seeking a return to Aso Rock he vacated in 2015.
Jonathan, who profited from the downfall of late former Governor of Bayelsa State, Depreye Alamieyesiegba to become governor after the he was impeached for bringing the nation to ridicule in London by jumping bail, was also lucky when former President Olusegun Obasanjo picked him to be late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s running mate. He profited from the corruption charges leveled against former Governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili by the EFCC to pick the slot.
His luck was stretched further when Yar’Adua died in office. He became the president and ended Yar’Adua’s tenure. He found love among Nigerians who overwhelmingly retain him as the president in 2011. He disappointed Nigerians after four years of infamous reign as president. Nigerians pushed him out and elected President Muhammadu Buhari who is now serving his second term in office.
With the dismal performance of Buhari in office in the last six years, many Nigerians regretted casting their votes for him, especially with wanton insecurity in the land. The nation is more than ever divided toward ethnic line. Fulani herdsmen are on the loose killing and maiming innocent Nigerians. Many are now describing Buhari’s government as worse than that of Jonathan.
With the role being played by Jonathan in Africa, leading ECOWAS team in several peace mediations, he has been endeared to Nigerians. He led ECOWAS Special Envoy to broker peace in Mali and others. These had made him to be in constant touch with Buhari in Abuja. After each of those trips, Jonathan would always hit Aso Rock to brief the president. That made him the only Nigeria’s ex-president to have visited Aso Rock several times in a year.
With his closeness to Buhari, tongues have begun to wag that there is something fishing between them, which is more than just reporting what transpired in his series of trips across Africa to the president.
Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode first flew a kite on Jonathan’s 2023 presidency last year. Having witnessed the several successes of the former president in missions across Africa, Fani-Kayode said “what about bring back Jonathan in 2023?” He received bashings on social media for that. But Fani-Kayode added on December 5, 2020 that “GEJ is a blessing to Nigeria. He has been before and he will be again. Mark it down today.”
With several rumours rife about Jonathan’s 2023 presidential ambition, a public analyst and special adviser to the Peoples Democratic Party Chairman, Ike Abonyi, in his write up in New Telegraph rubbished move by Jonathan to stage a comeback. He wrote: “Many have expected former President Goodluck Jonathan to be forthright and unqualified in reacting to his name being dropped in some quarters as a hopeful for the Aso Rock in 2023. Instead, he has given open-ended answers that leave room for speculation.
“By Dr. Jonathan’s answers in the public domain, the Otuoke-born politician might be dreaming of returning to high office. In Nigeria, even the bizarre is possible in politics because political players tend to reason selfishly when it comes to domiciling political power. Jonathan’s reputation soared since 2015 when he enabled a peaceful transfer of power to the opposition, having lost the presidency to General Muhammadu Buhari of All Progressives Congress (APC). His famous quote – “my political ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian” – became a mantra and gave him a pride of place on a continent where sit-tight rules the waves and was once a credo.”
According to Abonyi, Jonathan’s international statesmanship could better be harnessed if he remained in the glory of relinquishing power to an opposition. “If I were Jonathan, I would resist anything that would lure me out of the current enviable status as a champion of democracy. Greed is a heart issue and like lust, it is more gullible than innocence. God help Nigeria,” he advised.
After Abonyi’s write up, a former Jonathan’s aide, Reno Omokri attacked him in his article: “No One Should Be Afraid of Jonathan.” According to Omokri, “Because if anybody should accuse former President Jonathan of selfishness, it should not be Ike, for obvious reasons. And it cuts to the bone when Ike says “political players tend to reason selfishly when it comes to domiciling political power.”
“As I write this, former President Jonathan is probably the most selfless person, not just in Nigeria, but in West Africa, and possibly Africa. Dr Jonathan and the word selfish do not belong in the same sentence. And I find it very disturbing that no less a person, than the special adviser to the Peoples Democratic Party Chairman, Ike Abonyi, would write this. Why? What type of gaslighting is this?”