Clear indications have emerged that while few members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) including a Northern governor are behind the push to draft former President Goodluck Jonathan into the party’s presidential primaries, President Muhammadu Buhari has taken measures to distance himself from the plot.
Impeccable Aso Villa sources disclosed on Sunday night that instructions have been given that there shall be no public release of photos of any meetings between the former president and the incumbent at this time as the president does not want such images to be used to confer any modicum of support to the plot to get Jonathan into the race.
There are also concerns in official Presidential Villa sources that the aides of the former president are involved in actively keeping the “plot alive in the media by releasing photos of his visits to the APC Chairman and Alhaji Mamman Daura, in order to insinuate that this two gentlemen are in support of the plot.”
While speculative news reports have claimed the APC has granted Jonathan waiver to join the presidential race even though he is not known to have properly fulfilled membership requirements, there has not been any formal confirmation that he submitted the presidential nomination forms or whether he would be included in the screening expected to happen this week, according to Villa sources.
Aso Villa sources added that the former president is not being precluded from visiting the Villa at this time in line with protocol expectations being a former president in good standing and due to his international assignments for which he has to regularly brief President Buhari.
Although the president has not indicated who he is backing for the APC presidential primaries, an informed presidency source explained that “former President Jonathan is certainly not in the picture at all and the mentioning of his name has been invoking feelings of absurdity and ridicule in the Villa.”
The source recalled that “when during a public interview earlier this year, a journalist asked the president to use one word to describe the PDP, he instantly said ‘failure’, how then would the same person who feels that way and feels that way strongly would then be contemplating supporting the same PDP candidate he roundly defeated?” It was also disclosed that neither the APC Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, nor Alhaji Mamman Daura are behind the plot to draft Jonathan as it is being suggested.
According to the sources, ‘It’s only the aides of the former president that are going to town to create such an impression.”
The source further added, “All of these plots would be over in a matter of days as the APC presidential primaries are now irretrievably set and the president’s choice would be known.”