Report reaching our news desk indicates that one of Goodluck Jonathan's aides has confirmed that the former president would be defecting to the APC in few days. This is contained in the receipt of a telephone conversation shared by renowned film maker and social commentator, Charles Novia .
Charles Novia writes:
"I had a telephone conversation with a close adviser to GEJ this morning.
He confirmed totally that GEJ will run for President and officially declare by the end of this week for the APC.
Question: 'Why APC?' I asked
Answer: 'Why are Nigerians surprised though?' He replied. 'This move had been in the works for over a year and the speculation had been in the public domain for over a year now. So, it shouldn't come as a huge surprise. I understand that the shock for many people would be that GEJ is moving to a party which had damaged his legacies for years but the other way to look at it is to see GEJ's perspective on this move. He is a Patriot. He believes in Nigeria. It is another call to service and with the kind of trust and responsibility this move has placed on him, he took a long time to weigh it and has finally made the 'Do it or Damn it' decision'
Question: 'What if he loses the APC primaries? Wouldn't that be a stain on his reputation?' I asked
Answer: 'No one dies from losing a primary or from losing even a major election. GEJ has proved that before. People should see this move from a position of extreme courage rather anything selfish. You don't want to know the calibre of the cross section of Nigerians and important dignitaries who have been on this matter for months, day and night and have perfected the plans as much as possible, to ensure that GEJ gets a second term. In any case, people should see it as a mark of a huge trust in him by the heavyweights of power in the land. Look across Nigeria today. Look around Nigeria, Charles. If people are true to themselves, let them tell me who in Nigeria right now is more generally acceptable in the political space across the country than GEJ. Who? It's not social media acceptability only but grassroots acceptability'
Question: 'But he might lose some respect and standing just by moving to APC from his admirers' I countered, more to play the devil's advocate.
Answer: 'So be it. It's a sacrifice he has to make and he has weighed it. At the end of the day, he has made a decision for the country. Not for himself. He's the unifier the country needs to put things right. Look, the work to reignite Nigeria and make things better is huge. GEJ is trusted by many as the person to put a great team together and fix Nigeria back and he can do it. All that talk about four years not enough is neither here nor there. In two years, there are things he will do whiich will lay the foundation for the restructuring of Nigeria. Remember he initiated the National Conference in 2014 and didn't have time to implement it. There are aspects of that Conference report which can recalibrate Nigeria within two years. I can also tell you that the GEJ coming back this time is a different GEJ. The lessons from the first term in office have been learnt and of course, he has the experience. You can't beat that experience'
Question: 'What happens if GEJ, for instance, gets the APC ticket and Peter Obi gets the PDP ticket, for instance?' I asked
Answer: 'Then Nigerians will choose whom they feel is the better choice for Nigeria. It will be a win-win for all at the polls. If GEJ wins, the South-east won't feel it that much as GEJ is loved by a majority of the South-easterners. And Obi will work for peace and progress of Nigeria too. You see the reason why I said GEJ is the Unifier Nigeria needs?'
'Sir, it's going to be acrimonious from the day he declares for the APC for a few weeks till the end of the primaries. I'm looking at the fall-out of it all' I said.
'It's Politics' he replied. 'GEJ has been through that route before and it's only those who will be shell-shocked by his announcement soon that will initiate whatever acrimony over their huge shock. In any case, Charles, we will take it one day at a time.
If GEJ gets the ticket, we will work towards his winning the election. If he doesn't get it, he won't die and he won't be discredited. It's a sacrifice he has made and he has put country first yet again. But I don't think he will lose it. We are not moving in to lose.'
When I ended the conversation, it suddenly dawned on me that we actually had seen the writing on the wall that GEJ was going to move a year ago but didn't take it serious. GEJ had detached himself from PDP since 2020 and the decamping of some PDP Governors to APC in the last few months and some other PDP stalwarts too might have been part of the first stages of the plan. Move the foot soldiers into the other camp who will come out to fight the battle when the chips are down."