Following his anticipation to emerge the consensus presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for 2023, former President Goodluck Jonathan has started rallying round his kinsmen in Ogbia Local Government Area, Bayelsa State.
It was gathered that part of his strategies was to get some of his kinsmen and political associates in support of his ambition in Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) into electoral offices in the forthcoming general election.
Jonathan was said to have carried out an audit of all aspirants in his council and decided to support persons he believed would easily defect with him to the APC at the appropriate time.
Close sources said the former President was preparing his kinsmen for his new ambition having been promised a return to Aso Rock by a cabal at the Presidency working for a northern agenda.
“Jonathan is working for his new ambition to return to Aso Rock as a President in 2023. He is using his position in Ogbia to call the shots of who will get the PDP’s electoral tickets for various positions in Ogbia.
“His intention is to select people, who will easily and willingly defect with him to the APC at the appropriate time. So, he is working against loyal PDP members, who are determined to win and remain in the party.
“But Governor Douye Diri is playing into his hands. If Diri allows Jonathan to have his way, he will be the greatest loser because he will be alone to fight for his second term”, the source, who craved anonymity said.
Jonathan was said to have settled for Prof. Edmund Allison-Oguru as his choice to fly the flag of PDP for the Ogbia Federal Constituency seat in the National Assembly.
The former President reportedly bypassed aspirants, who initially indicated interest for the Constituency’s ticket only to ask Oguru, who was not even in the picture to go and pick the expression of interest and nomination forms to contest the primary of the PDP schedule for May.
Therefore, to protect his ambition, Jonathan was said to have settled for Allison-Oguru ahead of the current occupant of the position, Fred Obua; Local Government Chairman, Ebinyo Turner; a member of the House of Assembly, Chief Mietema Obodor and a former Commissioner, Daniel Iworiso-Markson.
Jonathan reportedly ruled out Obua because of the issue of zoning: Turner for immaturity and Obordor for having enjoyed his political patronage for a long time ahead of others.
But another close source said Jonathan believed he could only entrust his ambition on Allison-Oguru because of his long-standing relationship with him.
The source said: “This is the reason he is not even considering Iworiso-Markson. He believes that Iworiso-Markson will never defect with him to the APC. He knows that Iworiso-Markson will remain in PDP and that will be a big let down for him”.
He added: “The former President has been thinking of the direction to take until recently when he was convinced by some stakeholders to choose Prof. Edmund Allison-Oguru. If you recall, it was Jonathan who nominated him as Secretary to the State Government in the first tenure of Senator Seriake Dickson’s administration.
“He also recently nominated him to be among the members of the governing board of the University of Africa, Toru-Orua in Sagbama. So it is him that he has chosen”.
It was further gathered that while Jonathan would discuss his choice for the House of Representatives with Governor Douye Diri next week, he had asked the Ogbia PDP caucus to meet on Monday to agree on Allison-Oguru as the consensus candidate.
However, some of the stakeholders were concerned that if the PDP picked Allison-Oguru as its candidate, the party would lose the main election because of his unpopularity.
“We will lose to any party if Allison-Oguru is our candidate. It is a huge joke for the former President to be insisting that we endorse him as our candidate. I mean this is why people like me are against it. Jonathan is blindfolded by his ambition. The earlier the governor knows this the better for him and for the PDP.
“The man is not popular and we shouldn’t make that kind of huge mistake. This is an election and not comedy. We need our very best and those on parade are worth winning election for us and not the Professor”, the stakeholder said.
It was gathered that for Bayelsa East Senatorial ticket zoned to Ogbia, Jonathan was in dilemma whether to settle for the Chief of Staff, Benson Agadaga or Rex-Jude Ogbuku, a lawyer and former Executive Secretary of Federal Character Commission, who recently defected to the PDP.