A coalition of Northern groups has purchased the presidential expression of interest and nomination forms of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The group bought the form on Monday at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.
Mr Jonathan is a member of the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on whose platform he served as president from 2010 to 2015, after the death of Umar Yar’adua until his defeat by the ruling party.
There have been speculations in the past couple of weeks that Mr Jonathan will compete for the ticket of the ruling party despite not being a member of the ruling party.
His membership of the PDP has also been a matter of speculation of late. PREMIUM TIMES had reported how Mr Jonathan dodged the national convention of his party in 2021.
He has not officially declared his membership of the APC.
Last month, some groups protested at Mr Jonathan’s office in Abuja, appealing to him to join the race. While responding to the groups, he told them to “watch out.”
‘Yes, you are calling me to come and declare for the 2023 presidency, yes I can’t tell you are declaring, that the political process is ongoing, just watch out,” he has said.
Eligibility to run
There has been controversy over the eligibility of Mr Jonathan due to the alteration to the 1999 Constitution.
Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), had argued that Mr Jonathan is not eligible by virtue of 137 (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, which provides as follows:
“A person who was sworn in to complete the term for which another person was elected as president shall not be elected to such office for more than a single term.”
After the death of Mr Yar’Adua, the former Bayelsa State governor was sworn in to complete that tenure. He was re-elected in 2011 but lost in 2015 to Muhammadu Buhari of the APC.
Others lawyers like Mike Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and Abdul Mahmod have argued that Mr Jonathan is eligible to serve another term of four years.
It is unclear if the form has been presented to Mr Jonathan as an attempt to reach his camp was futile.
Lately, there has been drama over the buying of presidential forms by groups.
Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, on Saturday rejected the form bought for him by rice farmers association. Some groups also bought a form for the President of Africa Development Bank, Akinwumi Adeshina and the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.
If he decides to accept the nomination form, Mr Jonathan will have to contest against an ex-governor of Bayelsa State, Timipriye Sylva, and several others in the race.
Over 25 persons have purchased the presidential nomination form of the ruling party.
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