The narrative that former President Goodluck Jonathan has endorsed the Atiku/Okowa presidential ticket is false after all, as indications have emerged that some hawks in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stage-managed the meeting to achieve a pre-determined phantom endorsement.
The development came even amid the well-known fact that Jonathan has always had a soft spot for the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi whom the former president has on several occasions supported morally and otherwise ahead of the 2023 general election.
A close ally of the former president who was present during the recent courtesy visit facilitated by the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, said Jonathan is not happy that the PDP turned the private visit into a ceremony signaling the endorsement of the PDP presidential candidate by the former president.
He said journalists were not allowed to witness the private visit and conversation unknown to the host (Jonathan) that some of the PDP hawks had secretly videoed the proceeding and posted it online to appear as if the former president had endorsed Atiku.
Sources said President Jonathan is a statesman who extends equal gestures to all the presidential candidates, hence, the event where he prayed for Okowa was not different.
He explained that the visitors led by the Bauchi State Governor brought some kola nuts for Jonathan to according to them, pray for the incoming vice president (Okowa) and that the former president merely used their own words to pray for him.
“You know that President Jonathan has a soft spot for the Bauchi Governor who led the delegation. Atiku who had made several efforts to get Jonathan’s support was not even part of the delegation,” a source said.
“Jonathan was surprised when his attention was drawn to the news on the social media that he had endorsed Atiku. That did not happen but as a statesman, he just let it go instead of putting up a statement denying it.
“It was to forestall the PDP making a political capital of the visit that Jonathan’s aides prevented the media from being in the meeting but who knew that some hawks in the party had planned to use it to gain some mileage.”
According to the source, indeed, if there is any presidential candidate that enjoys the support of the former president, it is the LP candidate, Mr. Peter Obi who, the source added, had visited Jonathan at least three times since the conclusion of the party primaries, unlike candidates of other parties.
Other sources who pooh-poohed the endorsement boogey explained that people must not forget so soon that Atiku was one of the arrowheads of who took their opposition to Jonathan in 2014/15 rather personal, noting that while Jonathan might not voice it out or even show it in his body language, “he is certainly not in a hurry to bury the hatchet and make Atiku his Man Friday again.”
“Don’t forget Wike is like Jonathan’s son. As far as political alliances, I can’t see the wisdom in, or even the possibility of, Jonathan rushing to endorse Atiku/Oowa, if at all he will, while the PDP crisis involving Wike, Atiku and Iyorchia Ayu has not been amicably resolved. That’s not politicians treat alliances and loyalty,” one of the sources pointed out.
“In any case,” another source added, “you know that Obi is very close to Jonathan for obvious reasons. When Oga was in power, Obi was one of those close to him and they have continued to enjoy that cordial relationship till now. I am sure that is why many people were surprised when they started reading that Jonathan had endorsed Atiku/Okowa ticket. In reality, that is not true at all. But, you know, Jonathan is a statesman who treats – and should treat – all the presidential candidates with respect but people should not misunderstand that as an endorsement. Because there was no such a thing at all.”
Courtesy: The Sun