The ambition of Ex-Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, to succeed incumbent, Muhammadu Buhari, may have hit a major barrier as his former aides and appointees whom he was strongly relying on for support have turned their backs against him, SaharaReporters reliably gathered.
The newspaper had earlier reported how President Buhari shunned former governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to support Jonathan’s ambition.
Buhari, it was reliably gathered reached out to Jonathan on taking over power from him and was already working with some of his most trusted lieutenants to actualise this plan.
A trusted source around the President had told SaharaReporters that the idea had already received the backing of some prominent politicians from the North including state governors as the arrangement will enable power to return to the region in 2027 when Jonathan would have served out his single four-year term after previously occupying same position from 2011 to 2015.
To show commitment to this plan, the President Buhari administration had secretly released funds seized from Jonathan's wife, Patience, back to her.
The meeting between both men recently in Also Rock Villa was said to have centred on plans to achieve the 2023 plan on Jonathan returning as Nigeria's President.
But in a swift turn of events, the table appears to have turned against Jonathan as his former ministers and retired military chiefs have expressed unwillingness to support his ambition.
A reliable source close to the former Nigerian President told SaharaReporters that his ex-appointees regard him as being too weak as a leader, and that they do not trust Buhari, who they feel was only deceiving Jonathan to actualise a Northern agenda.
The source said, “His former ministers and retired military chiefs are already against the move. They said he’s too week. That he is selfish and never protected them after he left office.
“They also said they can’t trust Buhari who their sources said is actually interested in relinquishing power to a Northerner from the North-East. They were informed Buhari is looking at Buni or Zulum and is just lying to Jonathan.
“The former President is confused currently, he is facing resistance from South-East, South-West and South-South.”
The source added that Jonathan had been given an ultimatum by Buhari to join the ruling APC or forget his ambition.
“Buhari also gave him an ultimatum to join APC by the end of January, early February or forget his ambition,” he said.
Though Jonathan has continued to distance himself from talks of his return to Aso Rock Villa in 2023, events of recent times strongly supports the notion of him planning to return to the Aso Rock Villa.
But with events of recent days infusing a new twist into the entire plot, the former Nigerian President may see his desire to head back to the country's seat of power crumble before it even gathered pace.