The Aso Rock cabal and All Progressives Congress (APC) power brokers in the Muhammadu Buhari government have reached out to presidential aspirants contesting on the platform of the ruling party to step down and support former President Goodluck Jonathan as the consensus candidate.
The cabals, comprising some members of Buhari’s extended family and associates, are led by the president’s nephew, Mamman Daura.
They are said to have the ears of the president, as well as influence policy-making and select those who get major appointments. The consensus method will entail President Buhari anointing him; while other aspirants will step down as it was done during the March 26 national convention of the APC; which produced Senator Abdullahi Adamu as the chairman of the party.
Sources said that all other aspirants had been notified not to expect any primary election next week.
Meanwhile, the party had on Friday postponed its special convention for presidential primary for the 2023 general elections from May 29 to June 6.
The aspirants were also informed that Jonathan had been adopted by the President.
However, the move has caused division among party leaders, governors; as well as other stakeholders who felt the former President did not deserve the ticket.
“There is internal war in our party…APC as all aspirants got a notification that Goodluck Jonathan is Buhari cabal’s adopted candidate. Imagine the insult,” a source said.
“All the aspirants have been notified not to expect party primary next week Friday…The cabal around Buhari have chosen Jonathan as the consensus candidate of the party.”
Meanwhile, it was learned that most of the aspirants especially Tinubu and Amaechi have vowed to test their popularity at the primary election regardless of the decision of the Aso Rock cabal.
Jonathan was Nigeria’s vice-president between 2007 and 2010 and became the president in May 2010 following the death of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. He later completed the latter’s tenure.
Cabal members impressed
Jonathan won the 2011 presidential election but lost his attempt to secure a second term in office in 2015.
He was said to have surprised the Northern elite and the cabal by his disposition to the Buhari presidency; despite all the dirt and campaign of calumny thrown at him and the PDP before the 2015 presidential election; which gave Buhari an unprecedented victory over an incumbent.
It was learned that some cabal members had also been impressed that despite the Buhari government’s glaring failure; Jonathan had not openly criticized his predecessor or his administration, much unlike ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.