Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday, November 21, slammed claims that last week’s visit of the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains to his Abuja home was aimed at persuading him to defect to the party ahead of the 2023 election.
1st News had reported the Chairman of the APC Caretaker Committee, Mai Mala Buni led some governors and other party chieftains to felicitate with Jonathan on his 63rd birthday in Abuja last Friday.
However, in a statement issued by his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze; Jonathan described the report as a mere rumour, saying he has no 2023 presidential ambition or planned to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for APC.
The statement reads: “PDP governors also visited him; it was not only APC governors. Governor Bala Muhammad was there. They visited him as a father and statesman to celebrate with him; it was not a political party affair.
“Anything you are hearing about 2023 is a rumour and we don’t have time to be responding to rumours; the former president is a very busy person to be listening to rumours.”
However, some of the ex-president’s allies in Bayelsa State declined to comment on the issue, saying Jonathan has not discussed such a plan with them and there was no need to comment on what they know is not even on his mind.
“Jonathan cannot put us in the dark about such ambition. If it’s actually true, he would have told us, but I certainly believe that he is not interested in any election.”
Meanwhile, former vice-president Atiku Abubakar, on Sunday, November 22; lamented that Nigeria could have averted sliding into a recession had President Muhammadu Buhari listened to his counsel.
1st News reported Nigeria officially entered into its worst economic recession in 33 years; after the nation recorded a GDP contraction of 3.62 percent in the third quarter of 2020.
However, in his reaction in a social media post, Atiku said the recession could have been avoided; if Buhari had cut down on the cost of governance as advised.
He noted that though the COVID-19 pandemic played a negative role in economic development; “we could have avoided this fate by a disciplined and prudent management of our economy”.
“This could have been avoided had this administration taken heed to the patriotic counsel; given by myself and other well-meaning Nigerians on cutting the cost of governance; saving for a rainy day; and avoiding profligate borrowing,” Atiku said.
He further said that now is not the time to trade blames but to focus on ways to manage the situation; and called on Buhari’s government to “swallow its pride, and accept its limitations; so that they can open their minds to ideas, without caring who the messenger is”.