Former president Goodluck Jonathan has openly shown support for PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar and his running mate Ifeanyi Okowa, ahead of the 2023 general election.
Addressing a delegation of PDP stalwarts led by Bauchi governor Bala Mohammed and Mr Okowa at his residence on Thursday in Abuja, Mr Jonathan wished “more success for all of us, especially those who want to represent us from next year.”
Mr Jonathan also referred to Mr Okowa as “Our incoming vice president.”
A video clip from the event, which has now gone viral, also showed the former president praying for the success of all the party’s flag bearers.
Mr Jonathan’s endorsement of PDP’s candidate is his first partisan-political comment since the commencement of the 2023 electioneering.
In the run up to party primaries, the rumour mill was agog with tales of Mr Jonathan running for office on the platform of the APC which removed him from power. The suggestions were strengthened by Mr Jonathan’s closeness to President Buhari and his camaraderie with some governors of the ruling party. The rumour was however not to be though a presidential nomination form was acquired in his name.
For a man who had hitherto maintained a non-partisan stance, it is not immediately clear if Mr Jonathan’s ‘endorsement’ is a mere political speech or an actual show of support.
Nonetheless, the elder statesman has recently opened his doors to receive major presidential candidates including APCs Bola Tinubu and LPs Peter Obi.