Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has said he will not support former President Goodluck Jonathan if he defects to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to contest in the 2023 presidential election.
Wike made this disclosure in an interview with BBC Pidgin on Thursday.
This came after a former aviation minister and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Femi Fani-Kayode defected to the APC on Thursday.
There have been reports that Jonathan may soon defect to the APC.
Recall that the National Secretary, APC Caretaker, and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee, John Akpanudoedehe, had stated that ex-President Jonathan would be given a founding member status if he joins the ruling party.
Akpanudoedehe also said the former President would be allowed to contest in 2023 on a fair ground.
The APC official disclosed this while featuring as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday.
Reacting on BBC, when he was asked if he will support Jonathan to secure the presidency he lost in 2015, Wike said he will only support him if he contests as a member of the PDP despite that they both hail from the same South-South region of the country.
“When you said pick ticket, from which party? Is it APC or PDP?” Wike queried.
“To pick ticket means you’re representing the interest of a party. I’m in PDP and I will not be involved in anti-party activities. If he is APC, I won’t support him because I’m not into that kind of politics.
“It is not about ethnicity for me, but about the party. If he joins APC I can’t support him,” Wike added.
It was however gathered that the Presidency had started courting Jonathan since 2020 to bring him into the APC to run for the presidency and succeed Buhari.
According to the source, the Presidency cabal wants to make Jonathan the next president as they know he will only be in power for four years.
And Jonathan, who is purportedly nursing a presidential ambition to complete two terms in office, an opportunity denied him by the APC in the 2015 presidential election, is said to be showing interest to play the game, especially considering the slim chances he has in the PDP with the wealth and connection of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.
Atiku was the PDP presidential candidate in the 2019 election.
Although Atiku has yet to declare interest in the race, he appears to be testing the waters, as some groups showing support for his 2023 ambition have already emerged.
The source further said Jonathan is also wary of the threat posed by the ambitions of the Governors of Sokoto and Rivers states, Aminu Tambuwal and Nyesom Wike respectively, said to be considering a joint ticket.
However, Jonathan was said to have given certain conditions to Buhari’s cabal which have yet to be fully fulfilled hence the delay in joining the ruling party.