There is uncertainty in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) over three of the 26 presidential nomination forms obtained for aspirants.
The forms are those obtained for former President Goodluck Jonathan by ‘Normadic Herders and Almajiris Community, the one for Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele by the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RFAN) and that obtained for African Development Bank (AfDB) President Akinwunmi Adesina by the nebulous Coalition of Interest Groups.
Dr Jonathan distanced himself from the group, saying he never authorised anyone or association to pick a form for him.
Emefiele dissociated himself from those who obtained the form on his behalf, clarifying that he would purchase the form on his own, if the coast is clear.
Adesina, a former Minister of Agriculture, has kept mum. He has neither confirmed nor denied interest in the race for the APC ticket, four days after the purchase of form for him.
The CBN governor has gone to court for constitutional interpretation so that the judiciary could determine whether he could contest while still holding on to his position at head of the apex bank.
The court has ruled that he should put respondents, including the electoral commission, on notice and return tomorrow for resumption of the case.
On Tuesday, the curtain was drawn on the sale of forms. The submission of forms closes today.
No party official could explain last night what would happen to the forms purchased for some big wigs who have denied giving the nod for such action.
Jonathan met on Monday night with National Chairman Abdullahi Adamu to elicit commitment towards a consensus option that will throw him up a beneficiary, it was learnt yesterday.
But, sources said Adamu could not give any assurance that the former president would be the automatic candidate.
Adamu was said to have welcomed the former President to the party and assured him of a level-playing ground.
But the sudden emergence of Jonathan in APC has caused anxiety among other aspirants from the Southsouth on the mindset of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The aspirants include Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Timipreye Sylva and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Senator Godswill Akpabio.
Most of the aspirants from the Southsouth, who had boasted of the backing of Buhari, were shocked by Jonathan’s card.
A source said: “There was no commitment from Adamu on automatic consensus ticket for Jonathan.
“He came in at night on Monday to see the APC chairman in his residence on his likely bid for the ticket of the party.
“Adamu threw the party’s doors open and avoided making any commitment on Jonathan’s being a consensus candidate. But he assured him of a level-playing field. This was what transpired.
“I am sure Jonathan might be looking at options available to him. “So far, only Jonathan knew what he had discussed with President Buhari during his past shuttles to him in the Villa.
“If those shuttles emboldened Jonathan to take the risk of joining the jostle for the presidential slot of APC, the national chairman of APC won’t have known.
“As far as the situation is now, Jonathan is gambling like most of the aspirants.”
One of the aspirants simply said: “Let’s see how it goes.
“With this development, no one knows the mindset of the President. “
An aide to another aspirant said: “Could the President and some of his handlers have forgotten the bitter struggle for power in 2015?
“What would have informed the dragging of Jonathan into this race?
“Are some people in the presidency up to a game? We are all keeping our fingers crossed.”