Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday slammed reports that presidential nomination forms had been purchased in his name as insulting, admonishing those behind the charade to desist from further defacing his name.
“It has come to our notice that a group has purportedly purchased Presidential Nomination and Expression of Interest forms, of the All Progressives Congress APC, in the name of former President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
“We wish to categorically state that Dr. Jonathan was not aware of this bid and did not authorize it.
“We want to state that if the former President wanted to contest an election, he would make his intentions clear to the public and will not enter through the back door.
“While we appreciate the overwhelming request by a cross-section of Nigerians, for Dr. Jonathan to make himself available for the 2023 Presidential election, we wish to state, that he has not in any way, committed himself to this request.
“Buying a presidential aspiration form in the name Dr. Jonathan without his consent, knowing the position he had held in this country, is considered an insult to his person.
“The general public is therefore advised to disregard it,” Mr Jonathan’s spokesman Ikechukwu Eze said in a statement.
The statement comes hours after reports emerged that a group had paid N100 million for Mr Jonathan to seek next February’s presidential election as a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Mr Jonathan, who joined the now-opposition Peoples Democratic Party in 1998 and went on to be elected deputy governor, governor, vice-president and president on the party’s platform, has yet to formally announce his membership of the ruling party, although recent activities suggest he has been nursing that ambition.
The rejection of the so-called nomination forms by an unknown group of northern origin was dominated talks when Mr Jonathan met APC chairman Abdullahi Adamu in Abuja on Monday night.
Mr Jonathan told Mr Adamu he was not involved in buying the forms, according to a source familiar with the meeting.
The controversy around Mr Jonathan’s forms came days after Godwin Emefiele and Akin Adesina rejected forms bought for them by a group of farmers.