2019: Jonathan, Ex-PDP Ministers Under Pressure To Join APC 

By Ikenga Chronicles November 30, 2016

Reports reveal that former President Goodluck Jonathan and some of his ex-ministers are under pressure to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of 2019.

Some of the former ministers are said to be looking for soft landing because of the on-going investigations by the anti-graft agencies. It was also learnt that the planned defection of some of the ex-ministers was part of realignment ahead of 2019 General Election.

The Nation reports that ‘’The defection of a former Minister of Transport, Umar Idris, from PDP to APC last weekend was regarded as a “pilot test” for the ex-ministers, who are mostly from the North.’’

It was however gathered that Idris, whose defection shocked many PDP leaders, allegedly put Jonathan into confidence that “it is only politically expedient for him to leave PDP in Gombe State”.

“Some of them have opened talks discreetly with some key figures in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. They are bidding time on when to cross over. But ex-Minister Umar Idris braved the odds to defect last weekend’’ a source said.

He added: “I think they do not want to lose out in the scheme of things. It is becoming obvious that the crisis in PDP might lead to the emergence of another party.

Another source said: “Contrary to what you have been fed with, it is the APC that is reaching out to like minds in the former cabinet of ex-President Jonathan. Some of us have been under intense pressure to defect because of the crisis in PDP.”

Some of the ex-ministers under investigations are Nurudeen Mohammed; Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro; Bashir Yuguda; former Minister of Power, Mohammed Wakil; Bala Mohammed; Diezani Alison-Madueke; Oloye Jumoke Akinjide; Amb. Aminu Wali;  Prof. Viola Onwuliri; ex-Minister Nenadi Usman;  ex-Minister Senator Joel Ikenya and Femi Fani-Kayode.

One of the anti-graft agencies has also grilled former Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau; former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Aminu Wali; former Minister of Mines and Steel Musa Muhammad Sada; and a former Minister of State for Agriculture, Asabe Asmau Ahmed.

The source said of Shekarau: “Several of such moves and overtures have been made in the past but he has not uttered a word on that. He has not considered any.  He is still in PDP.”

“Don’t forget that Shekarau was one of the initiators of the merger which produced APC. And most of his political associates and friends are in APC. As a matter of fact, the present National Chairman of APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, was Shekarau’s vice-presidential candidate in 2011.”

“I am aware that there is pressure on him to rejoin his political friends and associates in APC. But he has not considered the offer at all.”

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