A 2023 presidential election campaign poster of former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan appeared online on January 7.
The development appeared to lend further credence to speculations that Jonathan is being positioned to take over from the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
The campaign poster was produced by a group known as ‘National Agenda for Goodluck Ebele Jonathan,’ judging from the inscriptions on the banner.
“GEJ Is Coming Back” was boldly inscribed on the poster, next to an image of the former president posing as if deep in thought.
GEJ is the acronym for Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
The top right-hand side of the poster had the inscription ‘GEJ ’23.’
The poster also indicated that the group behind the campaign poster is a ‘coalition for better Nigeria’ in 2023.
Jonathan was Nigerian president from 2010 to 2015 on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
He was equally vice president of Nigeria from 2007 to 2010 under the administration of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua but became president when Yar’Adua died in 2010.
Jonathan lost to Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) while seeking reelection in 2015.
Although Jonathan has not personally indicated any interest to run for president in 2023, it is being speculated that an influential power bloc in the APC is positioning him to succeed Buhari.
Should Jonathan return as president in 2023, he will only stay in office for one term of four years, having completed an earlier four-year term when he succeeded the late Yar’Adua in 2010.
The Nigerian Constitution stipulates that the president has a maximum period of two four-year terms (eight years) in office.
Going by the speculations, Jonathan will do just one term in office to satisfy the clamour for power shift to the South, after which the presidency will return to the North.
It is being speculated that Buhari is favourably disposed to the ‘Jonathan come back agenda.’
Jonathan is currently a member of the PDP but there are speculations that he is being courted to join the APC and ultimately emerge the party’s presidential candidate in 2023.
The APC appeared to lend credence to the speculations when its spokesman Akpan Udoedehe said Jonathan would be given the chance to succeed Buhari if he joined the party.
While most of the reports concerning Jonathan’s presidential ambition are speculative, the emergence of the campaign poster indicates that some Nigerians have started campaigning for the return of the former president.
In late December 2021, reports had emerged that Jonathan held a meeting with leaders of South-South groups which are coordinating his alleged presidential bid.
It was reported that the meeting took place on December 27, 2021, at Aridolf Hotels and Spars in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Jonathan’s home state.
There were also reports that a group known as ‘South-South Presidency 2023,’ formed by Dikivie Ikiogha, was set up to campaign for Jonathan in the 2023 presidential poll.
A former governor of Lagos State Bola Tinubu is widely seen as the leading contestant in the race for the APC presidential ticket.
Although Tinubu has not formally declared his intention to contest the election, various support groups are currently mobilising support for his presidential ambition across the country.
However, Tinubu’s supporters are being given a run for their money by those of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Osinbajo’s supporters have been vocal in their campaign for the vice president even though, like Tinubu, he (Osinbajo) is yet to declare his interest in the presidential election.
Recently, Osinbajo’s campaign billboard appeared in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
Inscriptions on the billboard, which was mounted on a bridge in the Central Business District, said Nigerians were asking for Osinbajo in 2023.
The billboard featured a picture of the vice president with a huge grin on his face.