Following widespread reactions generated, President Goodluck Jonathan has denied endorsing the Atiku/Okowa presidential ticket describing it as false.
Africa Daily News, New York gathered that indications have now emerged that some desperate politicians in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had stage-managed the meeting to achieve a pre-determined phantom endorsement from the former leader of the party.
The development came amid information that Jonathan has a soft spot for the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi who he has severally supported morally and otherwise ahead of 2023 general election.
A close ally of the former president who was at the recent courtesy visit facilitated by the Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed, told our reporters under the condition of anonymity that Jonathan is not happy that the PDP turned the private visit into an endorsement for its presidential candidate.
He said journalists were not allowed to witness the private visit and conversation unknown to the host (Jonathan) that some of the PDP hawks secretly videoed the proceeding and posted it online to appear as if the former president had endorsed Atiku.
According to the source, President Jonathan is a statesman who extends equal gestures to all the presidential candidates, hence, the event where he prayed for Okowa was not different.
He explained that the visitors led by the Bauchi governor brought some kola nuts for Jonathan to according to them, pray for the incoming vice president (Okowa) and that the former president merely used their own words to pray for him.
He said; ‘You know that President Jonathan has a soft spot for the Bauchi governor who led the delegation. Atiku who had made several efforts to get Jonathan’s support was not even part of the delegation.
‘Jonathan was surprised when his attention was drawn to the news on the social media that he had endorsed Atiku. That did not happen but as a statesman, he just let it go instead of putting up a statement denying it.
‘It was to forestall the PDP making a political capital of the visit that Jonathan’s aides prevented the media from being in the meeting but who knew that some hawks in the party had planned to use it to gain some mileage.’
According to the source, if there was any presidential candidate that enjoys the support of the former president, it is Peter Obi.