*Jonathan, Wike

As rumours of the former President Goodluck Jonathan defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC) to contest the 2023 presidential election gain currency, the governor of Rivers State, Mr. Nyesom Wike, has advised him (Jonathan) not to join the party so as to keep his reputation intact.

Wike, instead, advised Jonathan to remain in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) saying the party is a better political platform for the ex-president to run for the 2023 presidency if he chooses to. Entice

He warned Jonathan not to be lured by APC chieftains maintaining that the ruling party offers nothing but destruction.

Wike who made the remarks in an interview on BBC News Pidgin on Friday declared: “If I see the former President, I will tell him what I heard. I will tell him, ‘Don’t go anywhere because these people want to destroy your reputation. They don’t like you; you should know.

“What APC is doing now is to bring reputable people from PDP and when they bring them, they destroy them so that they won’t have anywhere to go again. That’s what the APC is doing.

“I respect the former President because he is a man of integrity but if I am to advise him, I will tell him, ‘Sir, don’t make that mistake. If you want to run for President, run under PDP. Nigerians cherish you more than this government. They have seen that all the things the (Buhari) government promised them are lies. So, please don’t join the APC for the sake of your reputation.’

“He (Jonathan) has the right to decide whatever he wants to do but like I said before if my former President runs for President in APC, I won’t be able to vote for APC in the election because that would be anti-party but if he runs in PDP, I will work to ensure he wins the election.

Jonathan, 63, was Nigeria’s vice-president between 2007 and 2010 and later became president in 2010 after the death of then-President Umaru Yar’Adua.

In 2011, contested the presidential election and won but lost his reelection in 2015 to the incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari.

It would be recalled that with the 2023 elections fast approaching and the clamour for power shift to the south, many APC chieftains have visited Jonathan in recent times, raising the stakes in permutations for the 2023 general elections.

Of late, with the wave of defections swinging in the direction of the ruling party, the national secretary, APC caretaker, and extra-ordinary convention planning committee, Mr. John Akpanudoedehe, said Jonathan would be given an opportunity to contest the 2023 presidency on APC platform if he chose to join the ruling party.

However, the former President has not declared any intention to contest in the forthcoming election.