Nigerian entrepreneur and economist, Atedo Peterside, on Thursday said parties thinking of fielding Goodluck Jonathan as their candidate will be doing so in the face of damning data.
He made the comment on Thursday on a monitored Channels Television programme amid speculations that the former President may defect to the All-Progressives Congress (APC) and contest for President in 2023.
Mr. Peterside said although he voted for Jonathan in 2011, his approval ratings have since gone down and the job description for a Nigerian President has evolved.
“You know again that I am a data person and I’m sorry, I cannot change who I am,” Mr. Peterside said.
“Goodluck Jonathan, I was on his economic team, I worked with him, I was also on Yar’Adua’s economic team.
“Let me use the data, I said in 2011, Goodluck Jonathan had a 54% approval rating and by 2015 before the election, it had collapsed to below 26%, the recent poll I saw, was not done by us because we don’t waste time on things that are not all that relevant, his approval rating was below 5%.
“So, everybody is free to ignore data and come out and do anything they want to do. In fact, I hope that the APCs of this world would make a mistake and bring out people whose approval ratings are very low. You cannot fool all the people all of the time.
“He was the best candidate, I voted for him in 2011, that was a different era, that was a totally different era. The skillset, the gravity of the problem, and the coverage required, it is a totally different job. Time does not standstill. But please, let parties ignore data and bring out anybody they like. Everybody should run the party the way they want to run their party. I have no say in APC, I have no say in PDP, I mean, I joined SDP just this week, I have a bit of a say but I’m not even a party officer.
“I’m in a chapter; the chairman of my state chapter is a lady who is below 35. You know, these are young people that have come in en-masse because they don’t want APC, they don’t want PDP and I’m following them.”