2023 Presidency: Jonathan, others stand a chance with PDP ― Secondus

Former President Dr Goodluck Jonathan and other party members who may want to contest the 2023 presidential election under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have a chance to emerge as its candidate when the National Working Committee (NWC) takes a decision on zoning.

PDP national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, who made this declaration in Abuja on Thursday in a session with the media on the third anniversary of his leadership, however, noted that it was too early to dwell on the politics of 2023 as the nation is beset with many problems.

He maintained that the main opposition party is still waiting for the 2019 election post mortem being prepared by the Governor Bala Muhammed’s committee, set up to determine why the party lost the election.

He said: “On the issue of the former President, I stand by my report. The Bala Committee is still working, coming out with a report of why we lost and by the time they finish, we will take a decision and the decision will not be for the NWC only but the entirety of our party.

“And I believe that whoever that is interested in 2023 maybe including the former President, the thing is that the PDP is a party for all. Everybody will have that opportunity but in clear terms, we have not taken any decision to give anybody the ticket for now.

“You can’t be talking of ticket when the country is in a terribly bad shape and I think we should face that fact first and press, the people in government should do better, to secure us and better the economic agenda for the good of the people. We are not going to talk about who will or will not get the ticket now.”

He further explained: “I know you the media are interested in zoning, but our party has a clear method of doing things. After the general election, we set up a panel to study and appraise our performance and make necessary recommendations. The Governor of Bauchi state, H.E Alhaji Bala Mohammed is heading the committee and they are still working.

“We did the same thing when we lost the election in 2015 when we set up the Senator Ike Ekweremadu committee to look into why we lost. It was from that report that the party took action towards 2019.

“The same way this time, we must study our last outing before looking ahead. We can’t be talking of zoning when we have not appraised how we fared in the last election.

“Moreover, the state of the nation today is such that politics or anything concerning 2023, of three years away, should take backstage. Nigeria is in a comatose state today where APC brought it. That should be our concern now.”

The party boss blasted President Muhammadu Buhari for not honouring his commitment to address the National Assembly on Thursday.

He noted that Buhari, who was scheduled to address the nation’s parliament Thursday, backed out after confirming to them he was coming.

Secondus stated: “This back and forth from the President on vital issue as security that is overwhelming our nation underscores our position as an opposition party that nobody is in-charge and that this is a broken government.

“Disregarding the nation’s parliament is disregarding Nigeria people because they are representatives of the people.

“The truth, which is worrisome, is that the President either does not know what is happening or does know what to do otherwise he should not be afraid to face the people.

“The hard fact facing all of us now is that this regime has woefully failed Nigerians in all ramifications. It’s a shame that a government that came to power brandishing its military credential as a General with the propaganda to wipe away Boko Haram in 100 days is there five years plus presiding over the worst security situation in our history with no clear direction what to do and even afraid to face the country’s parliament to explain what he is doing.

“In my statement to the media last May in the assessment of the five years of APC administration, I said that APC is a road Nigeria should not have followed.

“Everything on ground in our country today from insecurity to the recessed economy etc. points to the fact that Nigeria entered the wrong bus in 2015 and they are paying for it because the wrong vehicle cannot take you to your correct destination.”

The PDP boss observed that the PDP states are better in terms of performance than their counterparts ruled by other parties.

He argued: “Another thing that helped us as a party while in this opposition is the exceptional performance of PDP Governors. Throughout all the PDP controlled states is glaring evidence of delivery of democracy dividend. This has helped to engender confidence on the party about democracy.

“APC performance in the area of delivering democracy benefits at federal and state levels has been awful and demoralizing. As a party, we are proud of the performances of our Governors and Nigerians are also happy with them.”

Reviewing the performance of his leadership in the last three years, Secondus said the PDP under his reign had through its reform packages significantly enhanced the image and status of the party.

He added: “All over the country the party remains the bride. States under the party’s control rose from 11 to 16 and it could have been more if not for the shameless ambush of the APC in Osun, Kano, Kogi and Imo states.

“Internally, the party has also used its in-house means to resolve issues making PDP the right party to belong in this country today. Nothing supports this assertion more than that after five and half years, the ruling APC instead of trying to put their tattered house in order is busy begging and coercing our members to join them with fake and unrealistic promises.

“At the risk of being seen as blowing our own trumpet, it’s necessary to note that this NWC is the first in transparency and accountability, the first to function effectively for three years without any scandal or dent of corruption.

“The first, also to successfully render an account of its monetary expenditures to both NEC of our party and to INEC as statutorily required of us to do.”

He said the party is looking forward with hope for Nigerians especially through its “well laid out program of youth development,” which he said will ensure that the future of the country is “handed over to those it rightly belongs to, the Nigeria youths.

“We have watched the hopelessness of Nigeria youths under APC administration because its cabinet is made of largely the outgoing generation who think less of the future because it does not belong to them,” he declared.

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