The national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, declared yesterday that former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, can contest for the presidential ticket of the party pending the outcome of the zoning arrangement of the party ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
He, however, explained that the zoning of the party’s presidential ticket for the 2023 election was dependent on the report of the Governor Bala Mohammed-led committee which was set up to review the reason why the party lost the 2019 election and make recommendations on the way forward.
Secondus, who stated this yesterday at a media interaction to mark the three years anniversary of the National Working Committee (NWC), however stressed the need to deemphasize the talks about zoning and the politics of 2023 in the light of the deplorable state of the country.
Lamenting that Nigeria was in a comatose state, he stressed that it was unfortunate that the governing party had abandoned governance for politics.
He criticized President Muhammadu Buhari for backtracking on his decision to brief the National Assembly on the security situation in the country.
Speaking on 2023 and the state of the nation, he said, “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.
He stated: “The Governor of Bauchi State, 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-led 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 faired 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 back stage. Nigeria is in a comatose state today where the APC brought it; that should be our concern now”.
But reacting to a question on whether Jonathan will be drafted to run on the platform of the party, Secondus said, “I stand by my position that the Gov Bala-led committee is still working. They are coming out with a report on why we lost and by the time they finish, we will take a decision and the decision is not for the National Working Committee but for the entirety of our party.
“And I believe that whoever is interested in the 2023 election, including the former president, may be the chances are there because the PDP is a party of all. Everybody will have that opportunity but in clear terms, we have not taken any decision to give anybody ticket for now”.
The party chairman, who decried the comatose state of the nation, said the president’s disregard for the nation’s parliament over the state of insecurity in the country amounted to disregarding the Nigerian people because the lawmakers are representatives of the people.
He continued: “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 (president) that came to power brandishing military credentials 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 on what to do and is even afraid to face the country’s parliament to explain what he is doing”.
He added that the PDP would re-design the security and economic architecture of the country when it returns to power.
Secondus said, “We believe that our agenda speaks for itself and if you look at our records in the last 16 years, you will also attest to the difference between what happened in 16 years and what is happening now.
“The people that will top our agenda in moving forward are the youth who are so digital, and we are talking about the entire world operating in a digital economy and the youth are in the fore front, not the elders.
“When you talk for instance of the security issue, Nigeria cannot continue to operate that old system of central command structure of old security architecture. We will come out with new digital security architecture for the country because security of lives and property is very important first before we talk about even the economy. If the place is not safe, foreign investors will not come to invest. So, we will make life safe here in Nigeria for foreigners to come and invest”.