By Emeka Nze Abuja—
Ahead of the 2019 polls, former President Goodluck Jonathan has advised the Peoples Democratic Party to adopt what he called statutory delegates’ option in its next constitution review exercise, especially for the state and local government primaries.
Jonathan gave the advice while receiving in audience a delegation of former Speakers of House of Assemblies elected on the party’s platform in Abuja yesterday.
According to him, the manner the PDP elects its candidates and national offi cials remains a major challenge that must be looked into, explaining that this will greatly help the party’s strategy in returning to power in 2019.
He said there would always be crisis in the outcome of the party’s primaries or conventions until the numbers of statutory delegates to those elections are reviewed to about 70 per cent.
Th e former president also admonished the party to work out the modality such that no one would succeed in infl uencing the delegates to elections, pointing out that those who had served at certain levels, including governorship, ministerial and parliamentarian positions at all levels, should be made statutory delegates.
“Th at is the area we have not been able to manage properly and it is still creating problem for us.
I believe the next constitution amendment should advocate that area to be properly examined.
“From my own experience, if that area is strengthened, the party will be okay and nobody will complain at the end of primaries.
If you lose, you lose gallantly and you support the person that wins.
” On his defeat at the 2015 poll, Jonathan pledged to speak up in due course on why his party lost.
“PDP is still the strongest party.
We know the reason why we lost the elections.
At the appropriate time, some of these things would be properly addressed because of history.
Th ere are certain things you don’t write now because it would be misunderstood as if you are playing politics.
“After some years, fi ve, six or eight years, when the benefi ciaries have left, you can state it in writing,” Jonathan said.
To his guests, he urged them to remain with the party, “unlike those playing politics of the stomach, defecting to other parties,” stressing that the PDP performed creditably well during its 16-year rule, giving “the number of reforms it introduced and implemented.
” He lauded the forum members for coming together, describing them as very germane in the party’s strategy to return to power in 2019.
Leader of the team, Mr. Inuwa Garba, had earlier commended the former president for still identifying with the party, adding that Supreme Court ruling was a major eff ort at putting the back into shape.