Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, while receiving PDP delegation who visited him at his Maitama home in Abuja, said that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will return to power despite the lost in 2015 election.
Jonathan stated this when he received the PDP Strategy Review and Inter-Party Committee, led by Prof. Jerry Gana.
The former president noted that what Nigeria needed now was to strengthen the institutions that would ensure that leaders are held accountable when they deviate from their missions, saying that no country could grow without strong institutions.
“I am among the persons who believe that for a nation to grow, the institutions must be very strong, just like you mentioned about INEC. He said
“There is no way a nation will grow with weak institutions because everything about politics is about the people, not about the individuals. As long you are interested in the people, you are interested in growth of the society, the development of the nation.” He added
Jonathan also said that the PDP still remains the biggest and strongest party in Nigeria irrespective of the challenges before it.
“PDP is still the biggest and the strongest party, irrespective of what happened in 2015 general elections.
“Yes, we lost the presidential election but that doesn’t diminish us. Every other party still knows that PDP is a leading party. Losing the Presidency is something temporary.
“We should be able to get that position back as long as we are able to get our acts together. I am happy that you people are working towards that.”
Speaking about some of the problems that led to the party’s downfall in 2015, he suggested the use of more statutory delegates for the primaries, noting that the biggest problem is how to manage direct primaries.
“Direct primaries is the ultimate; it is the best way of selecting candidates but the greatest problem a society has is how to manage direct primaries. It means if you want to elect president or governor, you cannot bring everybody to one place. It means that voting will take place from ward level or local government level.
“The best way to stop imposition is to make sure that people don’t control the delegates. If we go by delegates election, it will be easiest to manage. How to select delegates is by ensuring that at least 70 percent of the delegates are not under the control of anybody.
He added that the party could come up with criteria where its national chairman, state chairmen, senators and other well known pdp members in offices were made statutory delegates.
“All these group of people if they are still in the party should be automatic delegates.
“These are people that are known by everybody and nobody can go and manipulate them or their names.
“By the time we have a reasonable number of statutory delegates who are more than 75 per cent of total delegates that will vote, then, it will be difficult for somebody to go and manipulate the list.”
He commended the Gana-led committee, noting that it “is the only way to strengthen political parties. It is a clear sign that PDP will win in 2019.”
Prof. Gana noted that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), had become a tool in the hand of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He also stated that the PDP was going to organize an international summit on the defence of human rights.
Gana added that they had met with seven political parties and that the National Conscience Party as well as two others have expressed their willingness to merge with PDP.
“Since the PDP is already on the ground and the All Progressives Congress (APC) has emerged, we thought we should reach out to all the other parties that are friendly with the PDP,” he said.