PDP needs courageous and committed leader, says Ex-President Jonathan
Former President Goodluck Jonathan Tuesday declared that the Peoples Democratic Party needed a very courageous and committed person at this point in time to lead the main opposition party as its next chairman. The Ex-President who spoke ahead of the party’s forthcoming elective congress in December also stressed that the next chairman must be a competent and committed team player who will be prepared to carry all the key organs of the party along, to ensure that the party always selects the best candidates to stand for elections.
Jonathan spoke while welcoming to his office High Chief Raymond Dokpesi who was accompanied by a powerful delegation of his supporters during a courtesy call, in continuation of the PDP chieftain’s ongoing consultation in his bid to lead the party.
Jonathan said: “I always say that there are two positions we must not make mistakes in determining who occupies them; the chairman and that of the publicity secretary. I wore the shoe, so I know where it hurts. If we make mistakes in the election of these two positions, it will spell doom for the party.
“We need a chairman that will encourage us in the interest of the party and in the interest of the nation. we need a very competent person, a team player who will not negotiate away our collective interest because of personal gain. We need a chairman that will carry every organ of the party along, to ensure that PDP will always presents the best candidates for elections. If you select the best material, your chances of winning elections become brighter.”
Jonathan also commended the Sen. Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee of the party, saying that they had done very well, especially during the period of crisis in the party.
Jonathan further noted the observations of some people like the former Head of State, Gen Abdulsalam Abubakar who recently faulted the way the party was carrying on as an opposition party, stressing that it was an indication that people expect PDP to do more as an opposition party.
“We must migrate from a ruling party to an opposition party for the purpose of strengthening our democracy. I am not saying that as an opposition party you must be saying whatever you like. No! PDP is a very mature party. We will not go to the gutters to be seen to be criticizing the ruling party. But all over the world, opposition parties constructively checkmate the ruling party so that things can be done properly and there will be good governance. If the opposition party goes to sleep, the ruling party will be doing whatever it likes.”
He said further that the party did well within the 16 years it was in power, adding:” Our achievements are well known, they are properly documented and we will continue to talk about them. There is no way anybody can bury it.”
Earlier, the Ex-President commended Dokpesi for his dogged commitment to the affairs of the PDP, describing him as a man who had always been there for the party.
Jonathan who recalled how Dokpesi held a reception in his honour when he left office,
also commended him for his open-mindedness in his bid for the Chairmanship position saying: “I commend Dokpesi for saying that he will be ready to accept the outcome of the election whichever way it goes. That’s a good spirit. I encourage other contestants to emulate him. The winner must be the party, PDP, and not the individual.”
While speaking earlier, Dokpesi commended for former president’s resilience and efforts in ensuring that the party’s leadership crisis was resolved. “I am very positive that this party must come out of December elective national convention stronger and united to be able to give the needed opposition to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“As our leader, you have to look for means to ensure that we come out of the forthcoming convention stronger and united,” he said.