Jonathan Won’t Contest In 2019, Says Babatope As PDP Vows To Regain Power In Four Years
A member, Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, has said that President Goodluck Jonathan will not run for the presidency in 2019.
He explained that the party would shop for a strong Hausa/Fulani candidate to run against the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, in 2019.
Babatope, who is also a member of the party’s elders’ caucus, spoke with our correspondent on Victoria Island, on Wednesday.
He described the outgoing President as a leader, who had done his best in uplifting the nation’s democracy, adding that Nigeria would forever remember Jonathan as a committed leader who kept the nation as one despite several challenges.
He said he was sure that the President would not seek to contest the 2019 presidential election although “the people of the South-South have the right to present a candidate for the election, I’m sure the President will not contest; He will lead us to against the All Progressives Congress.”
He said, “The President has set himself apart as a great Nigerian leader, who is committed to seeing Nigeria blossom into a great democracy. He has laid a solid foundation for the nation’s democracy and he would forever be remembered.”
“The President will not contest the 2019 presidential election. The PDP will look for a strong Hausa/Fulani presidential candidate to contest against Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
“We have a strong presence in the South-South, South-East and we have two governors in the South-West. We are going to slug it out together in the North in 2019. We are going to flush out the APC in 2019 because we are going to correct our mistakes and take back the central government.”
The former Minister of Transport said PDP’s National Executive Council, the BoT and Elders’ Caucus would meet soon in Abuja to assess the outcome of the general elections.
He said, “We are going to restructure our party. The National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, will convene a meeting in two weeks’ time when we will objectively discuss the last elections.
“Apart from the grand conspiracy against our party by the powers that be in the elections, we are going to tackle the problem of imposition, which was a great area of mistake on our side. Crises were recorded across the states over imposition. We are going to guard against this. The APC will, naturally, make its own mistakes and we will capitalise on these.
“It is given in politics that mistakes would occur among the ruling party. We will all see when this begins to happen. We are watching and waiting.”
Similarly, the Peoples Democratic Party on Wednesday vowed to regain power in 2019.
Rising from a meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, the NWC members led by the National Chairman of the party, Adamu Mua’zu, and the state chairmen agreed to adopt strategies towards winning the elections in 2019.
The PDP’s resolve was contained in a joint statement issued at the end of the meeting by the Vice-Chairman of the party in the North-West, Ibrahim Kazaure, and the Benue State Chairman, Emmanuel Agbo.
The statement read in part, “The meeting resolves to give all necessary support to the national leadership of the party under the chairmanship of Adamu Mu’azu to enable them to re-engineer and rebrand the party for the task of regaining power by 2019.
“The meeting notes the outcome of the 2015 general elections and accordingly resolves not to allow the temporary setback affect the party’s contributions to the democratic development of the country.
“The meeting notes and appreciates the patriotic stand taken by President Goodluck Jonathan after the elections as another milestone in the party’s contributions to peace, stability and progress of the nation.”
The statement said that the meeting also decried what it called the “widespread anomalies and irregularities” that it said characterised the general elections in many states to the disadvantage of the PDP.
It added that the party had resolved “to give full backing to the various pursuits of redress in this regard within the ambit of the law and tenets of democracy.”
The meeting therefore directed all its candidates who believed that they were short-changed to channel their grievances through their state chairmen.
It also agreed to resist “undue harassment, witch-hunt and any form of intimidation or undemocratic tendencies from the opposition aimed at bringing down members of the PDP psychologically.”
It claimed that it had noted the subterranean moves by the APC to undermine the structures of the PDP across the country with the sinister motive of imposing a one-party state on the polity.
The meeting cautioned Buhari against any action or inaction that could threaten or erode the gains of democracy and personal freedom that had been established in the last 16 years by the PDP.
It added that the NWC members and the state chairmen resolved to galvanise the structures of the PDP and give full support to the party’s candidates for the supplementary governorship elections in Abia, Taraba and Imo states.
According to the statement, the meeting also charged the Independent National Electoral Commission and other stakeholders involved in the supplementary elections to be forthright, transparent and ensure that the will of the people in the three states were not in any way subverted.
The meeting resolved to set up special committees on the repositioning of the party.