Former President Goodluck Jonathan says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) must win the 2019 presidential election.
Speaking on Tuesday when he received Raymond Dokpesi, an aspirant for the party’s national chairmanship position, at his residence in Abuja, Jonathan warned members of the party not to make the mistake of making wrong choice of national working committee (NWC) at the December convention.
He said the party could not afford to make mistake in choosing its next national chairman and publicity secretary, describing them as “very delicate positions’’.
“This time around we need a very courageous and vocal person to be the chairman,” he said.
“There are two positions that we must not make mistake on – the positions of the national chairman and that of the national publicity secretary, because I have worn the shoes before and I know where it pinches.
“If we make a mistake as a party and elect wrong chairman and publicity secretary, we are finished,” Jonathan said.
He said PDP at this moment, needed a courageous chairman, who in the face of persecution, would remain courageous to protect the party’s interest and defend democracy.
“We need a very competent person and a team player, somebody who will not negotiate to get money from the aspirants to make them candidates.
“If you do that, you have destroyed the party because a party must come up with programmes and policies that will elect the best of the best.
“If you present the best material, the chances of your wining election are stronger than when you present a wrong material.
“We need such kind of chairman that will galvanise the national committee and also link up with state committees and do the best for the party.
“This is key so that by 2019 when we go for the general elections, PDP will have the majority in the states and national assemblies and of course, PDP must win the presidency.”
Jonathan, who said that the December convention would be keenly contested, urged chairmanship aspirants to see the exercise as a family affair.
“Whatever comes out, as faithful loyalists of the party, you should accept it. So, whoever is going to contest should have that in mind,” he said.
“Recently, I read that you met with one of the aspirants; that is a good spirit; no victor no vanquished. The winner must be PDP and not an individual.”
He also corroborated the view of Abdulsalami Abubakar, former military head of state, on the need for the PDP to fully assume its role of opposition.
Jonathan said PDP must migrate from the ruling party to opposition for the purpose of stabilising the country’s democracy.
“I am not saying that as an opposition party you must been saying anything you like, no. PDP is a very mature party,” he said.
“We will not go to the quarter and criticise anyhow but all over the world, the opposition party checkmates the ruling party so that things are done properly so that there will not be impunity.
“If the opposition party goes to sleep, the ruling party can do anything it likes.”