Former President Goodluck Jonathan has advised Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leadership to increase statutory delegates’ number for the party’s elections, especially state and local government primaries, in its Constitution’s review.
Jonathan gave the advice in his office in Abuja on Thursday when he received a delegation of the former Speakers of State Houses of Assembly elected on PDP platform.
He said that one of the major challenges facing the PDP was how it elected candidates and national officers of the party.
He said that there would always be crisis over outcome of the party’s primary elections or conventions unless the number of statutory delegates to those elections was reviewed upward to about 70 per cent.
Jonathan said that the party must work out modality in which no one person could influence the choice or number of delegates to elections.
He suggested that those who had served at certain levels, including governorship, ministerial, parliamentarian positions at all levels, should be statutory delegates.
“That is the area we have not been able to manage properly that is still creating problem for us.
“I believe the next constitution amendment should advocate for 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 war against corruption, the former president advised PDP members not to be intimidated.
“There are stories of corruption. I say this will always be there because if you read the statement of the organisers of the first military coup, their statement was attributed to corruption.
“After that, all other coup plots were always targeted at corruption. It will continue to be but one day we will get out of it. Most nations passed through this stage of life.
“The only thing I plead of you is not to politicise certain basic things. Issues of corruption, yes, it is worrisome, and nobody will encourage it.
“The society must come up with reform to reduce it, if you cannot eliminate it totally. No Society is 100 per cent free of some of these vices but the approach you adopt about it is key.
“You may approach it in a way that it will become detrimental to the society. It should be done in a way that will enhance the development of the nation.
“So we encourage people to do well,” he said.
Jonathan also said that in due time, he would state his position on why PDP lost in the 2015 general elections.
“PDP is still the strongest party. We know the reason why we lost in the elections.
“People may be writing left and right, but at the appropriate time, some of these things will be properly addressed because of history.
“There are certain things you don’t write now because it will be misunderstood as if you are playing politics.
“After some years, five, six or eight years, when the beneficiaries have left, you can state it in writing and people will not fight with you.”
He encouraged the former speakers to continue with the party unlike those playing “politics of the stomach”, defecting to other parties.
He said that PDP did well during the 16 years it was in power, by the number of reforms it introduced and implemented.
The former president commended the forum members for coming together to form such association, saying that they were important in the strategy of PDP reclaiming power in 2019.
Earlier, Chairman of the forum, Mr Inuwa Garba, had said that their visit was to introduce the forum to Jonathan.
Garba also said that it was also to congratulate him and leaders of the party on the success at the Supreme Court over the party’s leadership crisis.