National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus has said that former President Goodluck Jonathan and other chieftains of the party are free to vie for the presidential ticket in the 2023 general election.
Secondus made the remarks while addressing journalists at an interactive session with newsmen in Abuja on Thursday.
He said the PDP is preparing to reclaim power in the next general elections, adding that the final decision on who gets the party’s presidential ticket in 2023 would be guided by the report of a committee set up by the leadership of the PDP and which work is still pending.
“I stand by my position that Gov. Bala (Mohammed) led committee is still working. They are coming out with a report on why we lost and by the time they finish, we will take decisions and the decision is not for the National Working Committee but for the entirety of our party.
“And I believe that whoever that is interested in 2023 (presidential ticket), maybe including the former President, the chances are there because the PDP is a party of all.
“Everybody will have that opportunity but in clear terms, we have not taken any decision to give anybody a ticket for now,” Secondus stated.
He, however, described discussions on the 2023 elections as premature, saying that the state of the nation today is such that politics or anything concerning 2023, which is three years away, should take the backstage.
Reacting to the recent defection of some prominent PDP chieftains, including a governor and a senator to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Secondus said the victory of the APC in that regard will be short-lived.
Secondus asked the APC to stop running up and down poaching opposition members and face the challenges facing the nation, particularly insecurity.
“Yes, they have been poaching from virtually all the parties. They have been running around but they have not been successful at all.
“I believe that what should bother them most should be governance, the security, the economy, all that have broken down. The issue is that they should stop running up and down and face the reason why the people gave them the mandate to govern.
“And if they do that, there will be no security issues; there will be no economic issues like hunger. I think that this is the most important thing,” the PDP stalwart stated.
In recent times there have been reports suggesting that the two major parties in Nigeria have been trying to get former President Goodluck Jonathan to run for presidency come 2023.
However, Dr Jonathan seems undecided about returning to office in 2023 when President Muhammadu Buhari completes his second term.
At a brief session with reporters in Abuja last Friday, the former president was asked if he would be joining the presidential race in the 2023 general elections, and he replied saying “it is too early to talk about that.”
Issues such as insecurity have stirred debates regarding the competence of the present government and have got many Nigerians asking who will be their next leader.
But Jonathan who believes that the quest for 2023 is too early, asked Nigerians to support the Federal Government and the security agencies to overcome the challenges.
The former president noted that Nigeria is not the only country affected by insecurity, adding that he also had his challenges to deal with while in office.