Former President Goodluck Jonathan has advised the Peoples Democratic Party to adopt statutory delegates’ option in the next review of its constitution, especially for the state and local government primaries.
He also said he would soon speak on his defeat in the last presidential election in 2015.
Jonathan gave the advice when he received a delegation of the former Speakers, State Houses of Assembly elected on the platform of the PDP in his office in Abuja on Thursday.
He said one of the major challenges facing the PDP was how its candidates and national officers were being elected.
He said there would always be crisis on the outcome of the party’s primary or conventions until the numbers of statutory delegates to those elections was reviewed to about 70 per cent.
Jonathan said the party must work out modality in which no one person could influence the delegates to elections.
He said those who had served at certain levels including governorship, ministerial, parliamentarian positions should be made statutory delegates.
He said, “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 loss, you loss gallantly and you support the person that wins.”
On the issue of war against corruption, Jonathan advised the PDP members not to be intimidated.
He said, “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 the coup plotters always gave corruption as the reason for their action. 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. Nobody will encourage it.
“The society must come up with reforms to reduce it, if you cannot eliminate it totally. No society is 100 per cent free of some of these vices but the approach with which you go 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.”
The former president also said in due time he would speak on why the PDP lost in the 2015 general elections.
Jonathan said, “The PDP is still the strongest party. We know the reason why we lost elections.
“People may be writing left and right, at the appropriate time, some of these things would be properly addressed because of history.
“There are certain things you don’t write now because it would 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 his party members to continue with the party unlike those playing “politics of the stomach” defecting to other parties.
He said the PDP did well during its ruling for 16 years by the number of reforms it introduced and implemented.
The former President commended the forum members for coming together to form such an association, saying they were important in the strategy of the PDP reclaiming power in 2019.
The leader of the delegation, Mr. Inuwa Garba, commended the former President for staying with the party.
He said the Supreme Court judgment was meant to revamp the party, and called for the cooperation of all members as the battle for 2019 drew.