Jonathan can speak for himself, shouldn’t be lured into presidential race – Chidoka
Peoples Democratic Party chieftain and Former Aviation Minister, Osita Chidoka, has said former President Goodluck Jonathan will come out boldly to declare his intentions to run for the presidency if he wants to do so, noting that he (Jonathan) does not need to be lured by anyone to join the race.
Chidoka also said that from the last conversation he had with his former principal, he (Jonathan) did not indicate any interest to run for any public office.
However, he noted that, if Jonathan had a change of heart, he would be in the best position to relay it to the country.
According to Chidoka, Jonathan was a ‘leading light of the PDP’ whose political future would be determined by making public his choices known to the whole country.
In an interview on Arise TV on Saturday, Chidoka said, “As for President Goodluck Jonathan, I have not discussed #GEJiscoming with him. In the last conversation I had with him, he wasn’t indicating interest to run for any public office. He is in a good place because he represents something that every part of the country can relate to. He has learnt his lessons from his time in office. He is in that position that he is the leading light of the PDP as he came into power from Deputy Governor to President in the PDP. I believe his political future would be determined by making public choices.
“I don’t think former President Jonathan would be in that position where he is being called to come and be president. If he wants to be president, he would come out boldly and say, ‘I want to be president of Nigeria again because I have the experience and have the capacity to bring back peace in Nigeria and to restore capacity in Nigeria. He can make that case for himself. There is no need to lure him to the race. [The] President Jonathan I know, if he has made up his mind to run, would indicate so, and I am sure he will if he makes up his mind to run.”
He also decried the level of ‘marginalisation’ that the Igbo are going through in Nigeria, stating that Nigerians were not being fair with the Igbo.
Chidoka, therefore, urged the rest of Nigeria to recommend to the Igbo the kind of leader they want to see contest the 2023 polls to prove to them that they (Nigerians) are being fair to every ethnic group.
Asked the kind of Igbo leader he would recommend to be president, he said, “I don’t want to recommend to them (Nigeria) the Igbo man they should choose. It is a contest. It is Nigerians who have to be fair to every ethnic group.
When President Buhari won in 2015, he had to hire foreign consultants to change his image. To show him wearing suits and Isiagwu so as to convince the rest of the country that Buhari is for everybody and not for anybody. If you know that that is what needs to be done, I am of the view that among the Igbo of today, there is a lot of soul-searching about who we are and our role in Nigeria and how we can thrive in Nigeria. But I think there is a clause that is necessary. Nigeria should indicate to the Igbo the kind of expectation they want of the Igbo person who they would want to deal with in Nigeria.
“That will go a long way in strengthening the arm of Igbo who wants to engage in Nigeria. This soul searching going on in Igboland because they feel the pain of the Igbo man is not been dealt with. The rest of the country can also indicate how they want to go ahead to show that the Igbo are part and parcel of Nigeria.”
On the kind of leader Nigeria needs, the PDP chieftain said Nigeria needed a unifying leader and administrator who is ‘deeply knowledgeable on the issue of law and order’.
He said, “Nigeria needs one who is going to combine the strength of a knowledgeable person and the passion of making Nigeria a united country and give e very Nigeria a sense of belonging in the Nigerian project.
“Our president needs to be deeply knowledgeable. It is not going to be fancy talks this time,” he added.