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Order of 2019 Election: Jonathan Backs National Assembly

The National Assembly has a strong supporter in ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on its decision re-ordering the sequence of the 2019 elections.

Jonathan said the new arrangement was in order and would go a long way in ensuring that more quality people are elected at all levels.

Majority of the members of the two chambers of the National Assembly want election into the Senate and the House of Representatives to come first next year and the presidential election last.

“Holding presidential election first will affect the quality of persons that will emerge in other polls because of the bandwagon effect,” Jonathan said yesterday when he granted audience to the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, and members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) at the Jonathan Foundation in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

He said the decision of the Assembly will help in the election of quality persons into various positions.

A statement by the PDP National Chairman’s spokesman, Mr. Ike Abonyi, quoted the former President as advising the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) to abide by the decision of the National Assembly.

Jonathan asked the APC to see the proposed order of elections “from national and patriotic interests since laws are not meant for persons in power at a particular time.”

He said he is even looking forward to a time when presidential election in Nigeria will be conducted differently from the others.

He was optimistic that the PDP will return to power in 2019, saying: “I believe that the PDP will return to power in 2019, if we continue to build confidence, especially as the ruling party has failed to meet up their promises and give hope to the people.

“Propaganda may help you win election, but it can’t help you govern and that is what the APC has seen in the last 32 months.

The PDP National Chairman, Prince Secondus, had earlier briefed the former President on the activities of the NWC since December when they were elected into office.

Secondus said the new leadership is currently engaged in a number of activities aimed at rebranding and repositioning the party with a view to regaining power in 2019.

He pleaded for Jonathan’s support and that of other leaders of the party.

The PDP boss said the focus of the party is on youths and women, pointing out that the leadership will soon come up with a new programme on Generational Next.

At a separate forum, the PDP National Chairman said that the party has no anointed candidate for any elective positions.

Speaking at a special banquet hosted for the party leadership by Governor Henry Seriake Dickson in Yenagoa, Secondus said unlike other parties where leaders lord it over to the rest, the PDP derives its power direct from the people who really own the party.

“In this party under my watch, there would be no preferred aspirant for any position, in the spirit of our rebranding to rebuild, reposition and regain power. We cannot afford not to present our best eleven in the contest," he said.

Secondus also said the party remains open to all Nigerians because it belongs to them, not to any group or individual.

He said the doors of the party remain open to members from all corners to come in because “all hands are needed to chase the APC out of our political life.

“We welcome people returning to the party with open arms because the party belongs to them and we need all to be on board for the huge task of chasing away evil regime in our life.

“We must unite to rescue this country from the APC who has come with vengeance against the people of Nigeria.”

He said that given the damage done to Nigerians by the APC administration in the past 32 months, what awaits the party in 2019 would be a “Tsunami”.

While commending the PDP governors for their exceptional performance in office, Secondus particularly singled out Governor Dickson for his innovations in office that had led to the transformation of the state in the last six years.

Secondus revealed that the party was initiating a deliberate programme called Generational Next aimed at re-integrating the youths in the activities of the party with a view to transferring power.