Former President Goodluck Jonathan has offered reasons why some state governors and their perceived god fathers heat up state polity and engaged in bloody political fight over the issue of second term ticket, saying the existing political parties lack internal measures to rate performance of a governor and resolve conflicts at the state levels.
Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who made this known on Wednesday evening during the inauguration of the 58-members Bayelsa PDP Elders Advisory Council with the former member of the Armed Forces Ruling Council, AVM Larry Koinyan (Rtd) as chairman and the Chief of Staff to the Bayelsa government house, Rt. Hon. Talford Ongolo, as Acting Secretary, said many at times the delay in resolving crisis at the state level and the lack of parameters to measure the performance of state governors create sense of desperation by a governor in need of second term to confront the god fathers and push away those not in support of his interest and throw the party into crisis.
Dr. Jonathan, whose presence in the state government house and attendance of the enlarged meeting of stakeholders and PDP faithful was the first one since leaving office as president, said he was full of joy when the PDP, as a political party, amended its constitution and created a body known as the PDP Elders Advisory Council at the state level thereby put in place a mini-board of trustee at the state level with powers to resolve crisis and make quick and unbiased decisions.
According to him: “Am indeed happy when the PDP incorporated the Elders Advisory Council at the last amendment. I did not take part in the amendment but I remember that when I went to Abuja as vice president, I sent a memo to the caucus of the party and one issue I raised was one that will put some people at the state level to resolve conflicts. I observed that in most cases, we don’t have people that have the authority to resolve conflicts at the state level. There is the need to have a mini-BOT at the State level. They should be party elders.”
“Sometimes, there is conflict between those at the centre and the state governors because of the fear that god fathers are not ready to give them a second term in office. That makes the governors to consolidate their hold on the state and the party and push other people not in support of his interest out of the party.
“You will then see a heated polity and tension. For the PDP, as a party, to survive and reduce tension, they must come up with a standard way of assessing the state governors. Anybody that at least meets up requirement for performance should be given automatic ticket.
“A governor would not then be afraid that one god father will not give him a second term ticket for him to start in-fighting. With these in place, the State Governors will carry everybody along because the issue of in-fighting will impede his victory at the general elections”
On the issue of party primaries by political parties, Dr. Goodlcuk Jonathan expressed concern over the waste of time and resources by the PDP on the processes of electing party candidates,” the PDP spend too much time on party primaries. Most other political parties don’t spend so much time and resources and energy doing party primaries. That is why they are more cohesive. If party members fight during primaries, it is mostly difficult to come together for general elections.”
He recalled that his memo to the caucus of the party was not however accepted then but later brought up recently during the last amendment of the party, ”I was pleased when it came up again and it was because I know that the elders Advisory Council will play a key role in resolving disputes among party members.
“There is no way party members will play politics and go in the same direction. It has never happened anywhere in the world. While we are pursuing our interest, we should consider the interest of the party.”
Former President Goodluck Jonathan also commented on the coming November 16th governorship election in the state and called on the party members to stay united irrespective of the outcome of the party primary in the state.
He said: ”For Bayelsa, we have challenges, as the governor said, we are in opposition. The centre wants to use the federal might to do the worst. I remember when we were to do the last Governorship election, he came to me and said “Mr. President, we heard they (APC) have already written results and they are just waiting to write results. I told him to forget such rumors.
“Yes people can say many things, if we are strong and committed, by God’s grace we will win. And we won. Elections are coming again and I know they will do all it takes to take over. Just like the Governor said, if you look at the caliber of the people in this hall, who are the people remaining?”
In his remark, the State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson said the PDP was poised to retain its control of the state as the gubernatorial election scheduled for November 16, 2019, draws closer.
He called on all gubernatorial aspirants under the platform of the PDP to avoid attacking one another but to focus attention on on the subversive activities of the opposition in the state.
The Governor who called for stronger cohesion within the party, advised members and aspirants to avoid pursuing their ambitions at the expense of the party, “The ambitions are legitimate but we must note that what is important is our unity and cohesion within the party.” he said.
The governor said the state chapter of the party is at a critical point where elders and members must come together to ensure victory and successful transition of power from one PDP Government to the other.
Inaugurating the 61 members Elders Advisory Council, the State PDP Chairman, Hon. Cleopas Moses, described the Council as a vital organ of the party similar to the Board of Trustees, which is recognized by the party’s constitution in every state chapter.
He said with the caliber of people in the council, it was evident that no other political party could overshadow the PDP and win election in the state as Governor Dickson had ensured victory for the party at all levels.