Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have been challenged to scout for a candidate who “can get the job done by uniting the country”, not a “kindergarten President.
Segun Showunmi, former Spokesman to the PDP presidential candidate in 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, gave the charge in Abeokuta, Ogun State, following the meeting of the PDP governors held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
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The PDP governors have reportedly held several meetings on how to produce a consensus presidential candidate ahead of next year elections.
But Showunmi in a statement made available to Daily Trust in Abeokuta, told the governors that the would be candidate should be someone who has the capacity to turn Nigeria around, by the time President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office.
According to him, by the time President Buhari is done, there would be so much challenges that Nigerians especially youths won’t tolerate “a kindergarten president and commander in chief.”
Showunmi, who is a governorship aspirant in Ogun State, also cautioned governors and PDP leaders on zoning of the presidential ticket.
He said “The would-be candidate to be backed. One major consideration must be who can get the job done, who can unite the country, who can assemble a great team and who can hit the ground running from day one. By the time the APC government of President Buhari is done, we will be in so much debt. The value of our Naira will be so low, underemployment and unemployment will be so high, the desperation of a high youth population will be so high that we can least afford a kindergarten president and commander in chief.
“Everyone wants to be President after Buhari but not everyone can do the work that a post-Buhari President will be called upon to do. Presidential powers and privileges mean nothing if the prerequisite experience is absent. We cannot jump from frying pan to fire.”
Speaking on zoning, he said “By 2023, three zones will be most eligible – South East, North East and North Central. We must avoid the danger of a baton passing between just the North West and the South West. This is way too risky. With the agitation of the South East now, we can least afford, as a country, this type of agitation from the other zones who as of right must feel a need to occupy the Number One Seat in the country.
In all of this, we have not matured enough as a country to think we can go this route. Remember our objective must be to form government because we believe we can “rescue” the country. We must look at the numbers well and play smart. I have refused to suggest where we should look, believing that I am speaking to leaders. May common sense prevail.”
The outspoken PDP Chieftain also cautioned the party leaders against ceding ticket or party structures to the “highest bidder.”
He said “There is a need to make the party more accommodating for women and young people and, as I see, it comes down to the high cost of prosecuting elections. We must, in line with our slogan, become a party for the people. What is observed in our state structures is despicable. It must be corrected. Power must be shared in a democracy and not placed in the hand of any individual, no matter how rich they may be, usually from ill gotten wealth – high level corruption, tax evasion and other sharp practices.”