A political pressure group, Citizens Network for Peace and Development in Nigeria (CNPD), has called on the All Progressives Congress (APC) to adopt former President Goodluck Jonathan, as the party’s candidate for the 2023 presidential election.
The National Coordinator of the group, Mr Ralph Okorie, who made the call on Monday at a news conference in Abuja, urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to endorse the Jonathan project.
“There is a need for experience and continuity. The two enjoy the most cordial relationship that had ever existed between an incumbent and his immediate predecessor,” he said.
Okorie said the call for Buhari to endorse Jonathan was to ensure that candidates without a clear cut vision do not emerge as the party’s flag-bearer in the 2023 presidential election.
He said that allowing candidates without a clear cut vision to get into the Presidential Villa in 2023, would not only be suicidal but would be like aiding and supporting incompetence over competence.
According to Okorie, the persistent calls from different parts of the country for Jonathan to contest the 2023 presidential election indicates that Nigerians have genuinely and passionately joined the support for Jonathan.
“We acknowledge that the ripple effects of good governance are multi-generational, hence, the CNPD for Jonathan call on all Nigerians to support this agenda.
“We strongly believe that this administration is working round the clock to address the two major problems of security and economy bedevilling this country.
“It will be counter-productive to bring an amateur to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari at this material time.
“As vanguards for Nigeria’s development, peace and unity, we want to reiterate that, our beloved country cannot afford to have a regional champion as a flagbearer.
“It is imperative that Dr Abdullahi Adamu as the National Chairman of APC will use the best man for the job to win this election bearing in mind that anything short of a Jonathan ticket will cost APC the presidency in 2023,” Okorie said.
He noted that his achievements of Jonathan stood him out among all the aspirants that have so far indicated an interest in the presidential election and described him as one of the most outstanding presidents the country had produced.
“For instance, within two weeks, Jonathan grounded the activities of Boko Haram insurgency and gave Nigeria a credible election adjudged by domestic and international observers as free and fair.
“Nigeria’s economic trajectory under his presidency was globally recognised as his national economic prowess earned the country the status of the largest economy in Africa.
Today, some of the talented people who worked under his government are championing global economic transformations.
“Nigerians have not forgotten the glorious days of GEJ with Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala as the minister of Finance, Olusegun Aganga, Akinwumi Adesina, Mohammed Pateh, to mention but a few.
“We are still yearning for the immense contribution of Akinwumi Adesina who was the brain behind Jonathan’s agricultural transformation agenda that saw the increase in agriculture produce, value chain and foreign exchange earnings from the sector.
“In terms of foreign policy, Nigeria under Jonathan saw huge foreign direct investment, FDI, and infrastructure developments due to his economic liberalist and friendly dispositions,” Okorie added.
The CNPD coordinator also said that the Nigeria diasporic policy enhanced over 24 billion dollars in remittances under Jonathan which made Nigeria and Nigerians the pride of Africa and the world.
He added that Jonathan’s return to power would not only enhance the economic, foreign policy and security situation but would provide a favourable environment for national engagement and dialogue.
Okorie, however, called on Jonathan to listen to the numerous calls and observe the political mood across Nigeria as he would give impetus to APC’s victory in the 2023 presidential election.