The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) claims Nigerians are yearning for its return to power at the center in the next general election expected to hold in 2023.
The opposition party’s national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, stated this in a chat with Daily Independent Newspapers, Wednesday.
Mr Ologbondiyan said this is premised on the experience of citizens with the governance of the present ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), a party it lost power to at the 2015 presidential election.
He also hinged his argument on a recent visit of the APC leadership to former president Goodluck Jonathan who flew the flag of the PDP during the historic defeat. It was the first time the opposition snatched power from the then ruling party.
But TODAY POLITICS learnt that the visit to the former president might not be far from plots aimed at returning power to the North in 2027 should the region fail to retain power in 2023 as some individuals and groups who consider themselves influential are yearning for.
Mr Jonathan did his first term as president when he won the 2011 general election but lost his constitutionally allowed second term to president Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. The incumbent president was re-elected last year and his tenure winds down in 2023.
Persuading Jonathan to run in the next election as the APC leadership is said to have done means he will be constitutionally serving his second term if returned to power, a shortest route expected to swing back power to the North in 2027 but might not be the same if another southern politician succeeds Mr Buhari.
Mr Jonathan in his reaction to reports of him possibly vying again said it was “too early” to discuss issues relating to the next presidential election, a phrase mostly used by politicians while their body language indicates the opposite.
For the PDP, the persuasion of one of its own by the leadership of the APC is an indication that the former president whom they had earlier described as a failure governed better than they are currently doing.
“Having experienced both parties, Nigerians have seen the clear-cut difference and will take a decision in the 2023 general elections,” Ologbondiyan who speaks for the party said.
“If you recall, last month, APC governors paid former President Goodluck Jonathan a visit. Why will they do that if indeed, as they claimed then, Jonathan was a failure?
“Will anybody want to associate with a failure? Everybody flocks around a successful person and that is what the PDP represents.
“Like we said then, the visit is a clear endorsement of the acceptability of the PDP administration and it is also an indication that the APC, in 2015, only created artificial symbols of misgovernance, corruption, and other alleged misgivings just to discredit our party and grab the levers of power to achieve their selfish desires,” the party said.
The Lagos State chapter of the ruling party described the assertion of the opposition party as an illusions, saying the PDP may not be in existence during the next election.
“The PDP, as a party, cannot speak for Nigerians as the creator of our enduring problems as a nation,” says Seyi Oladejo, publicity secretary of state chapter.
“The socio-economic, political, and security challenges remain the legacies of the PDP years that Nigerians will not forget in a hurry.
“It’s just a figment of their imagination to think that anyone would wish for a return of the years of the locust.
“There’s no doubt that with robust policies and determination on the part of the APC-led Federal Government, the years ahead hold lofty promises for all and sundry.
“Besides, I’m not certain there will still be a political party by that name by 2023, with its unabated free fall and its leadership at daggers drawn,” Oladejo added.