By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has expressed utmost confidence in the ability of a PDP presidential aspirant, Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, SAN, to perform creditably if given the chance by Providence to be the country’s president in 2019.
The former president was speaking in his office in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State at the weekend when Turaki who was visiting his 36th state, led his campaign team to brief the former leader on his nationwide consultations with PDP governors, state working committees and other leaders as well as delegates ahead of the party’s presidential primary.
Dr. Jonathan noted that he and other leaders have been consulting on how to ensure the emergence of a highly competent and credible presidential candidate based on crucial criteria including whether the person is sufficiently exposed; whether the person is a bigot or has an extremist tendency and whether the person has the capacity to manage Nigeria’s complexities or its resources well.
“We are looking beyond education,” he said, adding, “whenever your name (Turaki’s) comes up, there had been no doubts created about you on any of the criteria unlike in some others.”
In what could be termed as a testimonial on Turaki who served as Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs and also as Supervising Minister of Labour and Productivity under him, the former president said that the visit provided an opportunity to thank Turaki for supporting him with qualitative performance while in office.
Dr. Jonathan, according to Mr Sola Atere, the Director Media and Publicity of Kabiru Tanimu Turaki Presidential Campaign Organization, enjoined those seeking leadership positions to endeavour to make sacrifices for the wellbeing of future generations.
Earlier, Governor Seriake Dickson had, at another meeting with the campaign team at the Government House council chambers, done what he said he had never done by calling for a standing ovation for Turaki who, the governor described as “the foremost presidential aspirant, a good Nigerian and a great Bayelsan.”
The governor said: “All have seen and heard you (referring to members of the state house of assembly and the cabinet in attendance),” adding: “ there is no doubt in their minds as to your comparative suitability for the job (of president).
“The country needs a leader with vision, competence, capacity and who is digital, detribalized and a bridge builder,” the governor added.
He said further: “We are tired of a riotous Nigeria. We say NO to those who limit the Nigerian Dream by way of religion, ethnic, state or regional enclave.”
Governor Dickson also pointed out that the 2019 presidential election will be a referendum on restructuring.
Turaki who had enumerated his priority agenda as including the tackling of security challenges; revitalizing the economy and creating enabling environment for employment generation; fighting corruption and promoting the rule of law stressed that he will “ensure that Nigeria is restructured to enthrone justice, equity and fairness.”