Following the widely reported apology rendered by Chief Raymond Dokpesi over the Peoples Democratic Party’s decision to field ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in the last presidential poll, the national leadership of the party has said it did not force Nigerians to support its candidate’s re-election bid.
Dokpesi, who is Chairman of the PDP re-branding committee, said the former ruling party made mistakes twice in 2011 and 2015 by fielding Jonathan, instead of a northerner as its presidential candidate.
According to the founder of DAAR Communications, fielding Jonathan in the 2015 polls cost the PDP the Presidency as the then opposition party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, coasted home to an unprecedented victory for the first time in the nation’s political history.
But in his reaction to Dokpesi’s statement, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, told journalists in Abuja on Wednesday that the media mogul’s position was not that of the party.
Metuh said, “That statement made by Dokpesi is his personal opinion and does not represent in any way an official position of the PDP.
“In the first place, Dokpesi is not a member of the national executive of the PDP and he can only speak in his personal capacity and his opinion remains personal and does not represent that of the party.
“The decision to field former President Jonathan in the 2015 presidential race was approved by the National Working Committee, the National Executive Council and the party’s national caucus.
“In addition, the constitution of the party allows a sitting president to exercise his personal right to run for a second term if he so desires.”
“This is not the time for buck- passing or blame game. We are repositioning our party. What we should do is to join hands to reposition the PDP based on the report of Senator Ike Ekwerenmadu committee to reclaim the party lost glory. This is what is expected of us all at this time”.
In response to a question if the PDP now regrets its decision to make Jonathan its flag bearer, Metuh said, “How can you regret a decision taken where everyone was there, the NWC, NEC and the national caucus. What are we talking about?
“Everybody was conscious of the decision, nobody was coerced into supporting the position”.