A presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, on Friday visited former President Goodluck Jonathan in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, to seek his advice, support and blessing.
Bafarawa, a former Governor of Sokoto State, while at the ex-President’s Guest House in Baybridge area of the state capital, boasted that the PDP would wrest power from President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
The aspirant, who described himself as a selfless democrat, said he did not believe in do-or-die politics but saw politics as a game, stressing that nothing would make him to dump the party whether he gets the party ticket or not.
Bafarawa said, “I am here (Bayelsa) because former President Goodluck Jonathan is a democrat of Africa, not only in Nigeria. I believe that anybody who is aspiring for anythng in the political arena in this country must come and seek his advice, his support and his blessing.
“That is why I am here. He is a democrat, he knows what it takes to run the government of this country. He is a peaceful and godly man, so there is no way we can run away from coming to seek his blessing.
“I am a democrat. I see politics as a game. Just like Jonathan, he has not been defeated but because he needs peace of the country he accepted a defeat to allow peace to reign. So, I did not join politics for the sake of personal interest, so that if I lose I will leave the party.
“I have been in politics for the past 40 years and I have been in high positions, so I am not here to make money but I think I am a democrat to serve the people. So, I will remain in PDP because PDP is not a limited liability company like the All Progressives Congress.
“Our common objective is to get President Muhammadu Buhari out of power. Therefore, any serious political party in this country is determined to see that in 2019, Buhari has left office so that we will move our country forward.”
Also speaking, Jonathan said Bafarawa came to brief him about his political interest and political developments going on.
Jonathan described Bafarawa as an experienced politician, saying that since he joined the PDP Iin 2014, the former Sokoto governor had been consistent.
On the number of presidential aspirants in the party, the former President said the development was a healthy one, insisting that the more people that are interested, the better for the party.
Jonathan said, “Bafarawa is somebody I know very well. He has been involved in politics even before I got involved in politics. And from when I came in as deputy governor to Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, he was the governor of Sokoto State. So we were working with them.
“So, since that time till when he joined PDP in 2014, he did not join PDP because he wanted to be President because I was contesting Presidency. That was when he joined PDP to support me and became a member of the party. So, if today he is interested, he has a lot of experience.
“So, we want the best for the country. Just as he said, we need this country to grow, especially for the younger ones. I always insist that as leaders, we must plan for our grandchildren; we do not have to plan four ourselves.
“Societies that plan for their grandchildren grow; societies that plan for themselves will crash because you will be in a hurry, but when you are planning for your grandchildren, you take time and do things properly and of course, the society will improve. He is one of those people that plan because he has done it in Sokoto State. He is a nice man.
“A number of people have asked me this question and I say, the more people that are interested, the better for the party. If you have only two aspirants, for a political party and you know the way politics is in this country, the division between the two camps will be so bad, not from the candidates themselves, but supporters of the candidates will be exchanging all kinds of bitterness and at the end of the day, one must lose and those people will feel that they do not belong to the system and that they will not be accepted. There will be tendency for them to leave.”
He advocated level-playing field for all aspirants during the party primaries, saying when party candidate emerges through transparent process, there would not be bickering and division in the party.
Jonathan added, “But when there are more aspirants and the party does what is right, the key thing is level-playing field for every aspirant. When the party makes sure that the field is level for every aspirant and the best person among them emerges, they will all work for the party. When there are only two aspirants, they start throwing stones but when there are many, who willl you throw the stone at because they are many, you do not even know who will take the day.
“So, to me it is better to have many aspirants. As leaders, we are talking. Before the primaries, I beleive we will talk to the aspirants to ensure that things are done in a way that everybody will be happy. The key thing is not the aspirants, but during the primary, we must make sure that the ground is level and nobody will leave the party out of anger.”