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Jonathan considers 2023 presidential race, urge pressure group to wait

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan says he is yet to decide whether or not to yield to pressure by different groups urging him to contest the 2023 presidential election.

He told his committee of friends and some youths from across the country who visited him at his Foundation office in Maitama, Abuja on Friday in Abuja that he would rather encourage the youths to show that they were clearly interested in the political affairs of the country.

He urged them to be interested and be key players in the country’s politics to enthrone good governance.

“As youths, we must get involved in the country’s political process and luckily the law of  `Not too Young to Run’ bill has made it clear that youths can contest almost every position in government.

“We will continue to encourage youths to get involved in the country’s political process.

“And as long as many youths get involved in the political process, we will be able to get the government we want,’’ he said.

Jonathan expressed optimism that with youth involvement in politics, the enthronement of good government that would effectively address the country’s current challenges was possible.

He however admitted that although some of the country’s present challenges went way back, they could be dealt with from a united front.

On whether he would declare for the 2023 presidential election, Jonathan said the political process was ongoing.

“Yes, you are calling me to come and declare for the 2023 presidency. Yes I can’t tell you I am declaring, the political process is ongoing, just watch out.

“But the key role you must play is to pray that Nigeria gets a president that will carry the young people along and work very hard to see that some of the country’s problems raised are dealt with.

“I believe that collectively, we can work together”, he said.

Leader of Youth Compatriots of Nigeria, Mr Mayor Samuel told newsmen at the event that the youths were prepared to support Jonathan to ensure that he emerged the country’s next president in 2023.

He decried the spate of insecurity in parts of the country and the dwindling economy, saying there was the need to address the situation.

According to him, the Nigeria Peoples Party (NPP) is ready to give Jonathan its presidential ticket to contest the 2023 presidential election.

He said the party though not registered yet, belonged to the downtrodden, adding that any party that gave its presidential ticket to Jonathan would be supported by all Nigerians.

“The secret to good governance is what Nigeria requires at the moment, Jonathan had been tested and proven and we are ready to follow him”, he said.

The Coalition of Northern Youths, and other youth and women groups from across the federation were part of the visit.

The youths chanted ‘Run, Goodluck Run’ and waived placards that read, ‘Declare now ,Goodluck’, ‘You must run’, ‘You are wasting our time, declare now’, among other descriptions.

One of the youth leaders, Mr Jonathan Akumobi said that they came to compel Jonathan to run because they believed in his capabilities, giving his past experience.

Akumobi said that a lot of challenges being experienced in all sectors required an experienced hand like Jonathan to tackle.

“We are tired of the killings, of the insecurity, our schools are closed because of strike, the national grid has been collapsing, everything in Nigeria is challenged.

“The prices of food items have gone up, during Jonathan’s administration, we were buying a bag of rice for N7,000, today it is N35,000; we need Jonathan back to help return to the good old days because we are tired of the excuses”.

Another speaker, Mr Ibrahim Saki said they were calling on Jonathan to run so he could rescue the country.

“We need Jonathan to turn things around, we need him back to tackle all the things that have gone bad in the country.

“Please we need you back, Nigerians are tired please come back and continue your good luck ,we are sorry for all the things we said and did then”, he said. (NAN)

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