Former President Goodluck Jonathan has recommended primary elections for presidential and gubernatorial running mates to ease the tension of choosing vice-presidential and deputy governorship candidates.
According to him, a good working relationship between a governor and deputy governor and a president and vice president is critical to democracy and good governance.
Mr Jonathan stated this on Tuesday in Abuja at the launch of the book ‘Deputising and Governance in Nigeria’ by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.
“To address the issue of presidential and governorship running mates, both candidates should contest the party’s ticket at primary. For you to qualify to run for the primaries as a governorship candidate, you should run with your deputy, (the) same thing at the federal level,” stated the ex-president.
He added, “For you to run as a president, you need to run with a deputy if the political parties think that the pair is okay for them, and when they vote for that pair, nobody will raise issues after the primaries. But here, we are in a situation where issues are being raised after primaries because (the) selection of a vice president is becoming a problem.”
Mr Jonathan noted that selecting a running mate to the governor “is also becoming a problem,” but stressed that a good working relationship between a deputy governor and the governor and the president and vice president was critical to a functional democracy and good governance.
Mr Jonathan, chairman of the occasion, said he was pleased to be invited, adding that officeholders had a lot to learn from the book, drawing from Mr Ganduje’s experiences.
“Ganduje did so much detailing the qualities a deputy governor should possess to gain the trust of his principal and the roles the chief executive should play to be able to cultivate a good working relationship in political leadership,” stated the former president. “I believe public office owners have so much to learn from the narratives in the book, especially drawing from Ganduje’s personal experience.”
He further expressed concerns about the governor-deputy governor relationship, pointing out that “the issue of deputy governors and governors is actually something we all need to ponder.”
“I remember when we were elected in 1999, in some states, the relationship between the governor-elect and deputy governor-elect became frosty even before the inauguration,” Mr Jonathan explained. “To me, I’m thinking that the National Assembly should look at it.”
He also said the rampant impeachment of deputy governors who do not appear to agree with governors on some issues was another grey area that must be looked into by the National Assembly.