PDP may lose more peo­ple but … – Makarfi

Sen­a­tor Ahmed Makarfi, a for­mer gov­er­nor of Kaduna State, in De­cem­ber 2017 handed over to Prince Uche Se­con­dus af­ter serv­ing as Na­tional Care­taker Chair­man of the Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP). In this ex­clu­sive in­ter­view, he speaks about re­cent de­fec­tio

Sunday Trust - - INTERVIEW | INSIDE POLITICS - By Ab­dulRah­man Abubakar, Hamza Idris & Saawua Terzungwe

We ex­pect a lot more peo­ple to come into the PDP be­tween now and April. We ex­pect a lot of po­lit­i­cal move­ments, we may lose some, I am not rul­ing that out, but I be­lieve we will gain hun­dred times more than what we may lose

You handed over the PDP to a new crop of Na­tional Work­ing Com­mit­tee af­ter what was termed as a suc­cess­ful con­ven­tion; but the party is now hit by a gale of de­fec­tions of found­ing fa­thers fol­low­ing the out­come of the con­ven­tion. What do you make of this?

It is sad for the party to lose any­body. But first of all, it is not as se­ri­ous as re­ported be­cause I no­ticed that some of the peo­ple al­leged to have moved with them made state­ments that they were not part of that and the party is aware they have been calling peo­ple for meet­ings though not in­di­cat­ing to peo­ple ex­actly the pur­pose of the meeting. You know, politi­cians even for in­quis­i­tive­ness can at­tend a meeting and you can eas­ily use record of at­ten­dance to im­pugn what may have not hap­pened. In any con­test there must be a win­ner and a loser. I just want them to be rea­son­able and ra­tio­nal. The Gov­er­nor Dick­son Com­mit­tee has been reach­ing out to them and we com­mend him for what he is do­ing. The gover­nors have been reach­ing out to ag­grieved peo­ple; our gover­nors are do­ing very well, our Na­tional As­sem­bly mem­bers and many of us are do­ing very well in reach­ing out to ag­grieved peo­ple. All hands are on deck. The over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity is in tune with that ex­cept a few who may not heed to that now. But, we hope down the line, they will see rea­son. As a mat­ter of fact, I can’t speak for the PDP of­fi­cially, but I know that it has been the prin­ci­ple of the party to work to­gether with the SDP and other op­po­si­tion par­ties to bring pos­i­tive change in this coun­try. So the sep­a­ra­tion of a few of them I hope is very tem­po­ral. Down the line, rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, ac­com­mo­da­tion and mo­bi­liza­tion may hap­pen one way or the other. The NWC is do­ing its best to bring peo­ple in, the na­tional chair­man, in­di­vid­u­ally has been do­ing a lot of work in or­der to bring har­mony within the party. So with the mul­ti­plic­ity of ef­forts, there are no wor­ries at all. Let’s see what hap­pens but we ex­pect a lot more peo­ple to come into the PDP be­tween now and April. We ex­pect a lot of po­lit­i­cal move­ments, we may lose some, I am not rul­ing that out, but I be­lieve we will gain hun­dred times more than what we may lose. As elec­tions ap­proach, you will see move­ments from one side to an­other and this time will not be an ex­cep­tion but I be­lieve it will be to­wards PDP.

The al­le­ga­tion is that Prof. Jerry Gana, Prof Tunde Adeni­ran and oth­ers left be­cause Gov­er­nor Wike has hi­jacked the party and we also learnt that there was a meeting of PDP gover­nors in Gombe re­cently, and the essence of the meeting was re­port­edly to stem the ex­ces­sive in­flu­ence of Wike in the PDP…

The meeting of the gover­nors had noth­ing to do with that. About a month ago, all of them, in­clud­ing Gov­er­nor Wike, met in As­aba where they re­solved to be meeting ev­ery month; that the gover­nors of the var­i­ous states con­trolled by the PDP will be host­ing the meeting on ro­ta­tional ba­sis. So it is a monthly meeting in­tro­duced by the PDP Gover­nors’ Fo­rum. It was not an is­sue of the gover­nors them­selves. Wait and see an­other gov­er­nor host­ing the next meeting.

But what about the in­sin­u­a­tion that the gover­nors want to get one of them as the pres­i­den­tial can­di­date?

Why did the mat­ter not sur­face in As­aba? Okowa hosted the first meeting and they re­solved to be hold­ing monthly meet­ings. I don’t know where the next meeting is sched­uled but will it be be­cause they want to pick a vice pres­i­dent? All these in­sin­u­a­tions be­cause elec­tions are ap­proach­ing will be made but I can tell you that meeting was a monthly meeting of the gover­nors and had noth­ing to do with the is­sues among the gover­nors.

It is be­lieved that you have done so much for the PDP, don’t you see your­self as be­ing qual­i­fied to seek the party’s pres­i­den­tial ticket for the 2019 gen­eral elec­tions?

Even if I am em­i­nently qual­i­fied, other peo­ple are also em­i­nently qual­i­fied and it is a free is­sue. There should be a level play­ing field, ev­ery­body should be given equal chance those who have shown in­ter­est and those who are yet to show in­ter­est. I am con­sult­ing and I will con­tinue to con­sult, when I am done with my con­sul­ta­tions then I will make my po­si­tion known.

What will be your agenda for Nige­ria in the event that you emerged the PDP’s can­di­date and won the elec­tion?

Let me fin­ish my con­sul­ta­tions and take my de­ci­sion then you can ask for the agenda. But

Sen­a­tor Ahmed Makarfi

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