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
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