Former governor of Kaduna state and presidential aspirant of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in next year’s election, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has urged electorates to receive cash gifts from rich delegates and politicians but they should vote for credible candidates that are trustworthy, loyal and committed to the ideals of the party.
Makarfi spoke in Lokoja when he met leaders and stakeholders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State to solicit their support for his presidential aspiration.
This is just as a donation of a Campaign Office to Makarfi was made by Dr Ali Onoja, a party faithful and friend to the presidential hopeful.
Reacting after the presentation and commissioning of the office, Senator Makarfi thanked Dr Onoja for the kind gesture, promising that the office would be used to further entrench democracy.
Senator Makarfi hinted that because he is so trusted, in 2007, he was chosen to succeed former President Obasanjo in office and again was chosen to be Vice President to Goodluck Jonathan, but certain interests knocked him out before he was again chosen to serve as Caretaker Committee Chairman of the party.
He said the recent calls for the restructuring in the country was because the institutions of government have been bastardised, adding that there is lopsidedness in government appointments and there is the need for national cohesiveness.
Earlier in his submission at the Kogi State Secretariat of the party state chairman of the party, Engr Sam Uhuotu, revealed that Senator Makarfi’s credibility and impeccable character was responsible for the decision taken to make him Caretaker Committee Chairman in his absence.
Uhuotu further disclosed that the state chapter of the party would not only support the ambition of Senator Makarfi but would also pray alongside while urging delegates to put up their thinking cap in the choice of a party candidate at the primary election.
Also speaking, State Coordinator of the party, Barr Kabir Usman said if the party wanted anything good for Nigerians, it should elect a candidate Nigerians can identify and connect with, a candidate in the mould of Senator Makarfi who is loyal, selfless and highly detribalized.
State Secretary of the party, Alhaji Yahaya Farouk and speaker after speaker poured eulogies on the former Kaduna State Governor but the hallmark of the event was the donation of a Campaign Office to Makarfi by Dr Ali Onoja, a party faithful and friend to the presidential hopeful.
Meanwhile, former military President, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, has thrown his weight behind Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, presidential aspirant and immediate past Caretaker Committee Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
Speaking at his Hilltop mansion residence in Minna Saturday, while Senator Makarfi paid him a courtesy call, the man popularly referred to as IBB said Makarfi restored his hope of a new Nigeria.
“Without fear or favour, you have made my day,” the ex Head of State started in his response to Makarfi’s earlier address which focused on some of the challenges being faced in the country and the ways to resolve them.
“We need a new narrative in this country. We can’t go on like we used to. We need an articulated vision of a new Nigeria. I am not surprised that you give such narrative of the country. You did well in the legislature and you handled well one the most civilised and sophisticated states in Nigeria.
“You have my blessings and I will look forward to hearing from you on some of these articulations I heard from you today. Honestly I feel so proud.
“I was almost losing hope in the country, as a military man I wouldn’t. But having heard from the distinguished senator, I have become more enlightened and emboldened to say we have hope in Nigeria,” IBB told Makarfi.
Senator Makarfi had earlier told the retired general that while the issue of restructuring cannot be overemphasised, it requires to be driven by a leader who is trusted along tribal and religious lines such that it would be a win-win situation for all parts of the country.
He equally stressed the need for wealth redistribution in job creation adding that the true wealth of any nation is in the wealth of the people, among other issues.
In a media chat, Senator Mohammed Makatfi has disclosed that he would quit the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP)only when he is done with politics. Answering questions from journalists at the PDP secretariat in Minna, the Niger State capital on Saturday, Makarfi said he would not quit the POD even if he loses the party’s presidential ticket to any of the contenders.
“If I leave PDP, I will leave politics. If I wanted to defect, it would have been long before now. Management of people is management of interests,” he said in response to a question on whether he would quit if he fails to get the party’s presidential ticket.
Makarfi further stated that being National Caretaker Chairman of the party does not give him special rights or advantages over other aspirants.
“All I want is for us to come together to avoid a racourous outcome after the primaries,” he said. Asked if the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, should resign the seat after his defection to the PDP, Makarfi said, ” The law of the Senate did not say the president must come from the majority party. It says elect from among you. Therefore, Saraki and Ekwerenmadu should be left alone.”
The former Kaduna state governor said the areas he would prioritise if he becomes president of the country would be security, national cohesiveness, power, infrastructure among a few others