2019: Why Makarfi thanked APC while declaring presidential ambition


A former governor of Kaduna state, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, yesterday declared his intention to run in the 2019 presidential election, stating that managing a complex state like Kaduna places him in good stead to lead Nigeria.

Addressing a press conference in Kaduna on Sunday, the immediate past caretaker committee chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party,
thanked the All Progressives Congress, APC, for campaigning for the PDP through bad governance.

“We must also thank the APC for working for us because they have been working for us. They have refused to govern well, they have been fighting each other,” he said.

The two time senator, who said he was now ready to pick the PDP nomination form ahead of the 2019 presidential election, pointed out that he was yet to intimate his party through writing.

According to him, “After wide consultations with party men and women as well as other major stakeholders, I have decided to seek the party’s nomination to contest the poll.

“One has to come to the decision to seek the nomination before you even seek formally.

“I have not written to the party but who do you consult with? It is the same party men and women that you consult informally. At this stage, it is to seek the party’s nomination.

“The successful nominee will become the candidate that will stand for the election. But first thing first. If one’s party does not put one forward, one can’t say he is contesting the presidency yet.

“At this stage, I have come to the conclusion that it is okay, based on the consultations that I have had.

“I have been consulting across the country since I left as the chairman of the party. It’s just consultations and not an endorsement. But it gives you an opportunity to feel the pulse and it will tell whether to go forward or not to go forward.

“The consultations have been quite positive and I believe it is fair enough to come to the conclusion that one should join other equally capable party men and women who have shown interest in seeking the party’s nomination for the 2019 presidential election.

“For me, I have known governance for some time at the state level. I served Kaduna for three years as commissioner for finance and economic planning. I came in from the private sector.

“I have private sector experience, especially banking. I governed this complex state for eight years. I have legislative experience, having been in the Senate for a two- term of eight years.

“I got a bonanza, when the party leadership fell on my laps, to know about managing a political party. If you cannot manage your party, even if you are elected, you will have problems governing.

“If you cannot manage a complex society such as Kaduna State, which is a mini Nigeria, you cannot manage Nigeria.”

Makarfi also stated that members of the enstranged new PDP bloc in the APC have no other place to go than to return to the PDP.

He said the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and others cannot remain in the APC where, according to him, they are not needed.

The former lawmaker further stated that he “will stay and support any aspirant that gets the party’s nomination,” when asked if he would leave the party if he fails to get nominated.

In an reference to the nPDP members in the APC, Makarfi asked, “the question before them is where will they go to? The overwhelming majority of them no longer have room in that party. If you stay, what are they staying for?”

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