Senator Ahmed Makarfi, a two-term former governor of Kaduna State and a two-term former senator representing Kaduna North senatorial district, and a former Caretaker Committee Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has formally joined those jostling for the party’s 2019 presidential ticket.
Makarfi disclosed his intention on Sunday in an interview with journalists in Kaduna, saying his decision to seek for the PDP presidential ticket followed wide consultations with stakeholders across the country, noting that the consultations had been positive and encouraging, hence his decision to join other party stalwarts in seeking the mandate of the party for the presidential election in 2019.
“I have been consulting since I left office as chairman. I have been consulting across the country and you know what consultation means,” he said, adding: “Consultation is not endorsement, but it enables you to feel the pulse and it will tell you whether to go forward or not to go forward and it has been quiet positive.”
According to him, as someone who had served as governor, senator, party chairman and with his background from the private sector, he is convinced that he has the capacity to lead the country if given the mandate, stating that governing a complex state like Kaduna for eight years, and managing a big party like the PDP for a year, was enough experience to manage a big and complex country like Nigeria.
He said: “We all have our qualities, but for me, I have known governance for sometimes, at the state level, some of you are aware I served Kaduna State for three years as a commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning. I came into government from the private sector-banking sector. So I have experience in the private sector, especially the banking industry.”
Meanwhile, Makarfi said the crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was an advantage for his party to emerge victorious in the 2019 election. He said the prevailing crisis in the APC had brightened the chances of the PDP in the 2019 election.
“We must thank the APC for working for us. They have refused to govern well, they have been fighting each other. There are many things for which we can thank them,” he said.
Adding that: “There is no way the executive and the legislature can work again as one. There is no way the party can be cohesive again. There are elements in government fighting each other and there is nobody to call them to order. We should not expend our energy when somebody is working for us.”
Makarfi decried the increasing insecurity across the country. He, however, commended President Buhari’s administration’s fight against insurgency. “I have to give credit in the area of Boko Haram, not that it has come to an end, but they have recorded some successes, you cannot take that away from them,” he said.
He said more successes may have been recorded in the fight against insurgents if the component institutions dealing with the fight against the insurgency were working as one.
“Restructuring the country, tackling insecurity, fighting corruption with due process and rule of law, improving the economy, reuniting the nation are top among what my administration will do for the country,’’ he said.