After prolonged speculations about his presidential ambition, former Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi Sunday confirmed his intention to seek the party’s nomination for the 2019 presidential election.
n an interview with journalists in Kaduna, Makarfi, a two-term former governor of Kaduna State and a two-term former senator representing Kaduna North senatorial district, said his decision to seek for the PDP presidential ticket followed wide consultations with stakeholders across the country.
He also said he was optimistic that PDP would wrestle power from the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019, noting that the party had been working for the PDP by failing to deliver on its electoral promises and govern well.
He said his consultations with stakeholders 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.
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.”
Makarfi said 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 spoke on the ruling APC and said its prevailing crisis 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.
He maintained, “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.
“The APC was made up of different parties who came up together for the 2015 election. I am sure we will come together, it may be an alliance, it can be anything and when that is done, then you will see that the opposition will legitimately wrest power from the APC.”
He also decried the increasing insecurity across the country, noting, however, that there had been some successes in tackling insurgency.
But 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.
He said: “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.”
Meanwhile, barely five days to the national convention of the APC, the party is yet to resolve its disagreement with members of the new PDP.