Former governor of Kaduna state, and national caretaker chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ahmed Makarfi, has said that he would consider contesting for the presidential election in 2019 if the party considers him fit.
He made this known yesterday while featuring on a television programme, monitored in Lagos.
When asked if he would contest for the presidency, he said: “If my party considers me fit to be its presidential candidate, I would definitely think about it”, he said.
On the crisis rocking the party, Makarfi, who was a product of the Port Harcourt PDP national convention, noted that most members of the party were in support of his leadership and that he had confidence that the Court of Appeal would rule in his favour.
“The party’s constitutional amendment through which Ali Modu Sherriff emerged as the acting chairman was annulled by the court because it did not follow due process, and he has never appealed that judgement. So, aside from the judgment of Justice Okon Abang which we have appealed, no court of law has given any positive judgment in favour of Ali Modu Sheriff. All other pronouncements of the courts have been in favour of the caretaker committee. We have absolute faith in the judiciary that ultimately, justice would be done and it would be done by upholding the will of the majority of party members. Even when this is done, we still believe that we can reconcile because what we want is a unified body so that tomorrow, no one would start challenging the actions of the party.
Speaking on Nigeria’s current economic situation, the former Kaduna state governor, said “some issues are basically the fault of the party in power right now, while some issues can be traced back to the time that we were in power, and others can be traced back to the military regimes that we have had. For a long time, even during the military era, we have had issues of misplaced priorities. We have not been as futuristic as we should have. I do agree with those who argue that the current administration is not responsible for all the problems of the country, but we must all fault the current government because it has concentrated on blame game. They should have admitted that that even though they came and met some problems on ground, they have also faltered. We are facing serious economic, social and security problems in this country and at the end of the day, when elections come, Nigerians would decide whom they would vote for.
On the Southern Kaduna killings, Makarfi said “the problems we had then are a bit different from the kind of problems we have now. Some of the problems I inherited as governor were century old. People wanted fair and just representation in governance, fair and just development and they wanted to be treated equally.
What we did was to listen to them and we gave them what they wanted, which eased some of those century old problems. On the Sharia issue, we brought people together to propose a legal structure that would address the fears on all sides and a tripod legal system was recommended for legislation. Among the Fulani, some live in an enclosure, while some are nomads who came in through our porous borders and that is why these clashes have gone out of control.
The government must deal with the issue very carefully by not giving any impression to any sides in the dispute that there is a preferred group of people because it would become difficult for you to be a peacemaker if any of the sides suspect you of taking sides.