Immediate past caretaker committee chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a former governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has formally declared his intention to join the 2019 presidential race under his party’s platform.
He said that the nation needs a leader that will rescue her from the present security, economic and other social morass it is enmeshed in.
According to the two-term governor and two-term Senator, the present All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership under President Muhammadu Buhari has failed to rescue Nigeria from security challenges and economic woes plaguing the country.
He said, “A ruling party in crisis with itself that cannot rescue its party from its crisis cannot rescue the country from security and other challenges bedeviling Nigeria in 2019 and beyond.
“Nigerians must join hands together to ensure that a purposeful leadership is enthroned to salvage the nation”.
Makarfi who spoke with journalists in Kaduna yesterday said that he has consulted widely across the country with party men and women on whether to vie for the Presidency in 2019.
“The reactions have been positive and most of the party men and women have given me the encouragement to seek for PDP nomination for the ticket”, he stated.
Makarfi said it is time to rise beyond the use of ethnicity, religion and other primordial issues that divide Nigerians in governance, adding that the nation is more divided and disunited under the APC regime.
He continued: “I am not new to issues of governance and leadership. Some of you knew me for some time now. Of course, I came into government from the private sector and became the Finance Commissioner in Kaduna State.
“I later became governor and governed the state for eight years. I have legislative experience, having served two terms in the Senate. I got a bonanza when the party leadership fell on me and I understand how to manage political party. If you cannot manage your party, particularly at a time of serious crisis you cannot manage a larger society.
“Again, if you can’t manage complex communities and societies, like Kaduna which is a mini-Nigeria, again managing Nigeria becomes difficult. God has so designed that I have passed through these processes. I believe I have these advantages; others too have their advantages, but at the end of the day the people will decide.
“Look at the circumstances we are now- security challenges, economic challenges and unemployment. The unity of the country is also threatened because of mutual suspicion of one another, and corruption”.
Meanwhile, a renowned cleric, Former Secretary, Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN), Kaduna State, Rev Joseph Hayab has declared his support for Senator Makarfi, following his declaration to run for the 2019 presidency on the platform of the PDP.
The Cleric stated in an interview with LEADERSHIP that “Nigerians must vote for a person who will carry every one along, irrespective of tribe or religion or geopolitical zones” and Makarfi is such a person, adding that, while “Nigeria must not allow any one championing religious or divisive politics”.
Hayab said, while many top politicians who could have competed for the highest office had been mired in one corruption allegation or another, no such allegation has been linked to the former governor. Stating that in curbing religious crises, Makarfi has shown himself to be capable of curbing insecurity, he expressed optimism that if given the opportunity, the politician would be efficient in curbing the current security challenges, which Nigeria finds itself.
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