The former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Kaduna State governor, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, on Wednesday stormed Jos to drum support of Plateau PDP Stakeholders towards his presidential ambition to take over power from the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
Makarfi who declared his intention to seek the nomination of his party to contest the 2019 Presidential election last week, told his party faithful at Jos party secretariat that he was in Jos to seek the blessing and support of officials of his party in the state, saying he considered Plateau as his second home.
He called on the party faithful at all levels to rally round the members of the party facing trials for alleged corruption following the anti-corruption fight of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying those accused of corruption remained innocent until they are found guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.
He said this was not the time to abandon the members facing different corruption charges because even if they were wrongdoings as levelled against them, it is only a court of competent jurisdiction that can pronounce them as guilty as the constitution says.
“Until the court pronounces those standing trial guilty,” he said, “the party members should continue to support them because there could also be political witch-hunting in all of these and that such was not healthy and good for the democratic system.”
Makarfi pointed out that no one should misuse or abuse power because if God gives anyone power, that person must use it judiciously and be fair to all sides regardless of ethnic, religious or political affiliations.
He decried the high level of insecurity in the nation as well as the high unemployment rate, saying that even if the government cannot provide jobs for everybody, he should endeavour to create enabling an environment for the private sectors to thrive and open up job space for the people.
He stressed that there were other qualified and quality aspirants seeking the party’s Presidential nomination ticket along with him and that the people should vote for the candidate of their choice at the party Presidential primaries.
The Former Kaduna Governor noted that should he be nominated by the PDP and eventually voted in by Nigerians as the President, he promised to perform creditably well, assuring that as a man who is reputable for keeping to his words, he would ensure fairness/justice for all, and tackle the economic challenges and insecurity in the nation.
In his remarks, the Plateau State PDP Chairman, Damishi Sango, said they would support Makarfi as possible as they could because they have confidence in his capabilities and were sure of benefiting from him because of his remarkable performance as the Governor of Kaduna State from 1999-2003, upon which Plateau State which shares the same border with Kaduna benefited in one way or the other.
The former Minister of sports said that Makarfi’s presidential aspiration is not only a Kaduna people’s project but that of Plateau as well, adding that even the way he rebuilt the party after the 2015 election defeat was highly commendable.