From: Ali Abare, Gombe
A former National Deputy Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Barr. Abdullahi Ibrahim Jalo has told anyone that cared to listen that the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caretaker committee, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, would contest 2019 presidential ticket of the party.
Jalo also described calls by some aspirants contesting for the position of the party’s National Chairman for Makarfi to resign from his position as Chairman, Caretaker Committee, as not only diversionary but a calculated attempt to scuttle the December 9 national convention of the party.
Jalo, an Adviser (Hausa Media Services) to Sen. Makarfi, said this in a chat with journalists, in Gombe, on Thursday.
He described as ‘untrue, fallacious and misleading’ claims by some of the aspirants suggesting that Makarfi is working to impose Prince Uche Secondus as National Chairman of the party.
Jalo, however, confirmed that Sen. Makarfi is contesting for the presidential ticket of the party in the 2019 general election.
He equally denied any link between Makarfi’s presidential ambition with whoever emerges national chairman of the PDP.
Jalo is also contesting for the position of the position of Deputy National Chairman, North.
“Let me make it abundantly clear, Makarfi is contesting for the presidential ticket of the party. Makarfi is like any other Nigerian and he has all the qualities to contest. If my party wishes to make him its presidential candidate, so be it. We shall support him.
“As I’m talking to you, Makarfi told me vividly that he’s contesting and that could not be linked to a fallacious and misleading assumption that he’s supporting Secondus,” he said.
Jalo alleged that some powerful forces within the party have planned to scuttle the convention so that a new caretaker committee would be set up in order to rubbish Makarfi and to make the PDP lose again in 2019.
He warned that if the party fails to do what is right by conducting a credible national convention, the PDP may finally implode.
“If PDP fails to put it right by allowing governors to impose a candidate, not what the people want, not in the people’s interest, certainly PDP will scatter. The political class will move to form a new party, “ Jalo said.
Jalo who was secretary of the three-man delegates committee during the party’s primary election in Anambra State, blamed the failure of the party on the antics of some powerful individuals who imposed the party’s governorship candidate rather than allowing the peoples choice to prevail.
He claimed that the same tricks people are employing to bring Secondus was the same trick they did in not allowing the right thing to be done in Anambra, leaving other guber aspirants like Chief Andy Uba, Sen Stella Udua, Chief Alex Ibru among others to allegedly commit anti-party activities and to support the APGA candidate.
“Like the governors did to bring in Sen. Modu Sheriff, if they succeeded in bringing Secondus then another battle line has been drawn, “ he said.
Jalo said instead of cashing on the prevailing economic hardship prevailing in the country to chase away the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) administration, the PDP is seeking to self-destruct by imposing Secondus as National Chairman.
‘I’m not against him personally. I want Nigerians to embrace our party again because we have learned our lessons. We are not bringing in thieves or people of questionable character,” he said.
Jalo pointed out that even if Makarfi supports the emergence of Secondus as national chairman, he would not do so in his personal capacity.
“If Secondus emerges as National Chairman, that’s the end of PDP. It’s a known fact that he was arrested by the EFCC for allegedly receiving over 200 buses from Diezani to give to PDP supporters. He’s still being investigated by the EFCC. How can you make such a person the national chairman of our great party?”
Jalo accused Secondus of mismanaging the N15bn left behind in the coffers of the party by Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, stressing that Secondus did not left the coffers until when salaries are not being paid to the staff of the secretariat.
A former media aide to Makarfi, Muktar Sirajo, however, in a chat, said the task before his principal at the moment is to discharge the trust bestowed on him by the party which is to have a credible convention. However, Sirajo was quick to add that people are free to express their opinions on matter of their choice.