From Ali Abare, Gombe
Former national deputy publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Abdullahi Ibrahim Jalo has said Senator Ahmed Makarfi will contest the presidential ticket of the PDP in 2019.
Jalo, who is also an adviser (Hausa Media Services) to Makarfi disclosed this in a chat with newsmen in Gombe State, yesterday.
He disclosed that Senator Makarfi personally informed him of his decision to contest for the presidential ticket of the PDP in 2019.
“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.
“Makarfi told me vividly that he’s contesting and that could not be linked to a fallacious and misleading assumption that he’s supporting (former acting national chairman of the party, Prince Uche) 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 equally described the call by some aspirants contesting for the the party’s national chairman position for Makarfi to resign from his position as not only diversionary but a calculated attempt to scuttle the December 9 national convention.
He also added that it was “untrue, fallacious and misleading,” claims by some of the aspirants that Makarfi is working to impose Secondus as national chairman of the party to enhance his chances at picking the presidential ticket.
He equally denied any link between Makarfi’s presidential ambition with whoever emerges national chairman of the PDP.
The PDP chieftain is also in the race for the position of deputy national chairman (North).
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,” he said.
Jalo, who was secretary of a three-man committee during the party’s governorship primary election in Anambra State, also spoke on the just-concluded governorship poll.
“Just as the governors did when they brought in senator Ali-Modu Sheriff, if they succeed in bringing Secondus, then, another battle line has been drawn.”
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.
“I’m not against Secondus personally. I want Nigerians to embrace our party again because we have learned our lessons,” 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.