By John Shiklam in Kaduna
Former National Caretaker Committee Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi has dismissed allegations by Asari Dokubo that he voted for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) during the 2015 presidential election.
Dokubu had alleged in an interview withÂ a national daily that Makarfi voted the APC during the Presidential election and publicly displayed his ballot paper for all to see.
But the former Kaduna State governor, in a statement through his spokesman, Mukhtar Sirajo said theÂ allegations were false in all ramifications, given the fact that he is not an obscure politician.
Makarfi maintained that he has remained a PDP man to the core throughout, sticking with the party through thick and thin and maintaining his faith in it even at a time when defection was the easy way out.
TheÂ statement said Makarfi has never hidden his gratitude to the PDPÂ for the platform and opportunity itÂ afforded him to become governor and senator and has never toyed with the idea of abandoning it let alone teaming up with others to work against it.
â€œOur attention has been drawn to an interview granted the Sun newspaper by Alhaji Asari Dokubo and published on Saturday March 3 2018, in which he alleged, among other things that Senator Ahmed Makarfi voted for the APC in the 2015 presidential elections and that he (Makarfi) flaunted his ballot paper for all to seeâ€ the statement said.
According to the statement: â€œOrdinarily, this is a statement we shouldnâ€™t dignify with a response, but realising that sometimes uncontroverted falsehoods have a way of taking a life of their own and also knowing that it is not beyond some unscrupulous politicians to splash mud on the integrity of others in order to gain undue advantage, we wish to state the following:
â€œThat statement is false in all ramifications; in fact given that Makarfi is not an obscure politician, having been Governor of Kaduna State for eight years and following that up with another eight years at the Senate and capping those up leading the PDP at a very tumultuous periodÂ which was charaterised by acrimonious leadership struggle; isnâ€™t it amazing that this could happen in 2015 and be buried till now?
â€œMoreover, from 1999 to 2015, Senator Makarfi, never skipped voting in any election; yet he has never been reported by any medium to have ever displayed his ballot paper to advertise his preference. We leave this judgment to the peopleâ€.
The statement noted that while Dokubo is a free to pursue any legitimate undertaking, political or otherwise, including pitching his tent with any politician or tendency, such â€œdoes notÂ include the fabrication and peddling of lies to impugn the integrity of othersâ€.
â€œHaving discerned where he is coming from, by his own admission, we wish to assure him and all, that we have nothing but respect for all members of the PDP family, aspirants or otherwise and wish them well.
â€œAnd it is our desire and hope that we all close ranks and collectively confront the challenges ahead.
â€œWe call on all PDP leaders, members and supporters to maintain their eyes on the ball, by refusing to be distracted from the bigger picture, which is returning the party to power so that Nigerians can, once again, heave a sigh of relief. â€œThis we can do only by ensuring that we play politics of issues and forging a united front, without compromising decency, respect and love for our party and countryâ€ the statement said.