Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
A former Caretaker Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Kaduna State Governor, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has called on his party’s bigwigs at all levels to rally support for members facing corruption charges by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government, saying it is not a time to abandon members to their fate.
Makarfi, who was in Jos, Plateau State Wednesday to seek support of the party delegates for his 2019 presidential aspiration, observed that: â€œThis is not the time to abandon the members facing different corruption charges because even if there were wrongdoings levelled against them, it is only a court of competent jurisdiction that is constitutionally empowered to pronounce them guilty.”
He said: â€œUntil the court pronounces those standing trial guilty, the party members should continue to support them because there could also be political witch-hunting in all of these.â€
Makarfi warned that power should never be abused but must be fairly and judiciously used to all regardless of ethnic, religious or political affiliations.
He also decried the high level of insecurity in the nation as well as the high unemployment rate, saying that even if government cannot provide jobs for the teeming population, it should endeavour to create enabling environment for the private sector to thrive and open up job opportunities.
He stressed that there are other qualified and quality candidates seeking the partyâ€™s nomination alongside himself, adding that the people should consider the histories and backgrounds of candidates before giving their support.
In his remarks, the Plateau State PDP Chairman, Damishi Sango, said the state chapter of the party was ready to give Makarfi the needed support to emerge the candidate because Plateau people 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 to 2003.
Sango therefore said that Makarfiâ€™s presidential aspiration was not only a Kaduna peopleâ€™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.
Also endorsing Makarfi on behalf of the elders of the party in the state, Professor Dakum Shown said his style of leadership, with which he peacefully led Kaduna State and also salvaged the PDP from crisis was exceptional.