By Laleye Dipo in Minna
Ahead of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential primary, a presidential aspirant, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, has vowed not to defect from the party if eventually he does not win the ticket.
“I will not defect from PDP. If I leave PDP, I will leave politics. If I were to defect from PDP I would have defected before now,” Makarfi said in Minna, Niger State Saturday.
Answering a question from newsmen on what he would do should he lose the presidential ticket, the aspirant said he would accept whatever happened in good faith.
He however told the leadership of the party to make the system of nomination of candidates “less strenuous”, adding that the recent defections into the PDP “is a challenge to the leadership”.
“If we manage it (nomination) well, there is enough room for everybody, we should work out a nomination system that will accommodate everyone,” he said.
Makarfi, a former Kaduna State governor and national caretaker committee chairman of the party, also suggested a roundtable dialogue between all the aspirants for president and other positions so that an amicable solution would be found to the issue of selection of candidates.
“I don’t have special right than anybody, we are equally qualified, we should discuss among ourselves and come out with a position that will be acceptable to all
“We should not put personal interest forward,” Makarfi declared.
He told the PDP leadership that it should expect more defectors into its fold and should therefore be prepared for “what will follow”.
Commenting on the alleged plan to remove the Senate President Bukola Saraki, his deputy Ike Ekweremadu, and the Speaker of the House of representatives Yakubu Dogara, Makarfi said such a plan would fail.
According to him, the trio were being backed by the constitution of the country, pointing out that there was no law that said an opposition member could not be appointed Senate president or Speaker of the House of Representatives, “what the law says is that they should elect their leaders from among themselves”.
He promised to form a government that will “be seen as fair and equitable” because, according to him, “Nigeria has multitude of problems. We are divided and getting more divided everyday.”
Addressing stakeholders at the PDP secretariat, the former governor promised to give the party its desired independence and work with it for the transformation of the country.
He later paid a courtesy visit to former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, at his Minna up hill residence.