• Choice of PDP presidential candidate will determine success in 2019
By Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
A former Governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Makarfi on Friday in Enugu, accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government of being highly corrupt, insisting that the extent of corruption in the system will be unearthed by the time the administration is kicked out in 2019.
The PDP presidential aspirant, who addressed leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as part of his nationwide consultation in Enugu, lamented that the politicisation of the much publicised anti-graft fight had weakened the policy.
According to him, the corruption in government presently has become so monumental than any other administration in the nation’s history.
He said: “By the time APC is kicked out in 2019, you will know that the corruption in the system now is even worse now than in PDP’s 16 years. It is usually difficult to investigate a government in power. But, I must tell you clearly that this government is corrupt.
“They keep saying PDP is corrupt, yet we established EFCC, ICPC etc, which showed our readiness to fight corruption from the beginning.”
He further declared that the choice of a presidential candidate will to a large extent decide whether or not the PDP will return to power in 2019.
Makarfi, a former chairman of the PDP National Caretaker Committee (NCC), reasoned that the party should not be carried away by the obvious loss of confidence of Nigerians in the President Muhammadu Buhari- led administration and decide to bring anybody on board as party’s flagbearer.
He noted that the party had the best opportunity of wrestling power from the APC, but must ensure that the best material from the pool of present aspirants was chosen at the party’s convention.
He lamented that the nation was more divided now than any other time in its history, stressing that the PDP must ensure that the person who will not further severe the chord holding Nigerians together emerged as its candidate.
“I must state here that all of us in the race at the moment are eminently qualified but the party must ensure that the best emerges as candidate to face the ruling party, ” noting that those relying on opinion poll rating and social media endorsements will receive the shock of their lives.
The former governor, who said he had a great pedigree having governed a multi-religious and highly complex state like Kaduna with no trace of religious or ethnic crises within his reign, said he was able to bring his leadership credentials to bear in restoring the drifting glory of PDP, culminating in its emergence of a formidable opposition party.
On the vexed issue of restructuring, Makarfi said the PDP must come together and restructure the polity once it returned to power.
He stated that there was need for institutional restructuring where the security apparatus will not be answerable to political leaders, pointing out that had a full restructuring taken place, the recent siege on the National Assembly will not have taken place.
“INEC should be restructured to the extent of having representation from political parties. We should be able to address the problem of unemployment in our polity. We must restructure how power is generated and distributed,” he said.
While soliciting for the support of party leaders for his presidential bid, the former governor said he remained the best man for the job, adding, “let’s not over assume that because our chances look good and make mistakes that we shall come back to regret.”
The chairman of the PDP in Enugu State, Augustine Nnamani assured the presidential aspirant that “you will certainly reap the fruits of your labour because you brought back the PDP to life.”
He said the party had a leader in Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, adding that the final decision would be taken at the appropriate time.