Says the likes of Wike are more in APC than PDP, stay silent
From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, former Kaduna Governor and one-time Chairman, National Caretaker Committee of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has vowed to send the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) from the state in next month’s elections, saying the party has nothing to offer the people.
Fielding questions from reporters regarding the preparation of the PDP ahead of the general elections, the ex-governor said that the is the only political party without an ethnic or religious bias, and is entirely people-oriented.
He also commented briefly on the political wrangling between the G-5 governors and presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, saying that APC may be suffering a worse internal political crisis than the PDP, making the ruling party worse off for it.
“Politics is local, I have been at home leading the campaign here. If you notice hardly do you see me at national rallies. Because my personal opinion is that the work is at home. And the work at home is enormous. And one needs to be at home to do the needful, not to be deceived,” Makarfi stated.s
“It is not about following candidates on campaigns. I have just told you that I have not been going to rallies with our candidate, but I am 100 per cent with our candidate. And I am at home working 100 per cent to make sure that Kaduna returns to PDP. If you have a responsibility to remain at home you remain at home. If you don’t have responsibility to remain at home you can be anywhere. That is the way. I don’t want to talk about someone not being at the rally.
“The issue is the voters, APC has nothing to show to the voters that will make voters enthusiastic to vote for them. But they want to make use of money, sentiments, and religious sentiment, And from experience, this sentiment will take them nowhere. I believe people want a state that is fair and equitable. And PDP is structured in a way and manner that is fair and equitable for development in Nigeria. So for me, it is not showing up at the rally, but about the people who are looking for an alternative, and that alternative is PDP which the people are happy to associate with.
“Each election always comes with its difficulties and peculiarities. In 2019, we didn’t have Labour Party. To me, it is a challenge to PDP in certain parts of the state. But again, the sentiment used in 2019 in some parts of the State is not the same sentiment used today. There are efforts to use the same sentiment by the ruling party. But, the rejection by the people is very obvious. So, there is dynamism in politics. Things are really changing.
“For us in the PDP where we have concerns, we have been engaging with people and we are progressing pretty well. I am very confident that we will win the 2023 elections in the State, and Nigeria. Well, I can say that we don’t have resources, but the ones we spend are our personal resources.
“The party in power use public resources. But, people are now wise. Up till 2015, the PDP was in power, with over 20 states under its control. no matter the resources then, the opposition party took over the government. People made up their minds. And I believe, this time around the people have made up their minds because they are not satisfied with the APC government. So, no matter the amount of money they would spend, people are going to take their money and vote against them.
“You can also see that our party today in Kaduna has absolute acceptability by the people everywhere. The issue now is, let the election be free and fair. Some people think that with the BVAS the election cannot be manipulated. It can. And, I believe those in authority know it can. So, let us safeguard the electoral materials and equipment to make sure that unpatriotic elements in our country don’t subvert democracy.
“Let’s assume that G-5 governors are the problem at the moment which is open to the public. They don’t know the problem of APC because it is not known to the public. If we have a number of governors who feel dissatisfied, how many governors do we have on the other side that are dissatisfied and people don’t know? So politics is not about what you see, you should be more worried about what you don’t see. I am more comfortable and confident that PDP will win this election on the first ballot, God willing. I am confident we can do that.
“PDP has been running a team campaign, and of course, until APC through its desperation went too personal. There may have been issues to do with the APC candidate in the media and social media. But not propelled by PDP. But by other players in society. Of all the recent happenings, you have to look at who started it. But then no matter who started it, campaigns should be issues-based. We should come back for the sake of the country and continue to campaign on issues that matter to the people. Not limited to only PDP and APC, but all the parties.
“If you look at the parties and their structures, and issues, the PDP remains the issues-based, Nigerian party because it is not based on any ethnic or religious drive. PDP is a rainbow of people and ideas. It is equity-based. Whether you like it or not, the whole principle of the APC Muslim Muslim ticket was to divide Nigerians along that line, in their calculation, to religious sentiment since there are no tangible achievements they can point out.
“So let them play out religious sentiments so that they can retain power. In reaction to that, it may not have started that way, it should have even started on the basis of some laudable objectives, but then what is happening, again religious sentiment crops into it. And that is the truth. So you see two political parties whose foundation is bearing for it; religion and ethnicity. And to divide Nigeria along that line will be the most dangerous decision Nigerians will ever make. The PDP is not in that category of a political party right from inception till now.
“So PDP is the only party that you can say is for everybody irrespective of your religious, ethnic and socioeconomic status, whatever. And it is a direction we should all go. And we should try as much as possible to avoid a run-off election because it could be far more of deficit,” Makarfi stated.