*His credentials are obviously intimidating
By Olajide Fashikun
If the nation requires a real change, the place to start would e a revere to where the political journey started, which to me, is the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Of all the leading lights therein, one man who stands tall is Senator Ahmed Makarfi as the presidential flagbearer for the 2019 election.
Since the Jos Convention that produced Bashorun Moshood Olawale Kashimawo Abiola, I have never been moved with a rich credential like the quiet former Kaduna governor who is presently a Senator.
I got challenged with the dexterity with which he managed the crisis of his party, stood firm like the rock of Gibraltar and forced the party to unite. A little check backwards shows him as one of two governors in his tenure who has had no private or official visit to either the inglorious EFCC or the more quiet but effective ICPC.
Elective Convention: The recently conducted Peoples Democratic Party’s elective convention, has for the umpteenth time shown the democratic credentials of the former governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Muhammad Makarfi. Prophesies of doom had projections of faiure, but the stubborn Makarfi superintended a successful convention that produced the Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee of the party.
After its defeat in the 2015 general elections, the party witnessed its major litmus test after it was engulfed by a lingering internal strife which protracted between the Ahmed Makarfi’s faction and the Ali Modu Sherrif’s faction. The rest today is history.
Many people, pundits, columnists and road side political analysts thought the ugly development in the party will mark the end of PDP. Makarfi, defiant but focused took the strides and like the Greek Colossus, fixed his gait and gave life to the party.
Those who harbour this erroneous line of thought did not reckon that men of calibre, substance, timbre, character, valour and true champions of democracy in the mould of Makarfi were still in the party.
Both friends and foes, within and outside the PDP gave him kudos. One common line is that, Makarfi did not disappoint anybody as he commandeered a team of “democratic musketeers” to fight the Frankenstein monsters imposed on the party by its traducers.
After the successful Supreme Court verdict which asserts Makarfi as the chairman caretaker committee, the party was left with another huge challenge of conducting a national convention that will produce the substantive National Working Committee of the party.
Adversaries of the party who do not give it the slightest chance of survival simply dismissed the possibility of the conduct of a successful national convention as a mirage, on the premise that the party could neither handle nor tame the vaulting ambitions of many of its members who are ready to tear it to shreds if their ambitions were nixed.
Eagle-eyed Makarfi: Makarfi defied the naysayers and conducted a convention that produced the NWC of the party and finally put to rest the speculative hoax being peddled around by the enemies of democracy.
In an unprecedented feat, Makarfi held the most organised and peaceful convention in the annals of the party which is in sharp contrast even to the last convention of the party which took place at Port Harcourt that was nearly stymied by legal tussles at a time the party was in power.
Makarfi Integrated Support Organisation (MISO): This group spread across all ages, social class and status started a silent weapon calling on Makarfi to run as President in 2019. They were prominent. They were dancing, singing and bringing the silent studs of the Makarfi giant strides out.
National Coordinator, Barrister Hassan Baba Mubi, in his comment at the Convention ground said, “if anyone loves this nation, people who have demonstrated leadership in the past without criminal and financial hangover like Makarfi should be the ones to come out in 2019. That is the MISO message we are sending out today. You can see those calling are doing this with passion and conviction.”
Barrister Mubi added, “on the other hand, the PDP under Makarfi was bold enough to face the challenge which God blessed by giving Makarfi and his team the wisdom to organise a successful convention.”
APC implosion: As the rudderless ruling party continues to wander in disarray and confusion but pretends that all was well, it was glaring even to the most naïveté that APC is currently being weighed down by its deluge of baggages and is on a fast drift towards total implosion due to the manifestation of a serious ailment that led to the defection of one of its leading chieftains and Waziri of Adamawa, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who drifted back to the PDP.
Going by the body language of some chieftains of the ruling APC including the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and his political ally, Senator Dino Melaye who without the fear of being persecuted paid an open solidarity visit on the newly elected PDP national chairman, a development that constitutes ominous portents for the APC, it behoves on the ruling party to set its house in order or face the imminent consequences of its lethargy in the near future.
Will Makarfi concede to people’s call? Most of those who have come out so far as Presidential candidate may afterall not be too Presidential enough to defeat the APC. Makarfi has the qualities. With the influence he used in moulding the party back into reckoning, he can send the yet to be imploded APC to history’s dustbin, but will he run?
It is my candid opinion that in view of the noble role played by Makarfi in rescuing the PDP coupled with his unblemished and sterling record of performance both as Kaduna State governor, Senator and caretaker chairman of the major opposition party, the Secondus led-NWC should give him a free and fair chance to fly its flag in 2019.
The nation and those who love the future of this country need to wait until when and if, Senator Ahmed Muhammed Makarfi, will run as the man to manage the crisis in Nigeria. Our nation, like the sick PDP needs a physician like Makarfi who healed the PDP and gave it a new life, to heal the nation and give it a new life. Makarfi, the nation waits for your decision.