Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, caretaker committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has said the return of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to the party cannot stop him from contesting the party’s presidential ticket.
In an interview he granted in the current edition of The Interview magazine, Makarfi said, “Atiku left before; he’s on his way back before the (party’s) Convention”.
In response to a question about his own interest, Makarfi said, “I have heard the rumour; it has been there since 2007…I have thought of it. By the time I leave as caretaker committee chairman on 9th or 10th, there’ll still be ten months to the party primaries. By any law or the party’s guidelines, I’m not excluded”
Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of The Interview, Azu Ishiekwene, described the edition as “the most revealing disclosure yet of the inner workings of the opposition trying to come to terms with its uncertain future”.
Makarfi also told The Interview that Fayose’s declaration of interest in the party’s presidential ticket, “is uncalled for and unhealthy”.
Apart from his comment on the build up of interest in the party’s presidential ticket, Makarfi said the PDP was expecting a harvest of defections after Atiku’s exit from the ruling APC.
“For some strategic reasons, don’t expect a lot of people to move to the PDP now. People are in APC for different reasons. Wait for the time when everybody will be on his own, you will see the influx of people into the PDP”, he said.
He further spoke on the bitter contest for the party’s chairmanship, probably the most dangerous threat since the Supreme Court ruling saved the party from extinction, and on his rival, former Governor Ali Modu-Sheriff, whom he said had sponsors in the APC.
Makarfi who came close to being the PDP’s presidential nominee in 2006 revealed, for the first time, how former President Olusegun Obasanjo schemed him out, even though an internal party assessment had returned him as the most favourable candidate.