Former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caretaker chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi has cautioned the leadership of the party against giving undue advantage to returnee members and those defecting.
The former two-term governor of Kaduna State, while addressing the leadership of the Kogi State chapter of the party and other stakeholders Friday in Lokoja, said but for the steadfastness of committed members, PDP could have become history.
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Offering himself for the presidential candidate of the party ahead of the 2019 general election, he recounted the difficult days of the party following after the 2015 poll, when the PDP lost power at the centre.
“Some people when you pinch them like this (touching his arm), they will run to another party. When the going was tough, I stayed on… but you accept them into your house and give them your guest room. Next, they take the Master Bedroom; next, they drive you out of your house. We must not allow this, nor give undue advantage to them, so that we do not alienate our people.
“Modu Sheriff was brought from another party; they said he had three jets; he had billions, but what did he do? He was taking the party down, but I, the ‘bush boy,’ with the support of others, I was able to make members close ranks, and today, we can all see”, he said.
He also delved on the vexed issue of restructuring, saying that only Nigerians can restructure the country, under a ‘trusted leadership’.
According to him: “We fought the battle together; the praise and credit I’m receiving, is to God and to all of us. To me, Kogi is home; when Alhaji Ibrahim Idris (Ibro) was governor, we use to come and spend weekends with him, Kogi remains a home to me.
“We have many problems confronting us in Nigeria; insecurity, lack of national consensus, hunger, poverty; our economy has gone down, but there are few people benefiting. Nigerians are in lack; they are not able to provide for their families, access good healthcare, and all sorts of deprivation. People are being witch-hunted.
“Some people talk of restructuring, but when they talk of restructuring, they talk of sharing money and resources. I tell you; we need institutional restructuring.
“Only Nigerians that can restructure Nigeria. People are asking for restructuring due to lack of belonging, lopsidedness in appointments, the feeling of being cheated, and so on. Who can restructure Nigeria, but Nigerians, with a leader that can be trusted. I offer that and much more.
“What I tell you is that now, if you’re in power, you’re right; if you’re in opposition, you’re wrong. We must get to a level in Nigeria, where if you’re a president, a governor, you can be charged for wrongdoing; not you being in power and witch-hunting every other person. That is turning Nigeria into a ‘Banana Republic’. We must therefore restructure our institutions.
“Gentlemen, a tree does not make a forest…they will come with bags of money. Collect, but do the right thing. There is no receipt”.