👤 By Adenike Lucas
A former Governor of Kaduna has announced he is running for president, after holding “wide consultations with party men and women as well as other major stakeholders.”
Senator Ahmed Mohammed Markafi who hopes to unseat President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019, says he knows he has what it takes to be a good leader, and the consultations with party leaders and members “have been positive.”
Nigeria’s President Buhari who has lost much goodwill that brought him into power in 2015, recently announced plans for a second term, but he has been advised by various elder statesmen not to contest because of his failure to stem the killings by herdsmen and his poor handling of the economy.
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The 75-year-old President who rode in on the promise to kill corruption, has spent much time blaming the opposition for the rot in Government.
While declaring his candidacy, Senator Markafi said it’s time to end the blame game. He vowed to do much better than the All Progressives Congress who “have refused to govern well.”
He noted that members of President Buhari’s party have succeeded in “fighting each others.”
In a twitter post, the former Caretaker Committee Chairman for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said “it is time to come together and salvage the country and do the needful.”
If elected Senator Markafi vowed to be fair to everyone. “As the president, you have to be for all Nigerians,” he said
He adds: “Because of my balanced nature, I was able to manage the mutual suspicion either on ethnic or religious coloration while I was in Kaduna. I was called names but I was happy because I was for none and I was for all.”
Though, the former Governor, a leading member of the opposition, PDP, who represented Kaduna North Senatorial District in 2007, is yet to inform the Party officially of his plans to run, he said “consultations have been quite positive and I believe it is fair enough to come to the conclusion that one should join other equally capable party men and women who have shown interest in seeking the party’s nomination for the 2019 presidential election.
“At this stage, it is to seek for the party’s nomination.The successful nominees will become the candidate that will stand for the election. But first thing first. If one’s party does not put him forward, you can’t say you are contesting for presidency yet.
“At this stage, I have come to the conclusion that it is okay, based on the consultations that I have had. Those who have shown interest are equally capable. We do not know how many more will show interest but whatever it is, power comes from God. The party men and women will decide who will be the candidate. I will subject myself to the will of God and the decision of the party men and women whenever it is made.”
DENISAURUS News believes Senator Markafi, a gentle man who helped resolve an impending crisis within the PDPlast year, is likely to get the ticket for the leading opposition party.
The PDP is yet announce a time table of its primaries, but, so far, a former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who returned to the opposition party last year, has made his interest for the number one job in Nigeria.
Donald Duke, seen as a popular figure among the youth has also declared his intention.
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It is not certain if Mr Duke, a former Governor of Cross River would be campaigning on the PDP platform.
There are signs that he would be standing on the platform of the African Democratic Congress, ADC – a party which is linked to the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.