Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ahmed Makarfi, has reaffirmed his earlier position that the national chairmanship is open to all interested members from the south.
In a statement by a Media Aide, Omor Bazuaye, Makarfi reinstated his earlier position when he received the campaign train of a leading candidate, Raymond Dokpesi, in his home in Kaduna, on Monday.
“I stand by what I have been saying that the race is open,” he said.
Makarfi said even though zoning has always been in the party’s constitution, it does not exclude other aspirants.
“Nothing should exclude any other person and at the end of the day, the people will freely access all the candidates and freely vote”.
Makarfi said he would do everything within his powers to ensure a level playing field for all.
He praised the doggedness of Dokpesi, appreciating his effort to reach out to members across the country.
He also pointed out that it is the kind of commitment the party needs.
He urged members to take account of the interest people like Dokpesi have shown to lead the party.
“If people want it, they should go for it. You are highly active, some are passive participants,” he said.
He said the party needs to move away from the era of imposition; recalling events of ‘automatic ticket’ in the period leading to the last election and where it landed the party.
He promised to ensure a level playing field for all; saying those who know him know he always stands by his words.
The former governor, however, urged members to ensure that they produce quality delegates for the convention, just as he dispelled speculations that the date for the convention has changed.
Speaking earlier, Dokpesi recounted how things went terribly wrong for the PDP; how an era of impunity, imposition and outright disregard for the will of the people landed it in crisis that eventually saw it lose the last election.
Dokpesi said he has come to return PDP to its winning streak.
He explained that to achieve it would require members to move away from manipulative tendencies and stop tampering with basic rules that govern the party.
Dokpesi paid a similar visit to another former Governor, Ramalan Yero.
He pleaded and sought his support and blessings.
He recounted what he told Makarfi, adding that he would ensure that the presidency resides in the north in 2019 if elected.
He advised Dokpesi to eschew imposition and avoid money politics when he becomes national chairman.
Dokpesi later addressed delegates at the party’s secretariat where he also secured their vote of confidence.

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