Former National Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has said integrity and capacity, not money would determine who emerges presidential candidate of the party for the 2019 general elections.
At least, nine aspirants are reportedly eyeing the party’s presidential ticket.
Addressing leaders of the party at the PDP state secretariat, Molete, Ibadan, Oyo State, at the weekend, the former governor of Kaduna State and presidential aspirant, appealed to the party members that will form delegates from different parts of the country to the party’s presidential primary, to ensure that only an aspirant with integrity, capability and capacity emerged as candidate of the party for the presidential poll.
Makarfi, who was in Ibadan with his presidential campaign team to present his scorecards to members of the party in Oyo State as well as chart the way forward for the country, noted that the qualities would help the party to be rightly positioned to win the poll.
“I want to caution our PDP men and women that who we need as a candidate is a sellable candidate with capacity and integrity. Voters are looking for people with capacity and integrity. If you cannot see that capacity and integrity in the person you are presenting, you would have done ‘chop and leave.’ You must vote for integrity and capacity.
“If they give you (delegates) money, take it but you must vote for somebody with integrity and capacity that the masses can accept. Nigeria voters care, but if we say primary is our party business and because we know everybody, we must consider their integrity in our choice and if we do what is right, you will be surprised by Nigerians.
“We must look for the kind of certain positive qualities that will strike the minds of voters, then the legitimate money will flow to fund election because if we think it is about glamour or something else, they (donors) won’t support you, they will rather fund somebody else. And we would have wasted our time.”
Makarfi also spoke on what would likely influence voting pattern in the northern region of Nigeria, saying: “People think that before you get votes from the North you have to insult. When you insult, you lose northern votes. They want you to talk on issues. They want integrity, they want a stable person. They don’t want somebody who is white today, black tomorrow and something else the day after.
“It means a lot to where we want to win votes, because if they are not sure about what you will do tomorrow, why should they lose their votes on you? That is the mindset of the people that we want to win their support and their votes during election. So, we must think and choose wisely.”
In his remarks, a PDP chieftain in the state, Dr. Saka Balogun, lauded the doggedness of Makarfi, but expressed dismay about the state of affairs in the party, saying, “I only wish and pray that the PDP men and women, particularly the delegates, who will be assigned the responsibility of making a choice will think right and choose right and I wish and pray that we will do so. You demonstrated integrity when the PDP was almost getting off the list of parties in Nigeria, we have many of them around and some of them still serving as moles in our party.