A Presidential Aspirant on the platform of the PDP, Sen. Ahmed Markafi, has appealed to supporters of the party to field only credible candidates for positions in the 2019 general elections.
Makarfi, a former Interim National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Kaduna state governor, made the appeal on Saturday in Ibadan.
The presidential aspirant who is presently on a nation-wide consultation, said the party needed candidates with integrity and capability to win elections.
He said that the choice of credible candidates was crucial in winning elections, pointing out that the electorate was looking for capable candidates who had integrity.
The former governor said institutional restructuring was necessary to achieve the needed economic transformation in the country.
According to him, the PDP believes in the restructuring of Nigeria.
He, however, regretted that much emphasis was being placed on political and financial restructuring at the detriment of institutional restructuring.
He expressed dismay over the high rate of school dropouts but blamed it on economic challenges.
Makarfi, therefore, promised to introduce “student loan scheme’’ where genuine students with financial difficulties would borrow and repay when gainfully employed.
According to him, the gesture will force government to create job opportunities for graduates so that such loans can be repaid by the students.
“I want to caution our members on the need to have a candidate that is sellable with capacity and integrity which the voters are looking for.
“If they give you (delegates) money, take it but you must vote for somebody with integrity and capacity that the masses would accept,’’ he advised.
He warned against hurling insults at opponents and appealed to “northerners’’ to play by the rules of the game if they desired to achieve the party’s return to power in 2019.
“People think that before you get votes from the north you have to insult, but when you insult, you lose northern votes.
“They want you to talk on issues, they want integrity and a stable person. They don’t want somebody who is white today, black tomorrow and something else the day after,’’ he said.
Dr Saka Balogun, a chieftain of the party, lauded the doggedness and commitment of the former governor and interim National Chairman.
He expressed fear that the party’s national leadership would effect the right process in picking the party’s presidential flag bearer.
“I only wish and pray that the PDP members, particularly the delegates, who will elect the candidate will think and choose right. 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.
“I am scared, worried and really disturbed that the standard of integrity you set is already being seriously eroded.
“I hope and believe it will never happen that you may be rigged out through illegal imposition or ingenious manipulations,’’ he said.
Balogun expressed hope that such won’t happen, saying the stage was set for the party to take over at all levels.
According to him, what I am feeling from the headquarters in Abuja does not give me rest of mind.
“I hope we will watch and talk to people who are in charge, let them make sure that the integrity is sustained if it cannot be improved upon,” Balogun said.