By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
A group under the aegis of the Arewa Concerned Youth has called on former governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Makarfi to contest for the 2019 Presidential polls, owing to his track records as governor and Senator.
The group made the call at its conference, which featured the 19 Northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
“Given this preamble of achievements recorded under the leadership of Makarfi in salvaging the PDP and his unblemished and sterling record of performance both as a governor and senator and caretaker chairman, we the Arewa Concern Youth and Development give our unwavering support and implore well meaning Nigerians who have the interest of a better working Nigeria at heart to give their unflinching support to this pillar of monumental value their mandate towards the realisation of a vibrant, robust and all inclusive leadership.
“We the Arewa Concern Youth and Development in the spirit of brotherhood call on his able capacity Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi to hasten our call and with this we also call on the Prince Uche Secondus led- national working committee to give Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi an automatic opportunity to fly its presidential flag comes 2019. As a time for historic change is no time for recklessness,” a communiqué stated.
According to the document titled: ‘AREWA CONCERN YOUTH AND DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE (20 NORTHERN STATES INCLUDING THE “F.C.T”)
THEME: A CALL FOR MANDATE: Focusing On People’ Chairman of the movement from Kaduna State, Alhaji Ibrahim Suleiman Gambo, said that they converged for their official kick-off call for the candidature of Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi for the top job of our nation.
“This conference is the first one we are having – which I find symbolic. I want to use this opportunity to share with you, foremost, our priorities for the first conference session of the Arewa Concern Youth and Development. Firstly, the theme of the conference as you might know is focusing on people. A call for mandate and this theme incorporates three points to recall.
“The first one is Makarfi as Governor of Kaduna State from 1999 to 2007 experienced unprecedented record of success when the state witnessed clashes over the introduction of sharia law, most notably in 2000 for which Makarfi has been widely acclaimed for his reforms to diffuse the situation through “A tripartite legal system” and promote dialogue while also improving service delivery in the state.
“After that comes the reform of the traditional and cultural system which was a major issue as some of the traditional institutions have been struggling with boundary and identity problems for up to hundred years and the administration at that time saw evidences that some had been struggling for maybe not a hundred years but a couple of decades and it was resolved by giving each ethnic group its independent identity and traditional establishment.
“Makarfi under took the major infrastructural developments in the state since the inception of democracy in 1999 to date in the state which is glaring for anybody that has been in Kaduna will attest to this developmental strides,” he extolled.
Also speaking, Imam Auwal representing the Zamfara State Chapter of the forum said that as a Senator, Makarfi was the chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, and a member of the Committee on Agriculture, Appropriation, Aviation and Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, where he made a ground breaking record by flagging off investigative public hearing on the mismanagement of the nation’s assets that were sold under the guise of privatisation and commercialisation by the Bureau of Public Enterprise.
“In the course of the probe, DG’s of BPE were invited to testify on their involvements in the exercise, it was based on the findings of the probe panel, that a past DG was sacked in accordance with the recommendations of the senate panel.
“Again, the Senate committee under the chairmanship of Makarfi chaired the probe into the alleged missing of $49.8 billion from the sale of petroleum, which was eventually reduced to $1.4 billion referred to the executive for forensic auditing.
“The then Senator sponsored the motion on the violation of aviation laws and practice by foreign airlines in Nigeria.
“Makarfi’s views were always sought at plenary when issues bordering on finance and appropriations are at the front burner of debate.
“Apart from the above contributions Makarfi is known to be a man of intellectual capacity and promoter of education through his scholarship scheme that has benefitted thousands and is still on with these credentials, Senator Makarfi stands to win any election if he desires to contest,” he pointed out.
Benue State Chapter representative at the conference, Comrade Simon Terna said that apart from all the strides of Makarfi’s achievements ranging from Governor to Senator, he was able to calm the raging storm in the PDP.
“Makarfi achieved one of the biggest achievements in the history of Nigerian politics when he mitigated a major litmus test in PDP when it got engulfed by a lingering and protracted internal crisis between him and another faction that was surreptitiously imposed on the party by some elements within the corridors of power who wanted the party to die a natural death.
“Many thought the ugly development will mark the end of the party and by extension serve as the precursor for the total annihilation and condemnation of opposition politics.
“Those who harboured this thought forgot that champions of true democracy in the camp of Makarfi were still in the party and were ever ready to pay the exorbitant cost to see to it that our nascent democracy was truly rooted in body polity.
“True to expectation, Makarfi did not disappoint anybody as he led a team of “political lords” to dislodge the masquerades imposed on the party by its traducers.
“After which Makarfi was affirmed as the substantive party chairman and was accompanied by another challenge of conducting a free and fair national convention to create a substantive national working committee which many enemies of the party held sway the possibility of a successful convention impossible.
“But to the greatest surprise of the nation, the party under the eagle eyes of Makarfi organized the most successful and peaceful convention ever in the annals of the party.
“After which Makarfi single handedly set up a reconciliatory committee to calm all frayed nerves and unite all in the interest of the party,” Terms added.