A presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has played down the role of money in the race for the party’s presidential ticket.
In a chat with newsmen in Lagos Sunday, Makarfi said that even party members concurred he is the best man, among a dozen aspirants, fit for the job.
Makarfi is going up against former vice-president Atiku Abubakar, former governor of Sokoto, Attahiru Bafarawa, former Kano governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso and Gombe governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo and possibly Senate President Bukola Saraki.
“When did Nigeria start to produce presidents because of resources? Former presidents Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Dr Goodluck Jonathan and now President Muhammadu Buhari, did not become presidents based on money,” he said.
“In one of the Southwest states I visited, a member said other aspirants have been giving them money and gifts, but I don’t have to give them money or gifts to vote for me in the primaries because they know I am the best man for the job.”
The former governor of Kaduna State just concluded meetings with PDP members in the Southwest, and believes his exceptional performance as chairman of the caretaker committee would give him an upper hand at the primaries.
“PDP has become a beautiful bride because of what I did. The party was considered dead until I came in as chairman of the caretaker committee and turned it round.
“No other presidential aspirant in the party has my pedigree. I have been assured of becoming the groom by members who are aware of those efforts and have sworn they will not sell their votes at the primaries.
“Since I joined the PDP, I have never left the party.
“My experience as a member of the Senate committee on finance for eight years is also an advantage. I will bring the experience to bear when I pick the ticket and emerge as president,” he said.
His ambition also got the support of former military dictator Ibrahim Babangida during a visit to Minna last month.