A former governor of Kaduna State and a presidential aspirant in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi, has said that the only way the PDP candidate defeat President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 is by working on the psyche of the people.
Senator Makarfi, who spoke in Ado Ekiti at the weekend, noted that by changing the psychology of Buhari’s supporters in the northern part of the country, the aim of dislodging him via the ballot would be achieved.
Makarfi, who was a former National caretaker committee chairman of the PDP was in Ekiti State to interact with members of the party on his presidential ambition ahead of its national convention.
According to him, the first in changing the mindset of such voters was by showing and being transparent in all that the party does, and that the PDP must listen to what the voters want before electing the flag bearer of the party.
He explained that if the voters were convinced that an acceptable candidate was chosen in a transparent manner, the PDP could beat Buhari in the election.
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He cautioned the leadership of the party against costly mistakes in choice of its presidential flag bearer, saying this was a pointer to what the party would achieve at the election.
On the insecurity issue plaguing the country, Senator Makarfi said that the opening of the nation’s border in the name of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) treaty must stop.
He insisted that national interest must be placed above ECOWAS treaty, adding that, as long as the country border is open to the other West African States, the security issue would remain.
“First of all, we must restructure the country to make it good for everybody, restructuring of the security and creation of jobs and infrastructure development in all respects and promoting the private sector so that it can become an effective employer of labour.
“We have also look at some issues with ECOWAS protocol that we have, which have a negative impact in the country. Any issue of protocol that doesn’t serve the national interest in terms of security, we will dialogue with other countries involved and let them understand that we will close our borders.
“We must embark on Institutional restructuring that will include the police, INEC and other security agencies to ensure they do not serve the dictates of their paymasters. If such was in place, it would have prevented the anomalies such as the election fraud in Ekiti during the July 14 poll.
“We must make our institutions to be accountable. We will ensure comprehensive restructuring of this country. I chose to travel by road for all my campaigns, which is taking eighty per cent of my time, to enable me to see the deficiencies of our infrastructure, such as roads, the condition of our people and our environment among others.
“I want to be aware of all these things so I can perform properly and prepare for office better if voted in. We will also restructure power generation, what is on the ground now is unitary. We must liberalize it. Each state will be allowed to generate its own electricity.”
Continuing, he said, “I have been tested and proved myself as governor of Kaduna State, as chairman of Committee Finance in the Senate, my records are there and as party chairman of PDP when people are not giving us the chance to make the party survive, I was able to bring everybody together and ensure that the party survived and that is why many more people are defecting to PDP and they are all welcome.
“I am straight forward person and do not say one thing in the morning and turn it another thing in the evening.
“The problems facing Kaduna when I became governor are the problem facing Nigeria now, mutual distrust between tribes, poor infrastructural, economic and educational standards and others, we restructured Kaduna, people didn’t believe cause military failed them but we die and that is why Kaduna.
“Sadly, APC has returned insecurity to Kaduna. I built infrastructure which has now been destroyed by APC. 90 per cent of development in Kaduna were ensured by me.
“We must work on the psychology of the Buhari’s sentimental followers in the north and change their mind towards us,” he said.
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