By Nuel Suji – Chairman of National Caretaker Committee of Peoples Democratic Party, Ahmed Markafi has reaffirmed his earlier position that the seat of PDP National Chairman is open to all interested member in the south.
Mr. Markafi restated his earlier position when he received the campaign trail of Raymond Dokpesi in his home in Kaduna on Monday.
The statement is coming against the backdrop of the decision of the Southern Stakeholders meeting in Port Harcourt last week where the chairmanship position was zoned to the south-west.
A statement by Dokpesi’s media aide, Omor Bazuaye, quoted Mr. Makarfi as saying: “I stand by what I’ve been saying that the race is open.”
“Mr. Markafi said even though zoning has always been in the party constitution, it does not exclude other aspirants,” the statement said.
“Nothing should exclude any other person and at the end of the day, the people will freely access all the candidates and freely vote”.
Markafi said he would do everything within his powers to ensure level playing field for all.
“He praised the doggedness of Dokpesi, appreciating his effort to reach out to members across the country; pointing out that it is the kind of commitment the party needs.
“He urged members to take account of the interest people like Dokpesi have shown to lead the party.
“If people want it, they should go for it. You’re highly active participant, some are passive participants”, he said.
“He said the party needs to move away from the era of imposition; recalling events of “automatic ticket” in the period leading to the last election and where it landed the party.
“He promised to ensure level playing field for all; saying that those who know him know he always stands by his words.
The former governor however urged members to ensure they produce quality delegates for the convention as he dispelled speculations that the date for the convention has changed.
Speaking earlier, Dokpesi recounted how things went terribly wrong for PDP; how an era of impunity, imposition and outright disregard for the will of the people landed it in crisis that eventually saw it lose in the last election.
Dokpesi said he has come to return PDP to its winning streak; explaining that to achieve this, it would require members to move away from manipulative tendencies and stop tampering with the basic rules that govern the party.
Dokpesi paid a similar visit to another former Governor, Ramallan Yero, pleading for his support and blessings.
He recounted what he told Markafi, adding that he would ensure that Presidency resides in the North in 2019 if elected.
He advised Dokpesi to eschew imposition and avoid money politics when he becomes National Chairman.
Dokpesi later addressed delegates at the Party Secretariate where he also secured their vote of confidence.