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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Who becomes PDP presidential candidate?

Eight heavyweight politicans are struggling for the presidential ticket of the Peoples Demoractic Party (PDP).
They are Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Alhaji Sule Lamido, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Alhaji Bala Mohammed, Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, Gombe State Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo and his Ekiti State counterpart, Ayodele Fayose. More aspiratns may still join the race. Deputy News Editor Bunmi OGUNMODEDE examines the contestants.

Who becomes the flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for next year’s election?
The major preoccupation of the PDP is to secure the country.  Hence, the need to appraise the qualities and character of the major individuals that have so far expressed interest in the presidency on the platform of the party.
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar
Atiku is a household name as far as Nigerian politics is concerned. He has been in the political arena of the country since he retired from the Nigerian Custom Service. He contested the 1993 presidential primaries under the banner of Social Democratic Party before he was prevailed upon to step down for Chief MKO Abiola. Atiku is so deft in political engineering and calculations.
Atiku contested and won the governorship of his home state, Adamawa before Chief Olusegun Obasanjo chose him as his running mate in the 1999 president election. He eventually won election alongside Obasanjo as Nigerian Vice President. But his two terms of office were dogged with allegations of corruption and backstabbing of his boss. The relationship between Atiku and former president Obasanjo became very frosty at the time the duo were in charge of Nigerian presidency. Their relationship even grew so sour to a level that the two of them were highly suspicious of each other. Although, credit must be given to Atiku for demonstrating the capacities to create wealth and jobs for Nigerians.
Atiku has contested for president on four different occasions. His age is also a minus to his aspiration. He would have turned 72 years of age by 2019 if he wins the election. Virtually all Nigerian youths are circumspect of having another septuagenarian as their president in view of the health challenges of the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari. Aside the factors of old age, he would have been good presidential material for the PDP.
 Alhaji Sule Lamido
Alhaji Sule Lamido can be regarded as an old timer in Nigerian politics. He entered politics as a member of the left-of-center People’s Redemption Party (PRP) in the Nigerian Second Republic. He had gone ahead to become  the National Secretary of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) during the Nigerian third republic. Lamido was severely criticized for his handling of the June 12, 1993 presidential elections won by Moshood Abiola, who was prevented from taking office and eventually died in custody while pushing to reclaim his mandate.
Lamido was appointed as the Foreign Affairs Minister by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999, having contested and narrowly lost Jigawa State governorship election. He later recontested and won. Lamido served two terms as a governor and did his best to transform and reposition Jigawa state. He deserves credits as a loyal and consistent party man. He stayed firmly loyal to the PDP even in the face of crisis when five governors of the party decamped to the then opposition APC.
Lamido has always expressed his desire to rule Nigeria and he is undoubtedly qualified for the exalted office of president. However, his age and cases of corruption against him in courts would serve as major impediments to his aspiration. Lamido will soon attain 70 years of age and would have become 71, if he wins election as president.
 Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi
Ahmed Makarfi was a two term governor of Kaduna state from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007. He was subsequently elected a senator for Kaduna North in April 2007. He ran for reelection on the PDP platform and was reelected in 2011 as senator. Makarfi had earlier served in the Executive Council of Kaduna State as Commissioner of Finance and Economic Planning.
Makarfi had a career with the defunct Nigeria Universal Bank, where he rose to the rank of Assistant General Manager.
He had also earlier worked as a part-time Lecturer in the Department of Accounting, Ahmadu Bello University from 1987-1993.
Makarfi is a  trained accountant and he is educated to the level of Master of Science degree in Accounting and Finance. He had also served as a member of the Board of Trustee and the Director of Finance and Administration at the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution in Abuja.
He is the immediate past caretaker Chairman of the PDP, having being appointed at the Port Harcourt Convention. One of the major political achievements of Ahmed Makarfi was the successfully conducted elective national convention of the PDP that produced Prince Uche Secondus as the substantive National Chairman of the party.
Makarfi is 61 years of age and he has no corruption case against him.
 Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo
Ibrahim Dankwambo is the incumbent executive governor of Gombe state and he is now serving his second term in office. He contested in 2011 and won with a landslide victory; a feat Dankwambo repeated when he recontested as governor in 2015. He was the Accountant General of the Federation during the administration of  Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. He held the position from 2005 to 2011 when  he resigned to  contest election as Gombe state governor. Dakwambo had also served as the Accountant General of Gombe state.
Dankwambo has had illustrious professional career with Coopers and Lybrand, now PriceWaterHouseCoopers as a Chartered Accountant from 1985 to 1988 before moving over to the Central Bank of Nigeria where he worked from 1988 to 1999.
He is a graduate of Accounting from Ahmadu Bello University. Dankwambo has also obtained a Master of Science degree in Economics from the University of Lagos in 1992 and a PhD in Accounting from Igbinedion University . He is equally a Post graduate Diploma holder of Computer Science obtained from the Delta State University Abraka, Delta State. He belongs to seven professional  bodies having written and passed their qualifying examinations.
Dankwambo is reputed to have made his mark while serving as the Accountant-General of the Federation. To his credit are several innovative achievements that he recorded while serving as the Accountant General of the Federation. He has also been described as the best thing to have happened to Gombe state since its creation in 1996. Little wonder he was recently adjudged the Best Northern Governor in view his landmark achievements in Gombe state.
Dankwambo has simply transformed Gombe state far beyond the expectations of his people. He has turned around the fortune of Gombe state through his numerous verifiable achievements and giant strides. He has initiated and completed whole lots of projects inspite of lean resources of Gombe state. Ibrahim Dakwambo has taken full advantages of his uncommon brilliance and wealth of economic management to achieve much results with the little resources available to Gombe state.
The achievements of Dakwambo has cut across all sectors of Gombe state. Gombe is one of the few states in Nigeria that has paid its workforce up to date and as at when due. Dakwambo has simply rebuilt Gombe, the capital city of Gombe state and all major towns of the state. He has revolutionized agriculture, health and education in Gombe state. He has built several higher educational institutions in the state and has likewise rebuilt and equipped all state owned hospitals in the state.
Dankwambo has so far devoted serious attention and deployed huge resources to security of lives and properties, provision of water, housing, rural development and welfare of Gombe state civil servants. Provision of state of the art communication equipments, sports development, attainment of millinium development goals, beautification and lightening of Gombe state and provision of foreign technical assistance have been the major concern of Dakwambo. Gombe state now boast of one of the best road networks in the country and unarguably the best International Conference Center in Nigeria.
A major advantage of Dankwambo is the fact that he is a relatively young man. He is only 55 years of age; which makes him the youngest amongst the contestants. Another factor is the fact that he does not have any allegation or charges of corruption against him. These are coupled with the facts that he is super brilliant scholar, a goal getter, a flexibly dynamic individual and a proven innovative achiever who can turn around the bad economy of Nigeria.
Candidacy of Ibrahim Dakwambo will readily enjoy huge acceptance and support from millions of Nigerians who are daily yearning for a breath of fresh air and better governance.

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