7 December 2017

Nigeria: Makarfi Debunks Speculations On Contesting 2019 Presidency

Abuja/Kaduna/Portharcourt — - Abuja Hotels fully booked ahead of convention

- PDP denies plans to influence delegates with cash

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caretaker committee Chairman, Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi has denied speculation that he may contest the 2019 presidential election.He said the struggle to put the party on a sound footing through the national convention is his main preoccupation.

Makarfi in a statement by his spokesperson, Mallam Mukhtar Sirajo, yesterday, said "Senator Makarfi was asked what threat the return of Atiku Abubakar to the party portended to the aspirations of others who had either made their intentions known or those, who, like him were rumoured to be nursing such ambition.

"His answer was that Atiku's return would not, in any way adversely affect the rights of any member of the party to aspire to any position, adding that there was no preconditions to the return as Atiku Abubakar did not ask for, neither did the party offer any concessions to him beforehand."

Makarfi assured the teeming members and supporters of the PDP and indeed the entire country that his major preoccupation at the moment is to discharge the responsibility given to him to lead the process of repositioning the party, which he hopes will culminate in the conduct of a very credible and transparent convention this Saturday. This is what matters at this moment," the statement concluded.

And barely 48 hours to the elective national convention of the PDP, on Saturday, December 9, many hotels in the Federal Capital Territory have become fully booked.The 2,800 delegates expected at the Eagle Square, venue of the convention may have some of them arriving Abuja with their spouses and relatives who may also need to be accommodated.

A Senior Manager at Top Rank Hotel in Utako told The Guardian that the hotel was fully booked on Monday December 4, 2017 with most of the rooms occupied by politicians. The source disclosed that he was told to assist in getting additional 250 rooms in any hotel in the city center.

Other highbrow hotels like Sheraton and Transcorp Hilton also recorded maximum bookings as sources in the hotel revealed that they are receiving frantic requests for reservations.

Meanwhile, the PDP in Rivers State, has denied allegations that aspirants are influencing delegates with funds.The party said, it has resolved that only men and women with track records would be elected into executive positions of the party during the national convention this Saturday.

The State PDP Chairman , Felix Obuah, stated this in Port Harcourt yesterday, during a press conference. Obuah described the allegations as mischievous aimed at painting the party in bad light and urged the public to disregard it.

He further announced that the State PDP has unanimously endorsed Prince Uche Secondus, as sole aspirant for the position of national chairman.


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