Ahead of the 2019 general election, rumour is swirling around the health of National Caretaker Committee Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party,PDP, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, with suggestion that the former Kaduna State governor is battling an undisclosed terminal illness.
The rumour followed claim that Makarfi is nursing the ambition of flying the presidential ticket of the PDP, and was working for the actualisation as report rife that he had been manipulating processes of the forthcoming national convention of the party scheduled for December 9, to favour his loyalists.
“Let me make it abundantly clear, Makarfi is contesting for the presidential ticket of the party. Makarfi is like any other Nigerian and he has all the qualities to contest. If my party wishes to make him its presidential candidate, so be it. We shall support him.
“Makarfi told me vividly that he’s contesting and that could not be linked to a fallacious and misleading assumption that he’s supporting (former acting national chairman of the party, Prince Uche) Secondus,” Makarfi’s adviser on Hausa media, Abdullahi Ibrahim Jalo, recently disclosed this to newsmen in Gombe State.
However, the rumour of the ex-governor’s ill-health went overdrive at the weekend after former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar dumped the All Progressive Congress, APC, amid reports that he would join PDP in days to come, and contest for the party’s presidential ticket come 2019.
“Not all the PDP governors have bought into the Atiku agenda, we are not united on him. If we have our way, some of us will go for Makarfi who has shown uncommon leadership in reuniting PDP. And those of us in this group are encouraging him to join the presidential race.
“Some of our leaders also prefer Lamido or Shekarau. If we have any issue with Makarfi, it is about rumours on his health and we have conducted our research, the ex-governor is as fit as a fiddle. It is all propaganda,” The Nation quoted a PDP governor who spoke to it in confidence as saying.