It all started on Monday, April 30 when I arrived the city of Kaduna ahead of a 2-Day meeting of Nigeria Youth Project for National and Zonal leaders scheduled for Tuesday May 1st, being Worker’s Day and Wednesday May 2nd.
While on the journey to Kaduna, I deliberately initiated conversation with co-passengers on the situation of Nigeria with respect to 2019 Presidential election without unveiling my identity. Upon setting the ball rolling, passengers were divided into three camps; pro-Buhari/APC camp, pro-PDP camp and a 3rd camp of anyone but Buhari (ABB)
Three Camps, One Goal
The pro Buhari camp loathed PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) for perceived (or real) corruption associated with it and for the perceived (or real) integrity/Anti-corruption demeanor of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The pro-PDP camp loathed the ruling government for allegedly impoverishing Nigerians, deception, ethnoreligious bias and misgovernance. They believe only PDP have what it takes to beat Buhari. Though I belong to this camp, yet I concealed my preference so as to be able to appeal to peoples conscience without being seen as partisan.
The third group of people, consisting of “Anyone but Buhari” (ABB), had people that do not care about political parties but only care about project Nigeria. They were tired of Buhari due to his alleged many failings and disappointment just as they expressed disappointment in PDP. Ironically, they were aloof on what to do to change the situation for the better.
Each three camps were however interconnected by a single vision, the advancement of Nigeria state and better living for citizens.
Highlighting The Profiles/Antecedents Of Major Presidential Aspirants
I took the discussion floor to highlight gains and failings of Buhari government, those of past PDP administrations prior to the coming of Buhari, and thereafter proceeded to reel out the profile, performance and antecedent of major Presidential aspirants, including, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Senator Ahmed Muhammed Makarfi, President Muhammadu Buhari, Alhaji Sule Lamido, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, Senator David Mark and Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo.
A Common Ground Reached
After my sermon, it was surprising that all three camps had a common ground in Senator Ahmed Makarfi.
To the Buharists, “since Makarfi has nothing to do with corruption and he’s not been indicted nor placed under trial “like others”, he’s a better candidate.”
The PDP camp acknowledged Makarfi for his exploits as Governor and party leader, though some expressed concern about his relative visibility in the public, they still agreed that he is the best chance for Buhari to be kicked out of power.
To the camp “ABB”, for the fact that Makarfi is not an ethnoreligious champion and he has history of working with smart young people, they will look no further in the search for ideal leader, but will align with Makarfi.
Experience In Kaduna State
Upon arrival to Kaduna state, I observed beautiful faces, lovely and hospitable people, hardworking and accommodating citizens, and I felt at home immediately. I realised that the unfortunate, divisive, bitter and evil government of Nasir Elrufai does not represent the true character of Kaduna people. I pray they correct the anomalies in 2019 Gubernatorial election.
[b[May 1st Meeting With Senator Ahmed Makarfi[/b]
On Tuesday May 1st, delegation of Nigeria Youth Project which included the National Coordinator and Team leader, Hon Bobai Victor; Deputy National Coordinator, Hon Job Tsegha; the National Secretary-General (yours faithfully), Hon Inioribo Tamunotonye; the Southeast zonal Coordinator, Ambassador Nnaemeka StClement; Mrs Zainab Al-Amin of the Northwest; Hon Akinola Adewunmi of Southwest; Toba Owojaiye of Northcentral; Comrade Ogidi Lawrence, who represented Northeast Coordinator, Mr. Dennis Shima JP, numerous representatives of affiliate groups that collapsed into the Nigeria Youth Project, including Movie Actors, Music and film producers, Young Leaders Forum, IRep Nigeria group, students and several others, all went to the Kaduna residence of His Excellency, Sen Ahmed Makarfi on a private visit to communicate the resolve by Nigeria Youth Project that he join the 2019 Presidential race as the most credible alternative and most experienced leader for Nigeria.
My humble self in my capacity as the National Secretary outlined the position of the Nigeria Youth Project and emphasised on how we arrived at our position after citing his antecedents all through his public service years with an impeccable record of high integrity, financial manager, public administrator.
Leaders of all the geopolitical zones, students, movie and music producers group, IRep Nigeria group and other affiliate groups of Nigeria Youth Project took turns to convey the position of their respective jurisdiction, but aligning with an appeal to Senator Ahmed Makarfi to join the 2019 presidential race.
Senator Ahmed Makarfi Responds
Senator Ahmed Makarfi, who was caught unaware and ambushed by the delegation and their message for his entrance into the 2019 presidential race, took time to reiterate his belief in the Nigeria project and the young people/youths of Nigeria. Ahmed Makarfi highlighted the importance of young people in nation building and expressed appreciation to the youths of Nigeria for finding him worthy to captain the ship of Nigeria at this very difficult time.
Makarfi took time to condemn the various form of insurgency and insecurity across the country and expressed faith appealed to every citizens irrespective of religion, ethnicity, educational and social background to work in peace, unity and harmony to achieve our dream country.
On the request to join the 2019 Presidential race, Makarfi informed the delegation that his position will be communicated at an appropriate time, but stated that all his life has been dedicated to Nigeria and he will continue to live to serve the Nigeria people. He enjoined the delegation to continue to promote project Nigeria and expressed faith that the dream of Nigerians shall not be cut short.
Conclusively, it was a great pleasure meeting with the man Nigerians believe is the ideal and most credible alternative to salvage our dear country. We are determined to ensure that Nigeria don’t miss this opportunity, and we may be forced to file a lawsuit if need be to ensure Makarfi is on the ballot come February 2019.
May God Bless Us All and Bless Nigeria
Hon. Inioribo Tamunotonye
National Secretary, Nigeria Youth Project and National Coordinator, PDP National Youth League