Immediate past National Caretaker Committee Chairman of the main opposition – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, has successfully built the profile of an effective leader who delivers results when he is least expected to do so.
As former Governor of Kaduna State, Makarfi effectively managed the the oft volatile political configuration of Kaduna State, delivering the much sought after dividends of democracy to the people. How he was able to balance the varying religious and ethnic tendencies in the state to govern for eight years without any major crisis is not only historical but should serve as a lesson to other Governors presiding over states with diverse and deep-seated interests. He went to the Senate and Chaired the Committee on Finance, he brought his experience as a banker of repute and former Commissioner of Finance in Kaduna to bear on legislations that helped the nation’s economy find its footing.
His latest outing as the PDP Chairman was even most daunting. Shortly after he was appointed Chairman of the NCC of the party following the aborted Port Harcourt convention of 2016, his protagonist in the bitter power struggle, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff went to Court to seek control of the party.
The bitter tussle lasted for one whole year during which both parties moved from one court room toaa the other. While the legal and political battles raged, Makarfi’s voice was hardly heard. He worked mostly underground and behind the scene to give strength and power to the party structures. At the end of it all, Sheriff was defeated and Makarfi and his team took over the affairs of the party.
In his short stay as NCC Chairman, he staged two national conventions in quick successions, the second been an elective convention. In the run up to the elective one, there were palpable fears that the party will be thrown into yet another round of crisis, however, Makarfi remained undaunted insisting to maintain the principles and letters of previous resolutions and decisions on critical issues such as zoning of the national chairmanship position.
He stood his ground against micro-zoning of national party positions and insisted the party’s presidential ticket remained zoned to the north. His principle stands waded off some influential party members in presidential ambition from the south.
In spite of pleasures, intrigues, threats, manipulations and outright sabotage, Makarfi led the NCC to conduct a credible national convention that produced a new leadership for the party. He resisted the aroma of power and successfully handed over the party affairs to his successor Prince Uche Secondus.
For successfully piloting the affairs of the PDP under very difficult circumstances, successful conduct of two National Conventions while he served as Nationmal Caretaker Committee Chairman of the PDP within six months; and for resisting the temptation to elongated his tenure or perpetuate himself in office to the obvious detriment of his party’s progress and future, the Editorial Board of DAILY ASSET Newspapers nominated him as MAN OF THE YESR 2017.