By Inalegwu Shaibu
ABUJA â€” THEÂ Northern Senators Forum has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to pick former Kaduna State governor, Senator Ahmed Makarfi as his Vice President.
Chairman of the Forum, Senator Umaru Dahiru (PDP, Sokoto South), who briefed newsmen at the National Assembly complex in Abuja yesterday, said the Forum gave its endorsement to Makarfi because he was eminently qualified as a former chief executive to be Vice President of Nigeria.
Dahiru further said it was proper for the Vice President to come from the north, because the President is from the South and as such, the Forum had settled for Makarfi.Â Â
He said: â€œIn the event that Mr. President is going to nominate anybody, he should come from the North-West of the country. The National Assembly equally should have interest in the issue because we want a good harmony, a good working relationship. We want somebody who knows the subject matter.
â€œWe want to take the nation, the National Assembly, the stakeholders, along and we thought it wise that the National Assembly should be considered and in that consideration, somebody from the Senate should be nominated for easy screening, easy confirmation and whatever.
â€œAnd of course, we looked into the qualities of the person involved which we believed he can bridge the gap. He was once there with the executive and he is now back with the legislators. We thought it wise if we can rally round one of us that has that kind of experience and pick the person of Senator Ahmed Makarfi.
â€œHe has been in that job, and we are now pleading. He was a governor of Kaduna State for two terms and equally now a Senator for that matter and he has all the qualities that it takes to be a Vice President within our context. So we feel we should plead not only to Mr. President, but to everybody to rally round him so that he can be nominated to be our own Vice President.â€
Bello stages walk-out
The Senate Chief Whip, Senator Kanti Bello, PDP, Katsina North, however walked out of the briefing in defiance of the Forumâ€™s choice of Makarfi. He described the resolution as silly.
But when told by journalists that the choice of Makarfi might take Nigeria to another era of having a sick Vice President who may not be able to perform at optimal level, based on his alleged ill-health, Dahiru said Markarfi was capable and fit to act as Vice President.
He said: â€œWe look at the Constitution and we believe the person that we have picked now, we have no complain whatsoever from any quarter either sick or otherwise. He has been performing his constitutional duties throughout our sittings. The person we nominated is the person we can rely on. He has not said he cannot do it either because of ill-health or otherwise.â€