Following reports that former minister of information, Labaran Maku, met with the governor of Nasarawa state, Tanko Al-Makura, and was making plans to decamp from the PDP into the APC, his campaign organisation has released a statement of denial.
Maku is running on the PDP platform to replace Al-Makura, who wants a second term.
According to the statement signed by Barrister Yusuf Zakari Edego, the Director, Legal Services and Publicity of the Maku Campaign Organisation, the campaign said it “read with hearty laughter another piece of political fiction published by the Leadership Newspaper on 11th November, 2014 with the caption ‘Nasarawa Guber: Al-Makura, Maku In Secret Talks.’
Edego wrote that the publication was motivated by “the desperation of Mr. Labaran Maku’s opponents in both the PDP and the APC to impugn on the integrity of Mr. Maku as one of the most loyal and consistent leaders of PDP in Nasarawa state since 1999. It is also aimed at casting aspersions on his person and his loyalty to the President and the Federal Government. The main objective is to set Mr Maku against the Presidency and the leadership of the PDP at all levels as a plot to take the shine off Mr. Maku’s elaborate and youth empowered campaign for the 2015 governorship elections in Nasarawa State.
“The report in Leadership Newspaper is entirely false and a complete fabrication by the distorted imagination of the authors and their sponsors, who have become extremely paranoid with the widespread popularity and influence of Mr. Maku in the PDP and the increasing likelihood of his emergence as the candidate of the party for the governorship election in 2015.
“For the record, Governor Tanko Almakura’s kitchen Cabinet has identified Maku as their major heartache in the 2015 gubernatorial race and have so far concentrated their attacks on Mr. Maku, including the sponsorship of three persons in the PDP all because they are desperate to stop Mr. Maku from being the flag bearer of the PDP at the 2015 polls!
“Mr. Maku’s rising profile in Nasarawa State has made him the subject of attacks by opponents in his party the PDP as well as the opposition APC. In fact, a week before Almakura organized the so-called Shoki dance on Sahara Reporters’ online TV, his advisers told him that if Maku got the PDP ticket it would be the end of APC’s violent rule in Nasarawa State! It is very obvious that the recent mass movements of Mr. Maku in Nasarawa State have sent the APC regime into a state of panic!
“Within PDP a political returnee from the APC has become uncomfortable with Maku’s commanding lead in the PDP and has been engaging in shadow games with the APC to join forces against Mr. Maku. This political returnee and his mischievous groups have printed posters of Mr. Maku in APC logo and pasted them on the streets of Marraraba, Nyanya and Caro as of 11 November, 2014 in a futile attempt to cause disaffection against Mr. Maku within the PDP in the state and at the national level.
“Their efforts are futile because Mr. Maku remains and will continue to remain one of the most trusted and tested leaders of the PDP in Nasarawa state, where he has served the party in different capacities at both the state and national levels with distinction in loyalty and performance.
“Mr. Maku enjoys overwhelming acceptance among the youths, women and the general voting population across ethnic and religious lines. He is very confident of clinching the ticket of the party at the PDP primaries on December 8, 2014 and will subsequently defeat the violent APC regime with a clear margin at the polls in Feb 2015.
“We call on the general public to disregard and ignore the fictitious publication and the posters. They are all evidence of Mr. Maku’s overwhelming lead in the PDP, and the desperation and paranoia of his opponents who are finding it increasingly difficult to withstand the widespread support for Mr. Maku’s governorship campaign across Nasarawa state.”