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Mark Jacob: Nigeria Needs Healthy Opposition Party Which PDP Has Failed To Provide

“A lot of people expect a lot from the PDP, beyond what is going on today. We have let down a lot of our teaming supporters in the country.”

Mark Jacob, former legal adviser to the people’s democratic party (PDP) has said that the party has failed to be the healthy opposition party that Nigeria needs to stand up for those who are not in government.

Jacob, who spoke in an interview with ARISE NEWS, also said the people have lost confidence in the party because they (PDP) have rather concentrated on ‘internal wranglings’.

“I must say this frankly. A lot of people expect a lot from the PDP, beyond what is going on today. We have let down a lot of our teaming supporters in the country.  Lots of people no longer have joy or confidence in the party. The morale is very low through the ranks of the party and it is very easy to know why. People expected and still expect PDP to do more than it is doing. Every democracy around the world, including Nigeria needs a very healthy opposition, an opposition that is well grounded and can meet up and stand up for those who are not in government.

“But it is without any doubt that the PDP has not played this role. Instead, over the month, we have been involved in internal wranglings, we have had echoes of the pre-election crisis, between the NWC, there is a terrible situation going on, where there are questions surrounding the position of the national secretary, whether it was right for him to go and contest primaries to be governor and still come back and retain his position as National secretary.

“These issues have gone to water down the position of the PDP in the national polity and we cannot pretend that all is well. Since before the election, I can say without any doubt that the factionalization of the PDP before the election in 2023, led us to where we are today as a political party. It laid the foundation for the failure and we must take responsibility for that.

“Those individuals who, by act of omission or commission, have made sure the PDP failed, are still within the party without sanctions and they are occupying a very big position. So, it gives an impression that there is no discipline within the party, no respect for the general good of the party. Nigeria as a country, needs a very vital, healthy opposition party and this, the PDP has failed to provide.”

He also advised Wike and the rest of the G-5 to resign from the party and called on the party  to sanction them if they do not.

“On the issue of sanctions, my position has never been hidden that no matter how strong you are, you can never succeed when you are fighting your own family. Of course, there will be no progress nor can you claim to be happy. That is no fight, it is internal degradation. Some of us were forerunners in the campaign for power shift to the south.

“We campaigned for that but we also respect party decisions. We were thinking that when you say South, it should not be defined as you, which is what played out in the 2023 election. Everybody now knows that the campaign for power shift by Wike and his group was largely for themselves and not for anybody else, otherwise people like Peter Obi would have been given a slot.

“Rather than expel minister Wike and other members of the G-5, I would recommend that as gentlemen they would resign from the party. If they do not resign, they should be sanctioned.”

Responding to whether Wabara’s appointment as the party’s new chairman of the Board of Trustees would solve the party’s internal issues, Jacob said the resolution of the problem lies with the NEC

“Individual efforts will not arrive or take us anywhere. There are several organs of the party that have work to do and one of those organs is the NEC. Since before the election, the last NEC that met was several months before the election and since then, there have been no NEC meetings. A lot of critical negative things have happened and NEC ought to have met to take decisions. Even decisions that will affect the members of NWC or even what the BoT does because the BoT is largely advisory.

“The organ that has power is the NEC and they have not been convened since before and after the election. So, the party has been run without the endorsement of its highest decision-making organ. Anybody running an organization like that is simply shortchanging the organization of the inputs of its strong base. The BoT with all respect, cannot discipline anybody. I think the next thing this BoT chairman should do is to get the NEC to meet.”

Chioma Kalu

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