According to Dokpesi, this is the major challenge of the PDP…

Former Chairman of Daar Communication and an aspirant for the national chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party, Raymond Dokpesi, on Saturday, said that the PDP is weak at the center and unable to defend itself.

Dokpesi, who stated this during an interview with The Punch, said that decision of former President Goodluck Jonathan to concede defeat to President Muhammadu Buhari after the 2015 Presidential election cost the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) a great deal and caused the party to operate without direction.

He said: “The major challenge being faced by the PDP today is having to operate within the context of a party which had ruled the nation for many years, and playing the role of an opposition. Having lost power at the last general elections, the vacuum created by the absence of a national leader traditionally played by the president, was obvious.

“A number of PDP members chastised former President Goodluck Jonathan for allegedly betraying the party and mortgaging their political future by conceding defeat to President Muhammadu Buhari after the election. In the process, a significant number of these politicians, who had paraded themselves as fanatical loyalists of Jonathan exposed themselves as mere sycophants when they defected in droves to the newly elected (government of the) APC (All Progressives Congress). The PDP lost the numerical strength of its members in the process.

“When the APC formed its government, staunch believers and supporters of the PDP were relentlessly hounded and maligned with various spurious and malicious accusations by the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) and the propaganda machinery of the APC. Those ex-PDP members who defected (to APC) have been treated as saints whilst those who stood firm (didn’t defect) have been branded as corrupt. Against this background, one of the major problems the PDP is facing is one of political harassment and intimidation. Internally, the vacuum caused by the loss of leadership at the centre was exploited following the legal tussle over the leadership of the party when the erstwhile Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, was compelled to step down for a chairman from the North-East to complete the tenure of Ahmed Muazu.

“Today our party is weak at the centre and thus cannot properly articulate its positions in offering a vibrant opposition to hold the incumbent government accountable for the benefit of our democracy and the generality of Nigerians. We are unable to defend our leaders, our party positions and even electoral victories.”

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