Former Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is being undermined by external forces which has rendered the party ineffective as a viable alternative opposition.

Suswam disclosed this in an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday.

He lamented that the party has since after the 2023 general election failed to live up to expectations of Nigerians as a viable opposition.

Suswam, who blamed the current PDP leadership for the ineffective state of the largest opposition party in the country, said unless there is an overhaul of its leadership, the party will “go nowhere” because the current leadership has lost focus.

He said, “I think there are subterranean forces inferring in the party and they are determining what is going on in the party. And the leadership is acquiescing to it.

“Subterranean suggests that people are trying to control the party from the outside. They are controlling the party from the outside and they are keeping the party in a comatose state.”

The Benue senator added that the party has refused to call a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, which would have helped resolve some of the issues arising in the party.

He regretted the inability of the party to resolve the fallout of the 2022 presidential primary election which saw a group of five governors work against the party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 presidential election.

He added that the inability of the Iliya Damagum-led leadership to discipline erring party members worsened the situation.

Suswam said it was wrong for the party not to have sanctioned the G-5 governors and their allies who openly declared that they would remain in the party and work against its interest.

“They were not sanctioned which made others become emboldened to act anyway they wanted. PDP has been weakened since then,” he said.

He said no serious organisation does that, stressing that, “A serious organisation would apply sanctions” based on the laid down rules as contained in its constitution.

He said no organisation would have allowed those who worked against its interest to remain within its fold without sanctions.

He further accused the acting national chairman of the party, Ambassador Iliya Damagum, of occupying the position of the North-Central zone, following the removal of the substantive chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, who hails from the zone.

Damagum, who was the deputy national chairman (North), hails from the North-East zone but was, as permitted by the party’s constitution, made acting chairman after Ayu’s removal by a court order.

The party’s law provides that the deputy chairman from the same region as the chairman takes over in the event of the latter’s removal from office.

Suswam further lamented that “PDP is comatose now, and nothing can happen now,” adding that it was regrettable that politicians are now preferring to hold talks with smaller parties and not PDP.

Noting that the PDP is at the precipice, Suswam said, “Until we provide that leadership, PDP will not be a viable platform by anybody alternative. We need to overhaul the leadership of the party. There is no pretence about it, everybody in PDP knows it. Without discipline and reconciliation, the party goes nowhere.”


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