A former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National legal adviser, Mark Jacob, has said the party should blame itself if it loses the 2023 governorship election in Kaduna State because the campaign has already been concluded in the state by the actions and negligence of the ruling APC.
He said the issue of insecurity in the state and unending religious and tribal clashes were enough reasons to disqualify the ruling All Progressives Congress from the election.
Speaking to DAILY POST in Kaduna, the former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state said it was possible to end the wanton killing in Kaduna if the government does the right thing, insisting that the government has at its disposal the instrument of coercion and is protected by law.
”There is a singular issue that matters and that is the security of lives and property. Kaduna State has been ravaged, the state has never heard this experience, we have never seen it even during the civil war. Yes there has been a religious crisis in the past here and there but with the number of human beings that have been gruesomely murdered, we are not talking of a situation where people are fighting each other no, we are talking of where citizens sleeping in their homes are rounded up and killed.
“Now someone may ask, how is it an APC problem? Are they the ones that are killing the people and l said very bluntly, that the responsibility and the primary function of the government is to provide security of lives and properties of the people.”
”It is only the government that is protected and given the right to use force to protect citizens or for any purpose.
”Today, we have seen a situation where the government of Nigeria, particularly, Kaduna State principally from the year 2016, 2017, 2018 to date that the killings started in the era of this government and government treated everything with light mindset purposely because the killings were happening in the Southern part of the state.”
He alleged that the approach of the government was a sorry, embarrassing, undemocratic way of addressing things, saying, “everybody knows and the records are there for everybody to see that the government of Kaduna State was hostile to the victims, the government failed and said it was the victims that were responsible for the killings.”
He added, “We have it on record where the governor and officials of government will say that Churches, Church leaders and traditional rulers are behind the killings in Southern Kaduna. People in government bluntly and cruelly said so and even vowed to deal with all the Church leaders.”
The former National legal adviser to the party noted that it is sad to listen to the ways government approaches these issues, stressing that the government felt very comforted in telling people stories and by telling the whole world think that the killings in Southern Kaduna were largely reprisals from the so-called killing of foreign Fulanis in 2011.
Barrister Mark Jacob explained, “We were in the city in 2011 when the crisis broke out, it was not a Southern Kaduna issue, it was started here in the city when aggrieved persons who lost the 2011 presidential election went out armed with guns and cutlasses and targeted all persons they perceived to be PDP members or followers and it spread from Kaduna North and Kaduna South and to other parts of the state and people were killed, properties were destroyed. It continued for two days in Kaduna and other northern cities.
”Southern Kaduna communities also joined in the protest and started burning and looting people’s properties, an area that is predominantly a PDP area. That was what also caused the problem in the Southern Kaduna because the minorities also perceived that they lost the election and because the massive followers of the PDP had surprisingly launched attacks against the majority and that was when people in Southern Kaduna also reacted.”
Speaking on the urban renewal in parts of the state, he noted that unless one is alive and safe, the renewal makes no meaning.
He lamented that the state is witnessing kidnapping and all forms of insecurity thereby making citizens uncomfortable to carry out their daily activities and earn a living.
He said, “Nigerians have stopped asking for economic emancipation, they have stopped asking for growth in their businesses, Nigerians just want to stay alive and if PDP knows what it is doing, it should just articulate one agenda to restore Nigerians to peace and safety.”