As Police Stall PDP Convention | Independent Newspapers Limited
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As Police Stall PDP Convention

Posted: Aug 19, 2016 at 4:26 am   /   by   /   comments (0)





While the venue of the proposed national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at Sharks Stadium, Port Harcourt was cordoned off by security agents on Wednesday, thereby denying the party access to the venue, Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers State and chairman of convention planning committee expressed fulfilment that the party was able to hold the convention as scheduled.

Delegates and party leaders had moved to party secretariat along Aba road where they later had their convention.  Party leaders and observers expressed shocked over the decision of security agents to cordon off the entrance of the convention venue despite the ruling by Port Harcourt Federal High Court that gave the party go ahead to hold the convention.

While some leaders of the party accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of frustrating every effort of the party to become a viable opposition in the country, APC denied knowledge of the crisis in the party.

Professor Jerry Gana, former minister of Information expressed disappointment over the development and accused the ruling APC of meddling into the affairs of the opposition party.

Professor Gana said the PDP would not be deterred by the role of the Police during the convention, adding that the party would come out stronger.

He said, “It is unfortunate that the government of the day is so afraid of the PDP that they connived with law enforcement agencies to stop our convention but we are very determined politicians. We are moving on.

“The PDP will certainly mobilise and ?make sure we win the election in Edo next month and also in Ondo and then move on to take over the government in 2019.

“What happened in terms of stopping us is not a good sign for democracy and we want to plead with the government of the day ?that nobody should do anything to truncate this democracy,”

On their part, some candidates at the convention including a former Governorship candidate of the party in Lagos state, Jimi Agbaje, George Turner among others said Nigeria’s nascent democracy was heading for destruction.

According to Agbaje, “When PDP was in power, we did everything to sustain democracy, but it is obvious that today, those people in power do not want democracy to thrive. But we shall overcome.”

Similarly, Dayo Adeyeye spokesperson of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has described the siege laid by security agent at the venue of the party’s as a vindication that APC is intolerant of opposition parties in the country.

He said, “ I was in opposition party before and Obasanjo did not do all these things to us.

”There was a judgment by a competent court in Port Harcourt that did not recognise Modu Sheriff as acting national chairman of the party, also the same court gave the go ahead to hold the convention, so we are surprised to see security agents laying siege on the  convention venue .”

Adeyeye further stressed that Nigeria may be on its way to a full blown dictatorship with the action of APC government against PDP.The former minister of state for works said Sheriff who is bent on destroying the party is an agent of the ruling party with a mandate to ensure that the party did not exist.

“You know he is an in-law to President Muhammadu Buhari, so he was planted to do the bidding of the ruling party.”

Adeyeye  stated that the constitution of the party does not recognize the appointment of Sheriff as acting national chairman because it has not been rectified at the national convention of the party.

“When Adamu Mu’azu was appointed as the national chairman of the party, his appointment was rectified at the national convention of the party, which gave credibility to the appointment.We are surprised to hear that he has a mandate to remain in power till 2018.”

He expressed optimism that the party would come out of the present ordeal stronger than expected.

“If anybody thinks or Sheriff believes he can destroy the party through what he is doing, I think he is making the greatest mistake because PDP would emerge stronger than expected.”

However, Chief Doyin Okupe, former senior special assistant on public affairs  to former President Jonathan, has said APC and Buhari are not to blame for the halted PDP convention.

Okupe said the development at the convention venue in Port Harcourt should not be blamed on their political adversaries.

He noted, “Rather the blame should rest squarely on the failure of internal conflict resolution machinery of the PDP, the surprising naivety and desperation of many to seize power and control the party and the gullibility of majority of the followership, who have become entrenched in the cesspool of pervasive impunity of our leadership over the years.”

Okupe commended the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party for throwing sentiment aside and extending the tenure of the present caretaker committee for another one year. The action according to Okupe would allow for further expansion of the party’s membership.

However, Henry Ajomale, chairman of APC in Lagos State has urged the former ruling party to stop accusing APC for its present ordeal as APC has a lot of job on hand and cannot abandon them to chase PDP.

He said, “PDP is no longer a threat to APC because for 16 years they wrecked the economy and you think Nigerians would forget in a hurry to allow them for further looting of the treasury”?

Ajomale further explained that part of what is happening in the party is the outcome of injustice perpetrated by the party in the past 16 years when the party was in control of the government. “When you fail to do what is right at the appropriate time, and the negative effect stares you in the face, you begin to apportion blames.”