LIVE UPDATES: PDP National Convention
Two years and nine months after it lost its 16-year grip on power at the Federal level, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is set to elect officials that will lead it in the quest to wrest power back from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
It has been a long trouble-fraught road for the PDP to get to this point after the APC swept to victory in 2015.
After a wave of defections, legal battles to top officials battling corruption charges, the PDP believes it has a great chance of regaining power.
That process is meant to start in full force with today’s National Convention where eight candidates are racing to become the National Chairman. The Chairman of the Convention Planning Committee, is the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa.
The number of cleared contestants stood at nine on Friday afternoon.
The aspirants are Uche Secondus, Gbenga Daniel, Jimi Agbaje, Rashidi Ladoja, Taoheed Adedoja, Tunde Adeniran, Raymond Dokpesi, Aderemi Olusegun and Chief Olabode George, who later withdrew from the race on Friday night.
George pulled out of the race on the eve of the race in protest. He claimed that the South West is already cheated with the entrants of aspirants from the South-South.
09.04am: Eagles Square Ready Amid Tight Security
Its a quiet start to the commencement of the PDP Elective Convention as the venue of the convention, the Eagles Square is security tight. Delegates are seen strolling into the arena for the event of the day. Security operatives are standing right in front of the various voting boots strategically placed at the square awaiting the commencement of the event of the day.
10:45am Delegates Trickle In As Makarfi Arrives
The National Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi arrives Eagle Square, venue of the 2017 Elective National Convention as other delegates gradually arrive the venue.
11:15am Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar Arrives
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar arrived Eagles Square, venue of the PDP 2017 Elective National Convention. Atiku and chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had earlier resigned from the party and he subsequently announced his defection to the PDP in a live video broadcast on Facebook.
12:40am: Convention Commences
At the beginning of the convention, Delta State Governor and Chairman of Convention Planning Committee, Ifeanyi Okowa, in his speech asked for cooperation from all delegates and expressed the determination of the committee to “deliver the best elective process”. He also confirmed that some aspirants from various positions have withdrawn from the race.
At the beginning of the convention, a Chieftain of the party and former Niger State Governor, Mr Babangida Aliyu explains why the convention is holding amid tight security saying it was necessary based on advice by foreign countries of a security threat in Nigeria, most especially in the nation’s capital.
Less than 24 hours after Chief Bode George stepped down from the PDP Chairmanship race, more candidates including former governorship candidate of Lagos State Jimi Agbaje, former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, former governor of Oyo State, Rasheed Ladoja have thrown in the towel.
3:55pm: Voting Set To Commence
Following the screening of delegates, the voting will commence any moment from now, the process is delayed till the result of the constitution amendment is announced.
5:40 pm: Voting now ongoing
Voting has begun in the Peoples Democratic Party’s national convention
The voting Exercise to determine the new leadership for the party began shortly after a former Senate president David mark moved the motion for the dissolution of the Ahmed Makarfi led PDP caretaker committee.
Ahead of the announcement of results one of the National Chairmanship candidates, Professor Tunde Adeniran, rejected the whole electoral process, describing it as fraudulent and unfair with the emergence of a ‘Unity List’.
The list allegedly compiled by governors, contained the various positions delegates are supposed to elect aspirants to fill.
Besides each position is the name of the purported ‘unity’ candidate for the position.
A former acting Chairman of the PDP, Mr Uche Secondus, emerged as the party’s National Chairman, ending its long and troubled quest to elect leaders after it suffered defeat in the 2015 Presidential election.
Mr Secondus defeated a former Minister of Education, Professor Tunde Adeniran, and Founder of Daar Communications, Raymond Dokpesi.
Thank you for staying with us for updates.