The National Executive Council of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has approved Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, as the venue for its national convention, ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan confirmed this in Abuja on Saturday, adding that all the aspirants have agreed to the decision.
Earlier, some presidential aspirants were said to have opposed the party’s decision to hold the convention in Rivers State.
Following the controversy, the state governor, Nyesom Wike, threatened to teach the party a lesson if the convention was moved.
According to him, during its national meeting, no presidential aspirant opposed Port Harcourt as a venue.
He also stated that Rivers will not support any desperate PDP presidential aspirant who is sabotaging the economy of the state, adding that such persons should forget about its support during and after the national convention.
Wike made the comments on Wednesday, during a consultative visit by the Gombe State Governor who is also a presidential aspirant, Dr Ibrahim Dankwambo, at the Government House in Port Harcourt.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, says the state will teach the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) a lesson if it succumbs to pressures from some presidential aspirants to move the party’s National Convention away from the state.
The governor said this on Wednesday, during a consultative visit by the Gombe State Governor who is also a PDP Presidential Aspirant, Dr Ibrahim Dankwambo, at the Government House in Port Harcourt.
According to him, during the PDP’s National Meeting, no Presidential Aspirant opposed Port Harcourt as a venue.
He, therefore, threatened that if they went against the decision that had been agreed upon by leaders of the party, the people of Rivers will teach the party a lesson.
He also said that the state will not support any desperate PDP Presidential Aspirant who is sabotaging the economy of the state, adding that such persons should forget about its support during and after the National Convention.
He said: “Let me warn the party, if they dare, Rivers State will teach the party a lesson. Those days have passed when they took Rivers State for granted. Nobody can use and dump Rivers State.
“No Presidential Aspirant can use and dump Rivers State. We never lobbied for it, we never asked for it, but it will boost the economy of the state. People will make money.
“Those who are against Rivers people from making money to improve their businesses, will not get our support”.
The governor, however, stressed that whether or not the National Convention takes place in Rivers, the winner preferred by the delegates will emerge.
He added that at the appropriate time, he will reveal the names of Presidential Aspirants allegedly working with the APC to scuttle the Presidential Primary.
“I don’t know why anyone who wants to be President, will be afraid of a venue. Then you are not prepared for the election.
“Nobody should dare Rivers State any longer. Enough is enough. PDP should know that we are not a punching bag. We are not people you can use and push. We are not harlots. Whenever you want, you come. When you finish, you push us aside.
“We will retaliate at the appropriate time. When you go, tell your colleagues, the Presidential Aspirants. We were not interested, but having given it to us, you cannot insult us,” Wike said.
Meanwhile, he described Governor Dankwambo as eminently qualified to contest the position of President, stating that he will be considered when Rivers delegates meet to decide on who to support.
One of the most memorable days in the life of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – the December 9 National Convention – has finally come and gone with Mr Uche Secondus emerging as winner of the election.
The long awaited election was however not rid of controversy as the distribution of a ‘Unity List’ to the delegates at the Eagles Square, Abuja where the convention took place, sparked various reactions among contestants as well as observers even across social media.
While one of the main contestants, Professor Tunde Adeniran rejected the process on hearing of the list and walked out ahead of the announcement of results, another contestant, Mr Raymond Dokpesi, expressed his disappointment at what he described as a “marred process”.
Dokpesi who spoke at length to reporters on ground, however, noted that he was not angered by the situation, but just wanted the press, as well as observers, to see that the process was not free and fair as claimed.
He has, however, congratulated the new National Chairman, emphasising his support for the party.
Meanwhile, social media users have not failed to air their views. See some mixed reactions compiled below.
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.
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 hesubsequently announced his defection to the PDP in a live video broadcast on Facebook.
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.
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.
Former Lagos State governorship candidate, Mr Jimi Agbaje has shelved his ambition to be the next chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Agbaje said this in a statement on Saturday, few hours after the commencement of the PDP convention in Abuja.
He said the inability of the South-West PDP to pick a consensus candidate has affected the chances of the region to produce the next chairman. He added that he is willing to cooperate with anyone who emerged as the chairman of the party.
Also, three other aspirants, former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, Olusegun Aderemi, Rasheed Ladoja, have withdrawn from the PDP chairmanship race.
The decision of these south-west aspirants to step down from the race is coming after Chief Bode George made a similar move on Friday night.
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has assured Nigerians that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will emerge stronger after its national convention.
The governor also expressed confidence that the convention would produce a viable opposition that will overthrow the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) when Nigerians go to polls in 2019.
He said this on Friday when he appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.
“I can assure you after tomorrow’s convention, you will see that PDP will come out stronger and be able to be the viable opposition which you have asked her to be. I am telling you that after tomorrow’s convention that it will be a different PDP, it will be a new PDP that will withstand the ruling party.”
Addressing the issue of micro-zoning, Governor Wike said that what the party is really after, is to elect someone who can rebuild it ahead of the 2019 elections.
“The party has zoned the presidency to the north and the chairmanship to the south and the argument is that being an opposition party, we would want the best. We would want the best candidate that will rally round the entire members of the party, rebuild the party, ahead of 2019.
“So for the position of the chairmanship, we said look, anybody who thinks that he has the capacity, that he has what it takes to rebuild the party should throw himself in. So the issue of gentleman’s agreement does not arise.”
Speaking of the candidate of his choice, Wike expressed support for Mr Uche Secondus noting that he is very experienced and is fit for the position.
“Prince Uche Secondus has been a member of this party since 1998, he’s been the state chairman of the party in River state, he’s been the organising secretary of the party at the national level, he’s been deputy national chairman of the party and became acting chairman of the party and he is the only aspirant that you can say that his state, has always been PDP since 1999. So in terms of experience, in terms of talking about the party person, Uche Secondus has been.”
While defending the need for the south-south region to take the chairmanship seat, he noted that the zone has always brought victory for the party as against the south-west region.
“If you look at the history of voting as far as PDP is concerned, it has been the south-south that has given the PDP victory – it has never been the south-west in terms of election.
Explaining further, he said “If you elect Bode George as the chairman, is that going to change the fortune of the PDP in Lagos state? We have never won Lagos state – he was deputy national chairman of the party when Obasanjo was president – we never won,” Wike stressed.
The governor, however, noted that it is only an uncommitted party member that will not support the party regardless of the outcome of the convention.
“No committed party member will tell you if this happens, then this will be the end of P0P. Those are people who are not committed to seeing that the party bounces back.
“If you are a committed party member as I am today, there’s nobody that will win this election that we will not give support but if you come to make threats then obviously it just shows you are not a committed party member,” he added.
The ambition of former spokesperson of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Osun state chapter, Diran Odeyemi to emerge as the new Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party has received the support of the party’s delegates from the North.
Odeyemi, recently concluded a tour of South West states to garner support for his aspiration, secured the support of the Northern delegates led by Alhaji Salisu Mogaji Arewa, after a meeting in Abuja on Sunday.
This is in preparation for the PDP national convention set to hold on December 9, 2017.
According to a statement signed by Odeyemi Campaign Manager, Mr Akin Adeyi, the meeting with the Northern delegates took place shortly after he submitted his nomination form at the PDP National Secretariat.
“PDP needs total rebranding and we also need to be smart in handling information being fed to Nigerians by the government in power. We must assist Nigerians to identify and decently correct several misinformation flying around from the APC-led Federal Government.
“While doing all these, we must also diligently, with every sense of pride, flaunt our achievements in government for 16 years and how PDP managed the country without bringing down the economy.
“Another government is trying to fight graft now and in the process, the administration has damaged the brand it is trying to market through unplanned, largely impulsive media campaign. Their efforts are mainly targetted at bringing PDP down, rather than meant to rightly inform Nigerians and the global community,” Odeyemi said in the statement.
The leader of the delegation, Alhaji Salisu Magaji Arewa, promised the support of Northern delegates for Odeyemi, saying he had done enough to convince fair minds of his abilities to manage the political brand.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expanded the membership of its National Caretaker Committee from seven to 13 members.
The expansion was contained in the party’s resolution after the repeat national convention held on Wednesday at the PDP State Secretariat in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, south-south Nigeria.
The Convention was presided over by the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, with all delegates in attendance.
The delegates include PDP Governors, National Assembly members, the Board of Trustee members as well as other members of the party nationwide and invited guests.
According to the resolution signed by a member of the Caretaker Committee, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, the PDP has postponed the election of officers into various national offices of the party.
They also extended the tenure of the Caretaker Committee till another national convention, which is to be convened within the next 12 months.
The PDP also affirmed that all members of the Caretaker Committee would not contest or aspire for any national office in its next national convention.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says all is now set for its planned national convention scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, shunning a court order asking it to shelve the convention plan.
Hours after a Federal High Court in Abuja gave a ruling that proscribed the party from holding the national convention, the Chairman of the Planning Committee and Governor of Rivers State, Mr Nyesom Wike, told reporters that the planned convention would hold.
While the Federal High Court in Abuja has banned the party from holding the convention, another Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, has ruled that the PDP could hold the convention as planned.
In his ruling on a case filed by the factional chairman of the PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, the presiding judge of the Abuja court, Justice Okon Abang, restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission from supervising or monitoring the planned convention, pending the determination of the substantive suit.
The trial judge in the ruling also ordered the Inspector General of Police to enforce his order which put paid to the planned convention.
He also directed Senator Sheriff to obtain and fill form 48 so as to commit anybody or group, who may disobey the order to prison.
Aware that a Port Harcourt court order contradicts that of his court, he said: “This division is not struggling with Port Harcourt division for jurisdiction but the Port Harcourt division should not have assumed jurisdiction because the Supreme Court has made it clear, that when a situation like we have at hand arises, a judge should consult with the Chief Judge before taking any step.
“If my brother in Port Harcourt is vast with this Supreme Court decision he would not have assumed jurisdiction. Let me make it clear here that Port Harcourt division cannot over rule me”.
“Any party or person that fails to comply with my decision will have himself to blame,” he warned.
In an earlier ruling on the same day, the court in Port Harcourt said that since the July 4, 2016 judgement of Justice Lima that ordered Senator Sheriff or his agents from parading themselves as the chairman and leaders of the party was not appealed, the judgement still subsists.
The ruling by Justice Ibrahim Walifa was in connection with originating summons of a matter between the National Convention Planning Committee of the party and the Independent National Electoral Commission, the police and Department of State Services.
Justice Walifa said that it was an abuse of court processes for the defendants to carry on as if nothing has changed and sought to originate a similar matter in a sister court.
He believes the High Court judgement of July 4 and August 16 have made it abundantly clear that the Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee was on the right side of the law.
Amidst theses contradictory orders, however, the PDP said convention planning committee is carrying on with its plan to hold the convention, with Mr Wike saying that the seeming conflicting judgements from the High Court in Abuja was simply a distraction.
“All the legal organs of the party have arrived for the event,” he said.
Billed to hold on Wednesday, the convention, according to the party, will see the election of officers of the Party drawn from the six geo-political zones of Nigeria to fill in the vacant positions that occurred following the dissolution of national officers due to the expiration of their tenure at the last National Convention on May 21.
The planned convention will hold at the Sharks Stadium, Moscow Road in Port Harcourt. .
The reconciliation committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it is making frantic efforts to reunite aggrieved members of the party.
The reunion is part of efforts to put things in place ahead of the proposed PDP national convention.
The Chairman of the reconciliation committee, Professor Jerry Gana, was briefing journalists after a meeting with the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff’s faction of the party on Friday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
He says the committee hopes to reconcile all warring factions before the party’s convention.
Professor Gana hinted that the committee had presented its recommendations to Senator Sheriff’s faction and expressed optimism that it would promote reconciliation if implemented.
At a separate meeting with party members from the northeast, Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo, asked members to be cautious of the decisions to be taken by various leaders of the party to avoid plunging it into another round of crisis.
The PDP Youth Leader in Kaduna State, Ahmed Maiyaki and federal lawmaker, Tony Nwulu, insisted that the youths be carried along in the process.
The party has been struggling with its leadership crisis since it lost the presidential elections in 2015.
In May, some members of the party at a convention in Port Harcourt removed Senator Sheriff as its Chairman and set up a caretaker committee led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi.
After, his removal, Senator Sheriff continued to carry himself as the leader of the party, insisting that a court order had nullified the convention that led to his removal.
The situation brought a divide in the party, that led to the setting up of the reconciliation committee by the PDP Board of Trustee saddled with the responsibility of reconciling the factions.
Senator Sheriff is expected to study the recommendations of the committee ahead of a bigger meeting with the contending factions before the proposed convention.