The tenure of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP was extended by 12 months, yesterday, after security operatives stopped the party from proceeding with its convention in Port Harcourt. The convention was to produce a new leadership for the party.
The decision of the Police and the Department of State Services, DSS, to heed the court order by a Federal High Court in Abuja, stopping the convention and discarding the judgment of a Port-Harcourt-based Federal High Court that directed the police and DSS to monitor the convention, immediately raised strong condemnation from PDP leaders. Even before the threats from the security agencies were fully manifested in the sealing off of the Sharks Stadium, discord within the party had also risen to put the prospects of a peaceful convention at bay.
Multiple sources confirmed that three of the frontline chairmanship candidates, including media mogul, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi; former Education Minister, Prof Tunde Adeniran, and erstwhile deputy national chairman, Chief Bode George, had agreed to walkout of the convention on account of alleged mutilation of the delegates list by the governors who were allegedly backing the aspiration of Mr. Jimi Agbaje for the top post.
Plans by the trio to announce their withdrawal at a joint press conference scheduled for, yesterday morning, at the Presidential Hotel were immediately aborted, following indications that the convention would not hold. Dokpesi, who had got the backing of the Northern chapters, following the truncation of the convention, immediately left Port-Harcourt for Abuja as the face-off with the security men unfolded.