The leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are currently meeting to consider postponing the party’s national convention by another three months.
A meeting of the National Executive Committee, NEC, of Nigeria’s main opposition party was holding inside the Government House, Port Harcourt, at the time of this report.
Before the meeting, the chairman of the caretaker committee, Ahmed Makarfi, inaugurated the NEC.
Mr. Makarfi said the NEC included the PDP Governors, National Assembly Caucus, Board of Trustees, National Caucus, 36 State PDP chairmen and national officers of the party.
He said in the absence of the elected national officers, members of the National Caretaker Committee would be part of NEC.
Omor Bazuaye, the media aide to one of the candidates seeking to emerge national chairman of the party, Raymond Dokpesi, said in a statement that he NEC meeting is to consider the postponement of the convention by another 90 days.
“It is also to expand the life span of the caretaker committee for the period while the party continues negotiation with Ali Modu Sheriff,” he said.
Mr. Sheriff, a leader of a faction of the party, had asked the court to halt Wednesday’s convention.
The spokesperson to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Simeon Nwakaudu, also confirmed the ongoing meeting.
“The meeting has gone into a closed session. Journalists will be briefed subsequently,” Mr. Nwakaudu said.
Earlier, a team of Police Special Tasks Force from Abuja took control of the venue of the planned National Convention.
The police squad arrived the venue at about 4 a.m., sealing all the roads leading to Shark Stadium, the convention ground.
The action followed an order issued on Tuesday by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja to the Inspector General to stop the convention in Port Harcourt.
Another catchment of heavily armed policemen also took over one of the entrances leading to the Government House in Port Harcourt as surveillance helicopters hovered around Port Harcourt’s skylines.
Mr. Bazuaye in his statement said PDP’s convention is “effectively stalled; much to the disappointment of delegates who had travelled from far and near for the convention”.
Wednesday’s convention would have been a repeat convention after the first one held in May 21, also in Port Harcourt, could not elect new set of leaders.