The Ahmed Makarfi-faction of the Peoples Democratic Party was stopped from holding its meeting at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, on Monday to “forestall breach of peace,” the police told PREMIUM TIMES.
Security details attached to the ICC confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that police officers led by the Commissioner in charge of the FCT mounted a barricade at the entrance of the event centre, thereby preventing PDP leaders and members from gaining entrance to hold their “stakeholders’ meeting”.
Asked what prompted the police action, the force spokesperson for FCT, Manzah Anjuguri, said, “we acted to forestall breach of peace.”
As the politicians were denied access to the ICC, they moved to the Asokoro lodge of the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, and issued a statement in series of tweets to condemn the police action which they said was masterminded by the All Progressives Congress and Ali Sheriff who leads another faction of the party.
The police spokesperson, Mr. Anjuguri, however, denied the police acted on the order of the APC or following any petition from Mr. Sheriff.
“The primary function of the police is to ensure security of lives and properties,” Mr. Anjuguri said, adding that “we have our own way of gathering intelligence which determine our actions.”
The Port Harcourt Division of the Court Appeal had last week affirmed Mr. Sheriff as the authentic chairman of the opposition party. It was based on this that the other faction led by Ahmad Makarfi called Monday’s meeting.
The meeting at Mr. Fayose’s lodge had various caucuses of the party in attendance, including forums of former ministers, National Assembly members and governors.
The former governors sighted at the meeting include Sule Lamido, Jigawa State; Idris Wada, Kogi State; Godswill Akpabio, Akwa Ibom State; Babangida Aliyu, Niger State; and Sam Egwu, Ebonyi State. Other top politicians in attendance were Bode George, Dimeji Bankole, Austin Okpara and Chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees, Jibrin Wali.
The caucuses took turns to endorse the Makarfi-led caretaker committee and rejected the judgement of the appellate court.
The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and a former information minister, Jerry Gana, were also at the meeting.
Speaking at the end of the meeting, the host, Mr. Fayose, who also chairs the party’s governors forum, said the faction had decided to approach the Supreme Court for redress.
Asked what would follow in the event of loss at the apex court, he said, “I don’t know tomorrow.”