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Police seal off PDP national secretariat

The National Secretariat of the crisis ridden Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja was on Sunday practically taken over by the men of the Nigerian police. This is even as Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, in a statement on Sunday, explained that the party removed Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as its national chairman because his leadership was destabilising the PDP.

The Police personnel, who stormed the PDP national secretariat in Abuja in two lorry loads and about 10 patrol trucks, comprehensively blocked a section of Dalaba Street leading to the national secretariat, thus forcing motorists to use the remaining lane. Anti-riot policemen from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police command, also sealed off the secretariat.

The mobile police men took over from regular policemen and officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) who were initially deployed to man the security of the party office as well as prevent people, including media men who were earlier invited for a press briefing. It could however not be ascertained on whose order the policemen were deployed in the area.

However, a police source, who craved anonymity, told journalists that they were deployed on “order from above.” Unconfirmed reports said that the order to seal off the secretariat came from the Inspector General of Police. The policemen were drawn from Kubwa, one of the satellite towns of Abuja, to maintain law and order at the secretariat. The police source said added that the information at their disposal indicated that the party officials were to hold a meeting at the secretariat.

It would be recalled that the PDP National Convention had, on Saturday, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, sacked the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff-led National Working Committee (NWC) and appointed a seven-man caretaker committee headed by former Kaduna State governor, Senator Mohammed Ahmed Makarfi. Sheriff and two other Continued from page 1 NWC members, the National Secretary, Professor Adewale Oladipo and National Auditor, Fatai Adenynju, had obtained restraining PDP from conducting elections into the three positions. Similarly, the Professor Jerry Gana-led Concerned PDP Stakeholders’ Forum has also set up a 57-member steering committee with former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ibrahim Mantu and former Minister of Education, Professor Tunde Adeniran, as co-chairmen. There was however no official of the PDP around to talk to the press as to what was actually happening. Meanwhile, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has explained that the party removed Senator Ali Modu Sheriff on Saturday as its national chairman because his leadership was destabilising the PDP.

According to a statement released on Sunday by his media aide, Simeon Nwakaudu, the Rivers State governor, who was the chairman of the 2016 Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, National Convention Planning Committee, which was held on Saturday, said: “All along, the crisis has been about the former acting chairman whose emergence was strongly opposed. “This is destabilising the party and so we had to let him go.

What is important is the party and not the individual. No sacrifice is too much for anyone to make as far as PDP is concerned.” Wike said he had no personal interest in supporting Sheriff as he was the best option at the time he emerged. He said PDP would continue to grow “from strength to strength” as it remains the only hope for the country.

“We will not allow the PDP to die or suffer divisions under our watch. History will never forgive us if we watch the party die,” Wike added. The governor said the party leaders would work towards maintaining unity amongst all members of the party. He said despite the challenges, the 2016 National Convention was successful as the party has been repositioned in the interest of the nation

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