The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday defied attempts by the police and the Department of State Service (DSS) to scuttle its national convention, as delegates relocated to the state secretariat of the party in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to hold the convention.
The police had sealed off the Sharks Stadium venue of the convention and barred delegates from gaining access to the venue.
But at the state secretariat of the party at Aba Road, the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the PDP, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, declared the convention open.
The convention approved the extension of the tenure of the caretaker committee led by Makarfi by 12 months and also increased its membership from seven to 13 through a motion moved by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and seconded by a former Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Zainab Maina.
The Chairman of the National Convention Planning Committee and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, pushed for the extension of the caretaker committee, which was unanimously approved.
The convention had earlier adopted a motion moved by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Leo Ogor, and seconded by the Chairman of the Federal Capital Territory chapter of the PDP, Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman, to amend the agenda of the convention and step down the issue of election.
Markarfi, addressing the convention after the extension of his committee’s tenure, assured the delegates that his committee would effectively position the party for 2019 and would organise another convention within the period.
Markarfi had earlier inaugurated the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party.
Performing the inauguration at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Makarfi said the NEC included the PDP governors, National Assembly Caucus, Board of Trustees (BoT), National Caucus, the 36 state PDP chairmen and national officers of the party.
He said in the absence of the elected national officers, the National Caretaker Committee members would be part of NEC, adding that his committee members would cease to be NEC members once national officers are elected.
At the meeting were the PDP governors, National Assembly Caucus, members of the PDP BoT, National Caucus, 36 state PDP chairmen and National Caretaker Committee members of the party.
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