PDP northern caucus insists on Port Harcourt convention

PDP secretariate, Abuja

EMERGING from its meeting in Abuja, on Saturday, the Northern Caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has directed northern delegates to converge on Port Harcourt, Rivers State, for the national convention of the party slated for Wednesday.

This followed an attempt by claimant to office of the national chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, to secure the cancellation of the convention, as part of his demands for ending the lingering leadership crisis in the party.

The meeting, presided over by Profesor Jerry Gana and which also had in attendance Senator Ibrahim Mantu and Ambassador Aminu Wali, resolved that the convention must hold, especially given the assurance on the positive security situation in Rivers State by Governor Nyesom Wike.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, Gana said the party members could not be intimidated by what was being said about the convention as they were ready to participate in full.

He said it was not possible to cancel the exercise as demanded  by Sheriff, as that would undermine the power of the party’s national convention as the supreme organ of the party.

Gana added: “The national convention of the PDP scheduled for the 17th of August will hold. I encourage all our delegates from the northern part of Nigeria to be in Port Harcourt. In fact, our next meeting will be in Port before the convention begins.

“We want to assure you that by the grace of God, adequate arrangement will be made for security. You will travel safely, arrive safely; you will do the convention safely and you will return safely.

“We are never intimidated by the kind of things people are talking. We are going to Port Harcourt. This party needs to be solid so that we have national officers that will direct the affairs of the party.”

Also speaking, Mantu explained why there had been apprehension concerning the conduct of the convention, saying that it was to give room to complete the ongoing reconciliation efforts.

He revealed that there was also skepticism because most committees were not allowed to do their work during the May 21, 2016 national convention in Port Harcourt.

Mantu, who noted that the concerns had been addressed, stated that it was now clear that the convention has to go on as scheduled.

According to him, “I will say without due apology that I have been in the forefront of those who are skeptical about the possibility of holding the convention on the 17th in Port Harcourt because the ongoing reconciliation.”