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Police seal off PDP secretariat in Abuja

By Alifa Daniel (Abuja), Sunny Ogefere (Lagos) and Kelvin Ebiri (Port Harcourt)
23 May 2016   |   5:36 am
A source at the Police Force hinted that the FCT Police Command ‎complied with a directive from the police headquarters to seal off the PDP secretariat.

National Secretariat of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) sealed off by the Nigerian Police on Sunday, May 22, 2016. The Party is currently enmeshed in a leadership crisis. PHOTO: LADIDI LUCY ELUKPO.

• Sheriff, NWC plan to challenge sack in court
• Wike explains why party had to let ex-chairman go 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) secretariat in Abuja has been sealed off by the police.

A source at the Police Force hinted that the FCT Police Command ‎complied with a directive from the police headquarters to seal off the PDP secretariat.

“The ‎order is to prevent anybody apart from members of staff of the secretariat from entering”, the source said.

Findings showed that men of the Nigeria Police, Civil Defence Corps and private security guards manning the secretariat have been replaced with new ones.‎

Meanwhile, the Ali Modu Sheriff-led former National Working Committee (NWC) is still insisting on holding on to power.

The former NWC had earlier called a meeting at the secretariat before it learnt of the sealing off of the secretariat.
The meeting, according to a source, had been relocated to the private residence of one of the members of the former NWC.

However, the sacked PDP National Chairman, Sheriff and members of the party’s NWC are planning to challenge their sack in court.

To this end, they have invited lawyers on how to go about it.

Also yesterday, Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has dismissed media reports purporting the existence of factions in the PDP, describing them as false, baseless and misguided.

Ekweremadu spoke yesterday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on arrival from Port Harcourt, where he attended the Saturday’s national convention of the party.

The Deputy Senate President, in company of the Interim National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, said what exists within the PDP were only contending interests, which, according to him, were normal in any political family.

Meanwhile, rising from the confusion and the ousting of its acting national chairman, Sheriff, in what many have come to term a coup in the party, leaders of the PDP are looking forward to a rapprochement that would bring the factions under one umbrella.

Already, options are being weighed on how to bring together the Port Harcourt faction now led by the interim chairman, Alhaji Makarfi and the Abuja faction led by Ibrahim Mantu, chairman of the steering committee.

A chieftain of the party and member of the protocol committee at the botched convention in Port Harcourt informed The Guardian yesterday that the two groups were actually in communication and have tentatively agreed to meet.

According to the chieftain, the issues and challenges that brought PDP to the present state were essentially the Sheriff national chairmanship and the ambition of members of the dissolved National Working Committee (NWC) to retain their positions at the convention.

Speaking in the same vein, a former member of the House of Representatives and chieftain of the PDP, Mr. Bernard Mikko, said that the different factions of the party have no option but to come together to forge a formidable opposition against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).