PDP National Convention: LIVE UPDATES




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Abuja – After a failed attempt by the suspended National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, to stop the national convention of the party, 3,600 delegates will converge on Abuja, on 30 and 31 October, to elect new leaders for the country’s leading opposition.

The convention was initially enveloped in uncertainty until the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, on Friday, dismissed the suit filed by Mr Secondus challenging his suspension and seeking to stop the event.

About 21 positions in the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party will be contested for by at least 27 at the convention.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported the full list of those cleared by the screening committee chaired by former Attorney General of the federation, Mohammed Adoke, to contest for the positions.

However, most of the will be elected unopposed following successful negotiations by the National Convention Organising Committee led by Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State as well as other leaders of the party to get a consensus candidate for each position.

The North, to which the position of the national chairman was zoned, had picked Iyorchia Ayu, a former senate president, as its consensus candidate.

Mr Fintiri said only three positions, namely deputy national chairman (South), national auditor and national leader, are yet to have consensus as of Friday.

The battle for the position of the deputy national chairman (South) is between a former governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, and a former deputy governor of Osun State, Taofeek Arapaja, who is currently the PDP’ South-west deputy chairman.

Mr Fintiri confirmed that the screening committee disqualified some aspirants; Wale Oladipo (Osun) who expressed interest in the office of deputy national chairman, and Eddy Olafeso for national publicity secretary position and Akintan Oludaisi for the office of national deputy secretary, for filing suits against the party.

Okey Muo-Aroh (SAN) who showed interest in the office of national secretary was disqualified because he is not from State to which the position was micro-zoned but from Anambra State.

PREMIUM TIMES will be at Eagle Square, Abuja to bring you live updates of the convention.

At exactly 1:05pm, the PDP declared the National Convention open with a stanza from Nigeria’s National Anthem.

The Executive Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, and the Kano State PDP Chairman, Shehu Wada, said the Christian and Muslim prayers, respectively.

“We prayed to you Lord to give us a second chance as you did in 2019,” Mr Ortom said as the party officially launched into the day’s event.

PREMIUM TIMES can report that delegates from the 36 member states and the FCT are fully seated except those from Ogun, Ondo among others largely from the southwest zone.

LIVE UPDATE
The Governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Fintiri, who doubles as the Chairman of the 2021 PDP National Convention Organising Committee, in his 19 minutes speech, praised the diplomacy of the his team.

He said the country has never had things this bad until the emergece of the current APC administration. He stressed the need for the PDP to return to power come 2023.

PDP national convention 2021
Mr Fintiri chronicled the journey of the party thus far as he ascribed its growth to all past chairmen and stakeholders, excluding the embattled Uche Secondus.

Against the figure of the Organising Committee of the convention, the chairman of the convention said a total of 3,600 delegates are expected to partticipate in the election of 21 NWC members.

His was followed by the brief address of the interim National Chairman, Yemi Akinwonmo, who also criticised the ruling APC. He subsequently declared the election open.

The phase is the crux of the day’s activities, though results of the election may not be made available until 9 when they will take over the administration of the party.. The chairman of the Convention Committee, Ahmadu Fintiri, confirmed this earlier in his address. He said the reason is to allow the current NWC members complete their four-year tenure, which began on December 9, 2017

Supporters of the have been instructed to vacate the premises while delegates were told to take their seats at their allotted space within the Eagle Square.

The electoral officials have also taken their respective positions at the centre of theEagle Square venue as at 4:45pm.

Abia State delegates have been called upon to come forward to exercise their franchise.

Adamawa State is to follow.

Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnanya Abaribe, speaking on behalf of PDP caucus of the National Assembly, said “Today, millions are following the proceedings of the convention because they are anxiously waiting for the outcome. They want to go away from the cold-blooded and arrogant looting of the treasury of the APC. Today, we have seen in the last six years the suppression of our citizens, extra-judicial killings and injustice by the ruling party. This clueless government is doing nothing as bandits take over our highways.”

On the economy, Mr Abaribe, who represents Abia South, said, “They have pillaged our economy. They have utterly destroyed the economy. Millions are denied the opportunity of fruitful ventures, when they speak up, they are brutalised.”

Former Benue governor, Gabriel Suswam, who is currently a senator, is invited to move the motion to adopt the congress.

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, is addressing the convention. He said, “The country is going through the most difficult time ever, I am 70 years, and I have never seen this type of hardship, and disunity before in Nigeria. We have a chance to right the country and unite the country, a chance to ship our country to its rightful place among the comity of nations. The PDP is not perfect, none of us is perfect. The APC has shown itself to be ill-equipped and corrupt. The unity of PDP is an extension of the unity of Nigeria. We must develop a country that shuns ethnicity, and focus on merits and the right policy framework ”

Delegates from Abia State and Adamawa State are currently voting. The states are arranged based on alphabetical order.

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar just cast his vote as one of the delegates from Adamawa State.

(Premium Times).