The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, will today elect new officials into its National Working Committee, NWC.
Officials elected today will replace those forced to resign in June after the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, reported fraud in the earlier elections.
PREMIUM TIMES’crew will be at the Eagle Sqaure election venue to bring you news of the event as they unfold.
The Eagle Square is almost empty even though the President, Goodluck Jonathan and PDP chairman, Bamanga Tukur, and other leaders of the party are still seated.
This may be connected with the agitation of some states and the newly formed faction.
Meanwhile, counting of votes have commenced.
Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar flanked by ex Senator Jibril Aminu to his left and Aminu’s successor Senator Bello Tukur, at Adamawa state pavilion shortly before he followed the governors to stage a walk out on the convention and declare a new national faction of PDP.
PDP SPLITS: SEVEN GOVERNORS, OYINLOLA, ATIKU MEMBERS OF NEW FACTION
Nigeria’s ruling Peoples Democratic Party has finally officially split into at least two factions.
A new faction, consisting of seven of the party’s 23 governors has announced that it has taken over the party.
At a press briefing in Abuja, Bala Kaoje, a former sports minister, was announced as the leader of the new faction of the party.
The press briefing was attended by at least seven governors including those of Kano, Sokoto, Rivers, Jigawa, Kwara, Adamawa,
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar was also at the press briefing.
A former Osun State Governor and National Secretary of the PDP, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, was announced as the National Secretary of the new PDP faction.
The party leaders said they took the decision to salvage the PDP from those who have hijacked it.
ATIKU, GOVERNORS ANGRILY STORM OUT OF PDP CONVENTION
A former Nigerian Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, and some state governors and members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have walked out of the party’s convention.
The leaders are protesting the actions of the organisers of the ongoing PDP Special National Convention that has seen a majority of the aspirants disqualified.
Over 50 of the 75 aspirants, most presumed to be loyal to opponents of President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term ambition within the PDP, have been disqualified from vying for the 17 available National Working Committee, NWC, positions of the party.
The governors and leaders that walked out are currently addressing the press at a separate venue from the Eagle Square where the PDP Convention is ongoing.
Some governors and leaders of the PDP walk out of convention after party disqualifies dozens of aspirants.
For Anambra and Adamawa, only statutory delegates are voting due to factionalization of the party in those states.
Delegates now queuing up to vote, according to their states. Each state, including the FCT, has its voting point. All state will vote simultaneously.
Ken Nnamani is announcing the list of those eligible to contest in the elections. A lot of contestants have been screened out. Details will follow shortly.
Meanwhile, when the election starts, they hope to use these ballot boxes.
Governors Kwankwaso and Sule Lamido invited Atiku Abubakar to tour the pavilions. Their supporters are ecstatic and chanting in Hausa, “said mun chanja”. Meaning: We must change.
Ex-Convict, Bode George, interviewed by National Tv, NTA.
The Uba brothers – Andy and Chris – at the Anambra Pavillion.
Its prayer time. Muslims move out en masse to the car park behind the venue to observe their prayers.
Despite suspension, Andy Uba is attending the convention. He is seated beside his brother and three seats away from Nwoye. Andy arrived after the skirmishes at the state’s pavillion.
We almost forgot to tell you that Senator Smart Adeyemi was busy dancing to music from drummers praising him while the national anthem was played
Voting time draws closer. Some aspirants are still moving round, concluding last-minute campaigns.
After hailing President Jonathan, Sule Lamido, Musa Kwankwaso and Aliyu Wamakko moved together to Jigawa pavilion where they are now seated. Supporters cheered as they strolled.
Governors of Kano, Jigawa, Niger and Sokoto, go in group to ‘pay homage’ to the president. Some of them are planning a new party.
Acting National secretary of PDP describes All Progressives Congress, APC, as “the Apartheid Party Congress” in a speech.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu before the president walked in.
Chairman Convention Committee, Jerry Gana, has given his opening speech.
Murtala Nyako’s faction have decided to stay away from the convention and would go to court on Monday to seek to upturn the convention for the use of wrong delegates list from Adamawa, our Adamawa source has said.
Since the arrival of President Jonathan, GSM services have been scrambled. But our updates will continue.
Convention proper kicks off with Muslim and Christian prayers.That was few minutes after president Jonathan walked in to a cheering welcome.
An aspirant for the position of National Women Leader, Nikky Nkiru Nwabueze, complains to journalists that despite being screened yesterday, the president told them that Kema Chikwe is going to be returned for the position.
“Write it like that,” she said.
Olisah Metuh, former spokesman of PDP, enters the pavillion to douse tension as bodyguards fence off Chris Ubah. Shouts of Tony Nwoye rent the air.
On the fron row of the pavillion, one delegate seats between the rivals, Nwoye and Ubah. Andy Ubah is not here yet.
At the Anambra pavillion, blows were actually exchanged. Some delegates said Chris Ubah been suspended and must leave. His supporters on the other hand said he must stay. Bruised faces staring at each other from both ends.
Security agents move in to the Anambra pavillion to calm the situation but hot arguments still on.
Fighting breaks out at the Anambra state pavilion as some delegates bar Chris Ubah from taking his seat. He is rough handled in the fight.
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, arrives the venue.
Sule Lamido of Jigawa is also here. “If Lamido is here, who else is not here?” the announcer said, while announcing his arrival.
Sokoto state governor, Aliyu Wammako, and his deputy, Mukhtari Shagari just walked in, rubbishing speculations here at Eagle Square that the group of six northern governors might boycott the convention.
On the other side, the entire Adamawa pavilion is filled by people delegates loyal to a faction led by PDP Chairman Bamanga Tukur. Governor Murtala Nyako is reportedly holding a meeting in his residence with senators and House of Reps members loyal to him.
Security is tight here, but so far the security agents are displaying a high level of professionalism. A chopper has been hovering over Eagle Square since morning. We just hope the pilot is constantly checking his fuel gauge.
PDP chairman, Bamanga Tukur, receiving delegates.
Those already present at the venue include the PDP chairman, Bamanga Tukur, Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, his deputy, Emeka Ihedioha, Delta state Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan.
Also a delegate from Adamawa just told us there was serious drama as Mr. Tukur wanted only delegates from his faction to be given accreditation. But the rule is that only delegates who participated in the last convention were recognised and his faction was not in place then, rather it was Murtala Nyako’s people.
It was finally resolved, and both camps were given tags to enable them to vote at the election.
So far only those from Mr. Tukur’s camp have arrived and are occupying one half of their pavilion.
3500 DELEGATES VOTE FOR 75 ASPIRANTS
About 3500 delegates are expected to vote at the Special National Convention of the PDP on Saturday at the Eagle Square in Abuja.
The Chairman of the Publicity sub-committee of the National Convention Committee, Emeka Ihedioha, who disclosed this to journalists in Abuja on Friday, said the delegates will vote at 146 voting points and will start by 10 a.m.
The number of voting point is high in order to hasten the process, he said.
Mr. Ihedioha, who is the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, said all the 17 positions will be voted for irrespective of the number of aspirants vying for the positions. He said only the position of the National Secretary will not be contested.
The lawmaker said that some respectable Nigerians would be invited to compere the event.