The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has approved Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, as the venue for its October 6, 2018 National convention for the election of the party's presidential candidate.
A total of 3619 National delegates would assemble at the garden city to pick one of the 13 aspirants jostling to fly the party's flag at the 2019 presidential election. The resolution, which was taken yesterday at the party’s 82nd National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja, was not without initial upsets. Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike had been seriously criticized for allegedly threatening the party over convention venue crisis.
At the closed door NEC meeting that lasted four hours, Wike was said to have taken time to explain his position on the matter insisting that he never lobbied for Port Harcourt to be picked as Convention venue, eventually apologising for his public utterances, a development which prompted a unanimous endorsement of Port Harcourt as convention venue. Stakeholders were said to have expressed dismay about the failure of the party leadership to carry others along in some key decisions, a development they believed had created room for rumour.
Shortly after the meeting, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, led all party leaders including aspirants to a press conference to express the view that all burning issues had been resolved. Atiku Abubakar also confirmed he never had any issue against Port Harcourt as a venue.
Chairman of the PDP governor’s forum and Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, also stated that all grey areas had been resolved. At another press briefing, National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the party's NEC reviewed the conduct of the Osun State governorship election and condemned the process as most fraudulent and completely unacceptable. Ologbondiyan further stated that NEC cautioned "with the trend of electoral violence and manipulations of processes by the APC, the political ship of our nation is on a dangerous tide and must be rescued."