PDP
Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, had on Tuesday 16 August ruled that the national convention of Nigerian opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, must not hold. His judgment restricts the party's convergence in the oil rich city of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, scheduled for the following day, August 17.

He warned the chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the country's electoral umpire, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to disregard the convention. The ruling also urged the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to enforce the order.

This latest order contradicts, and somewhat challenge an earlier judgment on same case delivered by a similar Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt. The Presiding Judge, Justice Mohammed Liman, in his 4 July judgement had declared that the May 21 national convention of PDP was legally constituted and its decisions constitutional.

Confused about verdicts of two different court, commenting on Tuesday's directive by Justice Okon Abang, a staff of INEC stated: “We have just been told that we should not be at the convention on the order of Justice Abang. Yet, another court in Port Harcourt said we must be there. These are same courts with same powers
under the same President, because the Federal High Court in the country is headed by a President. Are these judges reading different laws or constitution? Can't the President of the Federal High Court call his men to order?"

Wadata House, situated in Abuja, the national secretariat of Peoples Democratic Party is always attractive to members, in what is obtainable in other political parties. Influence, patronage, resource control, and the attendant political stature accrued to each offices has seen the once self-acclaimed most populous party in Africa, PDP, experience bifurcation of weaker caucus, split into factions in an attempt to slug out power.

This split, ensuing legal battle within the party is between two broad factions, the Ahmed Makarfi led Caretaker Committee and embattled Ali Modu Sheriff group.

The former has a Southern majority backing and was a product of the May 21 national convention. The latter, a defector, was made acting-National Chairman of the party in early 2016. Allegation of sponsoring the deadly Boko Haram sect labelled against Modu Sherrif constitutes his little bit of baggage, resulting into dissociation, public denial from fellow party members.

However, neither have a popular mandate to steer the leadership of the party, hence, the re-scheduled August 17 national convention intended to produce fresh set of party stewards.

In the early morning of Wednesday, August 17, the convention failed to hold, an abortion not surprising owing to latest Abuja court pronouncement. Government House, the seat of administration in host Rivers State was reportedly blocked from entry. Event venue, the stadium of former Sharks Football Club, Port Harcourt, now Rivers United FC was sealed.

In an on-spot situation report from the Special Assistant on Media to a Southwest delegate I spoke with, nearby hotels to the convention ground were raided. Surveillance helicopters were sighted hovering around the city. Men of the Federal Special Tasks Force were deployed from Abuja to the venue. All of these were overseen by state security operatives under the disparaging eyes and aid of Nigeria Police Force, in what may be considered as carrying out its constitutional duties.

Resolution has been reached by PDP. During a joint emergency meeting later held in the afternoon by the party's National Executive Committee comprising the Board of Trustee, Caretaker Committee, its National Assembly members and Governors, the Ahmed Makarfi led National Committee was re-installed, extending its stewardship to next 12 months.

Destabilising PDP is not a ticket to national prosperity in years ahead. In a country historically linked with military rulership, level playing field for thrive of multi-party politics should ordinarily not be a choice. It is really important to allow political parties make internal popular decisions on their own terms. Interventions by a court of law does not adequately guarantee compliance by waring factions in internal party politics. In fact, it serve to deepen resentment and portray incumbent as taking sides since it controls all state institutions. The Federal High Court{s} must as a matter of urgency reach a conclusive resolution, declare a unilateral stance about the PDP leadership crisis. In the eventual probability the case travels to the Supreme Court, a speedy balanced verdict there would not only have the potential to help consolidate on democratic development in Nigeria, but engender to create more strong opposition parties and establish strong sense of political efficacy.

Adedayo Osho is a political scientist and freelance journalist researching on Conflicts, Protests and Party Politics. Twitter: @Jahpolitical Email: oshoadedayo7@yahoo.comOpposition Party, PDP National Convention Postponed in Nigeria - By Adedayo Osho

Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, had on Tuesday 16 August ruled that the national convention of Nigerian opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, must not hold. His judgment restricts the party's convergence in the oil rich city of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, scheduled for the following day, August 17.

He warned the chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the country's electoral umpire, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to disregard the convention. The ruling also urged the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to enforce the order.

This latest order contradicts, and somewhat challenge an earlier judgment on same case delivered by a similar Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt. The Presiding Judge, Justice Mohammed Liman, in his 4 July judgement had declared that the May 21 national convention of PDP was legally constituted and its decisions constitutional.

Confused about verdicts of two different court, commenting on Tuesday's directive by Justice Okon Abang, a staff of INEC stated: “We have just been told that we should not be at the convention on the order of Justice Abang. Yet, another court in Port Harcourt said we must be there. These are same courts with same powers
under the same President, because the Federal High Court in the country is headed by a President. Are these judges reading different laws or constitution? Can't the President of the Federal High Court call his men to order?"

Wadata House, situated in Abuja, the national secretariat of Peoples Democratic Party is always attractive to members, in what is obtainable in other political parties. Influence, patronage, resource control, and the attendant political stature accrued to each offices has seen the once self-acclaimed most populous party in Africa, PDP, experience bifurcation of weaker caucus, split into factions in an attempt to slug out power.

This split, ensuing legal battle within the party is between two broad factions, the Ahmed Makarfi led Caretaker Committee and embattled Ali Modu Sheriff group.

The former has a Southern majority backing and was a product of the May 21 national convention. The latter, a defector, was made acting-National Chairman of the party in early 2016. Allegation of sponsoring the deadly Boko Haram sect labelled against Modu Sherrif constitutes his little bit of baggage, resulting into dissociation, public denial from fellow party members.

However, neither have a popular mandate to steer the leadership of the party, hence, the re-scheduled August 17 national convention intended to produce fresh set of party stewards.

In the early morning of Wednesday, August 17, the convention failed to hold, an abortion not surprising owing to latest Abuja court pronouncement. Government House, the seat of administration in host Rivers State was reportedly blocked from entry. Event venue, the stadium of former Sharks Football Club, Port Harcourt, now Rivers United FC was sealed.

In an on-spot situation report from the Special Assistant on Media to a Southwest delegate I spoke with, nearby hotels to the convention ground were raided. Surveillance helicopters were sighted hovering around the city. Men of the Federal Special Tasks Force were deployed from Abuja to the venue. All of these were overseen by state security operatives under the disparaging eyes and aid of Nigeria Police Force, in what may be considered as carrying out its constitutional duties.

Resolution has been reached by PDP. During a joint emergency meeting later held in the afternoon by the party's National Executive Committee comprising the Board of Trustee, Caretaker Committee, its National Assembly members and Governors, the Ahmed Makarfi led National Committee was re-installed, extending its stewardship to next 12 months.

Destabilising PDP is not a ticket to national prosperity in years ahead. In a country historically linked with military rulership, level playing field for thrive of multi-party politics should ordinarily not be a choice. It is really important to allow political parties make internal popular decisions on their own terms. Interventions by a court of law does not adequately guarantee compliance by waring factions in internal party politics. In fact, it serve to deepen resentment and portray incumbent as taking sides since it controls all state institutions. The Federal High Court{s} must as a matter of urgency reach a conclusive resolution, declare a unilateral stance about the PDP leadership crisis. In the eventual probability the case travels to the Supreme Court, a speedy balanced verdict there would not only have the potential to help consolidate on democratic development in Nigeria, but engender to create more strong opposition parties and establish strong sense of political efficacy.

Adedayo Osho is a political scientist and freelance journalist researching on Conflicts, Protests and Party Politics. Twitter: @Jahpolitical Email: oshoadedayo7@yahoo.com

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