The 2017 elective national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is holding today, Saturday December 9 - Sunday 10, 2017, at the Eagles Square, Central Business Area, Abuja.
The convention will elect officers of the party to pilot the affairs of the PDP ahead of the 2019 general elections and beyond.
The Eagles square, situated on a land measuring about five hectares, was seen fully draped with PDP colours of red, white, green.
Nine people were initially cleared to run, but former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Bode George on Friday night, December 8, said he was withdrawing from the race on a matter of principle
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Another aspirant, former Lagos state governorship candidate, Jimi Agbaje, has withdrawn from the national chairmanship race.
Otunba Gbenga Daniel, the former governor of Ogun state, has also dropped out of the race for the national chairmanship position of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The development was made public on his twitter page just as the party's national convention was underway in Abuja, the nation's capital.
The aspirants left for the national chairmanship position are Prince Uche Secondus, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, Dr. Raymond Dokpesi and Aderemi Olusegun.
The opposition party had zoned the chairmanship for the south after resolving to let the presidential ticket go to the north.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state who serves as the chairman of the Convention Planning Committee, warned the aspirants to go by the rulebook.
Since last week delegates and other party faithful from across the country have been arriving for the big day.
Voting is not expected to start until after the process of amendments of some provisions of the constitution of the party including an amendment to allow former governors and former deputy governors as statutory delegates.
10:56: The Chairman of PDP Governors Forum, Ayo Fayose, speaks on AIT:
“This is the best national convention ever held in Nigeria. I listen to some people talking about list, I felt ashamed, I felt sad.
“For anybody to be talking about list is shameful. We have 87 candidates and all delegates already know who they will vote for for any given position.
“Dokpesi is a man after my heart, but sometimes, the best man may not win the race. We have started well and we will end well.
“If there is no more PDP and there is only APC, I will never join them. Those who left to APC and helped them to win election, today they are suffering and smiling. They should toe the path of Atiku Abubakar.
“I will never vote for an old man to be the president of Nigeria or chairman of PDP, they are too old. Everyone should take it in good faith if they lose or win.
“All these people complaining about this list should go and sit at home and plan for the next election.
“If they had won despite the so-called list, they will pop champagne. I lost election in 2007 and I took it in good faith, I didn’t go to court.
“Nigerians are waiting for PDP, they are tired of paying N17,000 for a bag of rice.
“We are expecting Kwankwaso and others back. Nobody should tell me that PDP has not learnt its lesson, what have we done wrong?
“If Buhari runs against Kowa party today, they will beat him.”
10:23: Counting commences
10:07: Professor Adeniran, the consensus candidate of the southwest has also also rejected the exercise.
72 persons contested for the 21 national offices, but the number has since reduced after some candidates were screened out or voluntarily stepped down.
Meanwhile, despite suspension, Senator Buruji Kashamu attended the convention.
10:51: Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state says he has a list as protest over unity list continues.
8:08: Voting has ended. The next step is to sort and count the votes and declaration of winners
7: 57: Protest is ongoing by some PDP members at the sidelines of the convention
7:56: There is serious allegation of unity list and every delegate is accused of having a copy of unity list.
7: 50: PDP announces amendment of party’s constitution. The key amendments, details of which would be published later.
7: 49: Contesting Raymond Dopkesi alleges that there is a unity list, accuses governors of fraud as others are calling for outright cancellation of the exercise.
7:30: Delegates still voting at the Eagle Square venue of the 2017 PDP national convention.
7:00: The name of the late Niger state governor, Abdulkadir Kure listed amongst those expected to vote at the party’s ongoing convention in Abuja. Kure was a career engineer. He served as governor between 1999 and 2007. He was 61.
6:23: Kano delegates become unruly, anchors resort to begging
5: 27: Aderemi Olusegun withdraws from the chairmanship race
4: 50: Voting process commences for 21 offices as delegates are being counted
4: 34pm: PDP orders drumming to stop immediately, urges members to wait until results are announced
4:30:pm: Election set to commence as party agents are called to inspect ballot boxes. Voting will be in batches of 4 states.
4: 00pm: The Peoples Democratic Party dissolves the Ahmed Makarfi-led national caretaker committee.This will now pave way for the election of substantive executive for the opposition party. The committee was put in place in 2016.
3.00pm: Former Vice President Namadi Sambo speaks:
Glad to God for seeing a great day in which the PDP will elect new set of officials.
I pray for a peaceful, free elections.
2.16 pm: Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, in his address says: “i am proud to be a member of PDP and I am proud of the 16 years that the party was in power."
2.15 pm: Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state speaking at the convention said: “there is nothing wrong in a man falling, but the ability to rise again is all that matters.
“To the delegates, the interest of the PDP is paramount. I urge everyone to put the interest of the PDP first. When PDP regains power, the bag of rice selling for N20,000 will go back to N7,000."
2.13 pm: Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan addressing the crowd at the 2017 PDP convention in company with former Vice President Namadi Sambo.
“Tell everyone that PDP is back and ready to take back power. Ongoing persecution will come to pass. Members should remain strong.” - Sambo
2.12 pm: Minority leader of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio delivering his goodwill message on behalf of the National Assembly.
2.10 pm: Former Niger governor, Babangida Aliyu, is speaking on behalf of former governors. He said PDP will leave the convention more united and stronger.
1.57 pm: Former Ogun state governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel also withdraws from the national chairmanship race.
1.43 pm: Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar addressing PDP members and supporters at the Elective National Convention.
Atiku in his address says: “It is great to be home. I believe in Nigeria. “I believe in one Nigeria where all our people have equal opportunities."
1.26 pm: Chairman of PDP's Board of Trustees, BoT, Senator Walid Jubril, the Sarkin Fulanin Nasarawa addresses delegates at the party's national convention.
1.15 pm: Delta state governor gives a detailed explanation on the voting process.
1.07 pm: Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa state takes the motion to amend PDP's constitution.
Dickson moves the motion for the amendment of the preamble of the constitution to reflect the following contemporary realities:
Section 8 is to be amended to ease the procedure for rejoining the party by members who left and are desirous to return.
Section 50 is to be amended to relax the minimum time requirements before members can seek for election to offices of the party.
Section 29 is to be amended to make the six national vice chairmen members of the NWC.
Section 41 (1) is amended to strengthen the powers of the national auditor.
Section 31(1) d is amended to give chairman and BOT members voting rights in NEC.
Section 32 which deals with composition and membership of BOT is to be amended.
12.58 pm: National Secretary of the caretaker committee, Ben Obi, presents the State of the Party address.
12.32 pm: The chairman, convention planning committee and Delta state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa assure members of transparency as he gives his welcome address.
Okowa in his speech asked for cooperation from all delegates and expressed the determination of the committee to “deliver the best elective process”.
12.02 pm: Chairman National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi addresses delegates and party members.
He calls for a one-minute of silence in honour of former Vice president Alex Ekwueme one of the founding fathers of the party.
11.47 am: Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and PDP chairmanship aspirant, Raymond Dokpesi arrive at the Eagles Square.
11.43 am: Oseloka H. Obaze, the PDP aspirant in the just concluded Anambra governorship election at the PDP convention.
11.39 am: Governors Fayose of Ekiti State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia and Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, arrive the convention ground.
10.53 am: Jimi Agbaje, announces his withdrawal from the PDP national chairmanship race.
10.45 am: Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar arrives at the Eagle Square.
10.34 am: The national chairman, National Caretaker Committee (NCC) Senator Ahmed Makarfi arrives at the Eagle Square.
9.17 am: Party faithful arriving for the big event.
9.04 am: Ballot boxes being set up for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national convention at the Eagles Square, Central Business Area, Abuja.
8.32 am: Governor Ifeanyi Okowa just arrives for the PDP national convention.
Nigerians want PDP back in 2019 - Goodluck Jonathan declares at PDP Caucus Meeting - on Legit.ng TV.