Intelligence indicates that some aggrieved factional leaders of the PDP have perfected plans to engage thugs to join them in threatening public peace and security in Abuja – Police.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, has warned factions of the Peoples Democratic Party against threatening the peace and security in Abuja.
Arase stated this in a statement on Monday by the Force Public Relations Officer, Olabisi Kolawole.
Also on Monday, there were indications that the Ahmed Makarfi led committee, which was constituted by the PDP national convention in Port Harcourt on Saturday, had reached out to the Senator Ibrahim Mantu-led panel, set up by some PDP elders in Abuja on Saturday, to forge an alliance.
Kolawole, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, said, “Intelligence at the disposal of the force leadership indicates that some aggrieved factional leaders and members of the PDP have perfected plans to engage thugs from across the country to join them in threatening public peace and security in Abuja.”
She added that the plan of such people was to infiltrate Abuja and attack the headquarters of the PDP with the aim of forcefully occupying the complex.
“Towards perfecting this criminality, credible police sources confirm that the actors will mobilise into Abuja with effect from Monday, May 23, 2016 and they intend to march through major streets in Abuja before proceeding to the PDP secretariat to manifest their intention,” Kolawole stated.
The force PRO added that the IG had directed the deployment of police to secure the PDP secretariat and protect the staff until the threat stopped.
She stated, “The police action is a proactive initiative, which is being emplaced in furtherance to the statutory mandate of the Nigeria Police to prevent a breakdown of law and order and protect lives and property.
“The Inspector-General of Police, however, warns all actors in the crisis as well as their loyalists to refrain from any act that may threaten public order as the Police shall deal promptly, firmly and decisively with such persons or group in line with their legal obligations.”
The immediate National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, who was sacked at the PDP national convention in Port Harcourt on Saturday, has insisted that he remains the chairman of the party.
In Abuja on the same day, another faction also named a former Deputy President of the Senate, Mantu, as the chairman of the committee it named to manage the party.
The Sheriff faction, which promised to brief journalists on Monday (yesterday), failed to do so.
Sheriff’s Media Aide, Mallam Inuwa Bwala, had promised journalists on Sunday evening that the faction would brief journalists on the outcome of its meeting on Monday.
It was also gathered that Makarfi was already making efforts to speak with the Mantu group on the need to work together.
A member of the Mantu group, who spoke on condition of anonymity to one of our correspondents on Monday, said, “We are expecting him (Makarfi) to meet us this week. He has reached out to us. But we have not picked a state when we would meet.”
On Monday, the riot policemen still barricaded the three entrances leading to the premises of the main opposition political party in the country.
Meanwhile, there are fears that the crisis in the party could affect the party as it prepares for the conduct of governorship primary in Edo State.
The Independent National Electoral Commission has fixed June 12, 2016, for the commencement of campaigns by political parties for the Edo State governorship election.
It also set aside July 2 to 4, 2016, for the conduct of party primaries, including resolution of disputes arising from the primaries.
The commission has fixed September 10 for the conduct of the election.
The PDP, it was gathered, was already worried that it needed to put its house in order so that the crisis wouldn’t jeopardise its chances during the election.
Also, the immediate past Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Abdullahi Jalo, said Sheriff was actually planning to contest the 2019 presidential election on the party’s platform.
Jalo, who described the removal of Sheriff and the sacking of other members of the National Working Committee, as justified, warned that the crisis in the party would continue if Sheriff failed to vacate the seat.
He said this while speaking with journalists on Monday in Abuja.
Jalo alleged that Sheriff wanted to destabilise the party, adding that during the 71st National Executive Committee meeting of the party, it was agreed that his tenure had expired because he was completing the tenure of the former chairman of the party, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, which ended in March, and should therefore bow out honourably.
He said, “Now, he is sitting on the fence of illegality. If the convention had ratified him, he should have been given till that period of 2018, but since he has been sacked, he should thank God that despite the protest of so many people in the party, he was able to manage it till last Saturday.”