Atiku, Saraki speak on PDP’s choice of Port Harcourt as convention venue
September 28, 2018Lois Ugbede
File photo of PDP
A PDP Convention used to illustrate the story
UPDATED: Despite opposition, PDP insists on holding convention in Rivers State
PDP leaders bicker over national convention venue
2017 Convention: PDP elects new leaders (LIVE UPDATES)
PDM praises Atiku, governors, for breaking PDP
I support a stronger PDP, not any preferred candidate – Atiku
A former vice president and a Peoples’ Democratic Party presidential aspirant, Atiku Abubakar, has denied claims that he was uncomfortable with the choice of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, as venue for the party’s national convention.
Mr Atiku spoke after the party’s 83rd National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja on Friday.
“It is not true because PH is my second home,” Mr Abubakar, who was vice president between 1999 and 2007, said.
“I don’t need accommodation in PH, I don’t need security so it is not true. I am comfortable.”.
Some aspirants had complained about the choice of Port Harcourt as the venue of the party’s national convention claiming it had the potential of being hijacked by Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, who is believed to wield tremendous influence in the former ruling party.
But the party hierarchy had insisted the convention would go on at the venue, saying the choice was a “unanimous decision.”
Delegates to the convention are expected to elect the party’s presidential candidate for 2019 general election.
Also speaking on the choice of Port Harcourt as the convention’s venue, the senate president, Bukola Saraki, said it was acceptable to him.
“We all agreed to hold it at PH,” said Mr Saraki, who is also a presidential aspirant.
“Some of the issues that we are having before which were reported in papers, we discussed that. Everybody decided that we should stay with the party.
“Where tempers flared, people apologised and everybody felt, yes there was a commitment to assure everybody that there will be free and fair primaries.”
The outgoing governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, gave an insight into what transpired at the NEC meeting.
“We had a successful meeting and all grey issues were resolved,” said Mr Fayose.
“Most popular among these grey issues is the venue of our national convention and we have successfully resolved this. We have taken a position that the convention will hold at Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
“Beyond this, there were assurances of free, fair election and that the aspirants will accept the outcome of the result.”
Mr Fayose also said the NEC condemned the process of the Osun State governorship election as “most fraudulent and completely unacceptable.”