Police in Nigeria’s oil rich Rivers State have denied sealing off a convention by the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The party has been thrown into crisis with factional leaders, each claiming to be chairman.
Two courts also gave conflicting ruling on the convention which was supposed to take place at the Sharks stadium in Port Harcourt in the southern part of the country, an opposition stronghold.
The Rivers State police chief, Francis Odesanya, is reported by the Vanguard news portal to have said his men merely complied with a court order to provide security around the venue.
He denied that they sealed off the venue adding that they are not into the business of interpreting court orders. “We did not seal up the place, we are only providing security, It is not my duty to interpret court order’‘, he added.
The PDP had earlier reported via its Twitter handle that the police had disrupted their convention with the aim to confirm a particular court ruling that barred the party from holding the convention.
The current power struggle in the party is between two Senators Ali Modu Sheriff and Ahmed Makarfi, each claiming to be leader of PDP as chairman of the National Caretaker Committee.
The party has been in opposition for a little over a year after ruling Africa’s most populous nation since the return to democratic rule in 1999. Until Muhammadu Buhari came to power, the PDP had produced three presidents over 16 years.
Two terms for Olusegun Obassanjo, a term for the late Umaru Musah Yar Adua, which was complete by his then deputy Goodluck Jonathan, before Jonathan won a full term as president.