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Two years and nine months after it lost it’s 16-year grip on power at the Federal level, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is set to elect officials that will lead it in the quest to wrest power back from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

It has been a long trouble-fraught road for the PDP to get to this point after the APC swept to victory in 2015.

After a wave of defections, legal battles to top officials battling corruption charges, the PDP believes it has a great chance of regaining power.

That process is meant to start in full force with today’s National Convention where eight candidates are racing to become the National Chairman. The Chairman of the Convention Planning Committee, is the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa.

The number of cleared contestants stood at nine on Friday afternoon.

The aspirants are Uche Secondus, Gbenga Daniel, Jimi Agbaje, Rashidi Ladoja, Taoheed Adedoja, Tunde Adeniran, Raymond Dokpesi, Aderemi Olusegun and Chief Olabode George, who later withdrew from the race on Friday night.

George pulled out of the race on the eve of the race in protest. He claimed that the South West is already cheated with the entrants of aspirants from the South-South.

George, Ladoja and Jimi have all pulled out on the eve of the race.

5:35pm: Delegates have begin voting at the PDP national convention.

5:00pm: Delegates have now commenced voting into 21 national positions.

4:40pm: The Peoples Democratic Party has dissolved the Ahmed Makarfi-led national caretaker committee, which was put in place in 2016. This has pave the way for the election of substantive executive.

4:20: Former President, Goodluck Jonathan in his remark said the party has never deceived Nigerians, saying it only promise what it can deliver.

“Tell everyone that PDP is back and ready to take back power.

4:00pm: Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, in his remark said the APC government promised to give Nigerians 3 million jobs a year, instead 3 million jobs lost.

“This belief inspired me and other compatriots to establish the PDP on the ideals of one united nations built on the principles of justice and equity. I fought to prevent tenure elongation”.

3:55pm: Voting Set To Commence
Following the screening of delegates, the voting will commence any moment from now, the process is delayed till the result of the constitution amendment is announced.

3:30pm: Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President, in his remark said the people of the north east were liberated from Boko Haram but they are now being afflicted. There will be peace in the north east when PDP returns to power.

3:12pm: Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, in his own remark said when PDP regains power, the bag of rice selling for N20,000 will go back to N7,000.”

2:45pm: Former Akwa ibom State Governor, in his remark said party members have been contributing positively in the National Assembly to help the APC administration for the good of Nigeria, so that the PDP will take over a healthy country in 2019.

2:30pm: Former Oyo State Governor, Senator Rashidi Ladoja has stepped down from the race.

2:10pm: PDP Chairman of BoT, Walid Jibrin, in his remark said the PDP we will take over power in 2019.

2:01pm: Former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has stepped down from the race.

1:10pm: The party caretaker chairman Senator Ahmed Makarfi in his speech began with a tribute to the founding fathers of the PDP.

He calls for a one-minute of silence in honour of one of the founding fathers of the party, former Vice president Alex Ekwueme.

“In the wake of the performance of our dear party at the 2015 general elections, it was natural, as in most human endeavors for all of us to, not necessarily despair, but be disappointed and do some introspection with a view to finding out what went wrong and how best to make amends and move forward”.

He also said the caretaker committee was able to resolve the issues concerning PDP members across the country.

“Joblessness has never been at such high levels in the history of this country, while the education sector is all but comatose”.

“The relative ease with which foodstuff and other essentials were available and affordable to the average Nigerian under PDP governments is now history”.

“Kidnap for ransom has taken a life of its own, so are the incessant farmers/herdsmen clashes and criminalities so camouflaged. Government must up the ante in its efforts to confront these menaces” he said.

12:40am: Convention Commences
At the beginning of the convention, Delta State Governor and Chairman of Convention Planning Committee, Ifeanyi Okowa, in his speech asked for cooperation from all delegates and expressed the determination of the committee to “deliver the best elective process”. He also confirmed that some aspirants from various positions have withdrawn from the race.

12:30 pm: The Chairman of the planning Committee, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state in his speech assures of a credible convention and asked for cooperation from all delegates.

Tight security in and around Eagles Square venue of the convention.

11:00am: The National Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi arrives Eagle Square, venue of the 2017 Elective National Convention.

11:15am Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar Arrives
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar arrived Eagles Square, venue of the PDP 2017 Elective National Convention. Atiku and chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had earlier resigned from the party and he subsequently announced his defection to the PDP in a live video broadcast on Facebook.

10:45am Delegates Trickle In As Makarfi Arrives

The National Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi arrives Eagle Square, venue of the 2017 Elective National Convention as other delegates gradually arrive the venue.

10: 20 am: Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar arrives Eagle Square, venue of the 2017 Elective National Convention.

09.04am: Eagles Square Ready Amid Tight Security
Its a quiet start to the commencement of the PDP Elective Convention as the venue of the convention, the Eagles Square is security tight. Delegates are seen strolling into the arena for the event of the day. Security operatives are standing right in front of the various voting boots strategically placed at the square awaiting the commencement of the event of the day.

Why PDP Convention Is Holding Amid Tight Security – Aliyu
At the beginning of the convention, a Chieftain of the party and former Niger State Governor, Mr Babangida Aliyu explains why the convention is holding amid tight security saying it was necessary based on advice by foreign countries of a security threat in Nigeria, most especially in the nation’s capital.

Gbenga Daniel, Agbaje, Three Others Withdraw From PDP Chairmanship Race 
Less than 24 hours after Chief Bode George stepped down from the PDP Chairmanship race, more candidates including former governorship candidate of Lagos State Jimi Agbaje, former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, former governor of Oyo State, Rasheed Ladoja have thrown in the towel.


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