A detachment of anti-riot and regular policemen, on Sunday, took over the national headquarters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), adding yet another twist to the lingering crises besetting the former ruling party.
It was learnt that the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, ordered the takeover in order to forestall a breakdown of law and order, following the division of the party into three contending factions.
Former national secretary, Professor Olawale Oladipo, had been scheduled to address the media at about 4.00 p.m., apparently to drum home his opposition to the outcome of Saturday’s national convention in Port Harcourt, which dissolved the National Working Committee (NWC) and appointed a national caretaker committee to run its affairs for the next three months.
However, before he could come to the office, it had been taken over by the police.
The former national secretary was believed to be working with the former national chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and other members of the dissolved NWC, who were resisting the dissolution.
Nobody, including some staff of the party who attempted to gain entry, were allowed access on Sunday.
When approached, the most senior officer among the policemen, Temitope Kolawole, told the Nigerian Tribune that he was not competent to talk to the press.
“We have a chain of command. There is no one here capable of answering your questions. Go and meet the PPRO (Police Public Relations Officer),” he said.