Akin Akanke, Abuja
The struggle for the soul of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took a dramatic turn on Sunday as the Abubakar Baraje-led breakaway faction was forced to abandon the Sokoto Governors’ lodge in Asokoro, Abuja, venue of meeting earlier scheduled for 8pm.
The group was forced to move the venue of its meeting at short notice because of the heavy presence of security operatives ostensibly deployed to prevent the meeting from being held.
When our correspondent got to the abandoned venue about 7: 20 pm, two trucks load of heavily armed mobile policemen were found at the venue.
While some of the policemen moved around the venue, others remained in the vehicles packed beside the building.
No vehicle was allowed to park around the vicinity of the Sokoto Governor’s lodge, which bore the name of former President Shehu Shagari.
It was, however, learnt that on discovering that security men had taken over the venue, the group’s leaders quickly resolved to move the meeting to the liaison office of one of the seven states they control.
The meeting it was learnt eventually held at Kano state governor’s lodge.
Apart from Niger and Kwara States governors the other five governors were in attendance. Others at the meeting were Danjuma Goje, Bukola Saraki, for governor of Kebbi and former FCT Minister, Aliero, former governor of Nasarawa state, Abdullahi Adamu among others.
The faction was launched when seven governors and the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar walked out of a special party convention in Abuja to hold a parallel one.
Sunday’s meeting, which was to have discussed the issue of the alleged intimidation of factional members had the governors of Sokoto, Niger, Rivers, Kano, Kwara, Jigawa and Adamawa states in attendance.
It was gathered that the faction was also billed to discuss the five governors that they said were joining the group and other sundry issues.
When contacted, the spokesman of the group, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, said that they had to move to an undisclosed venue because of security harassment, adding that the caucus meeting was to address issues of importance to the group.