The Nigerian Police said it has sealed off the Sharks Stadium in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the venue of the national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party on Wednesday.
As early as 5am, today, several policemen were deployed in the City, alongside Armoured Personnel Carriers. The policemen equally sealed part of the Rivers State Government House.
Speaking on Channels Television, during a programme titled, ‘Sunrise Daily’, the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Donald Awunah, said the primary responsibility of the police was to protect life and prevent crisis. He added that due to the tension surrounding the convention and the conflicting court rulings, the police thought it best to seal off the venue.
He said, “The warring parties need to follow due process to end their crisis through the courts and as a law enforcement agency what do you do? You ensure that there is a superior court order. It is not about taking sides.
“If in the next one hour or two, we get another court order, we will take action. We are there for every Nigerian but when you are the first responder, you have to take action, you have to be proactive.”
Also confirming the closure, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Nnamdi Omoni, said:
“Yes, we have (sealed off) the place,” adding that: “We are just obeying the court instruction.”
When reminded that there were two conflicting court judgments on the party convention, Mr. Omoni responded, “I don’t know what you are talking about”.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that security operatives have denied delegates, journalists entry into the stadium.