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PDP Convention Security personnel battle to clear delegates at venue

The situation at the venue later became chaotic, as delegates struggled to enter through the only gate reserved for them.

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(Punch)

Delegates to the PDP National Convention in Port Harcourt encountered intense scrutiny, as security personnel struggled to screen and clear them for participation at the Sharks Football Stadium.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the delegates started arriving at the venue as early as 8.00 a.m. with their supporters playing music.

The situation at the venue later became chaotic, as delegates struggled to enter through the only gate reserved for them.

At a point, police had to fire tear gas and this sent the crowd scampering for safety.
As a result, many delegates started coughing, while a middle-aged man yelled for help for several minutes before some sympathisers took him to the hospital.

Despite the challenges, the delegates were screened and admitted into the venue.

Journalists were also caught in the web in efforts to enter the venue, as security personnel directed them to depart from specific areas before they were allowed in later.

NAN also reports that small business owners made brisk business selling snacks, food and drinks at the venue.

A food vendor, Mrs Grace Odoh, said that she had sold out all the rice and stew she prepared for the day.

``I did not anticipate seeing this large crowd here. I have finished selling the half bag of rice I cooked early today. I am thinking of preparing more food because the event will obviously last for long,’’ she said.

Mr James Briggs, a shop owner at the stadium, said that he got a lot of large patronage from people at the stadium, adding that he would re- stock his shop later in the day.

``I am happy because the delegates patronised my shop very well. I will need to order for more snacks and drinks; as our visitors have almost bought everything in my shop,” he said.

Meanwhile, as at 2.25 p.m,, governors and other top members of the party have not arrived the venue.

Several musical groups are on hand entertaining those who are in the stadium. 

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