By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA—Seven of the eight national chairmanship aspirants of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have signed a peace accord, with a resolve to abide by the outcome of December 9 elective convention.
The brief ceremony, which held at the party’s national secretariat attracted party heavyweights such as Chairman of the PDP Disciplinary Committee, Chief Tom Ikimi; ex- Rivers State governor, Celestine Omehia and Senator Lee Maeba, among others
Shortly before signing the accord, Chairman, National Caretaker Committee of the party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, thanked the aspirants for putting the party first, adding that their resolve to sign the peace accord was a sign of greatness.
Makarfi, who condemned misleading reports of alleged feud among the aspirants by a section of the media, also noted that the coming together of the aspirants to pledge their commitment to the outcome of the convention would help put the records straight.
He said: “Our being here today is a clear confirmation that what they (a section of the media) have been saying is wrong. You have resolved that whoever is crowned by God and elected by the delegates will be acceptable to you.
Explaining the absence of Chief Bode George, Makarfi said the aspirant asked to be allowed to append his signature on the accord today as “yesterday (Tuesday) was not convenient for him.”
In the accord, the aspirants resolved as follows: “Support whoever emerges amongst us as the National Chairman of our great party as long as the process is transparent, free and fair in accordance with the provisions of the constitution of the party and guidelines of the elective national convention;
“No aspirant shall leave the party or encourage his or her supporters, promoters etc to do so, as a result of the outcome of the national chairmanship election at the elective national convention;
“Any breach of the 2015 zero expenditure policy of the party, which prohibits the use of monetary inducement including lodging of delegates and providing money for votes, shall not be tolerated in the 2017 national elective convention and shall be a ground for disqualification on or before the 9th December, 2017;
“Any aspirant/sponsor/supporter/financier, proven to have done anything contrary to the agreements reached herein and in circumstances that suggest the knowledge of the undersigned persons shall be disqualified from contesting the national chairmanship election.
“We solemnly abide by and uphold the tenets of this National Chairmanship Election according to which we hereby voluntarily subscribe.”
The seven aspirants who endorsed the peace accord included Professor Tunde Adeniran (former Education Minister), Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Rashidi Ladoja, erstwhile governors of Ogun and Oyo States respectively, Prince Uche Secondus (ex- Acting National Chairman of the party, Professor Taoheed Adedoja (one time Minister of Sports and Special Duties), media tycoon, Raymond Dokpesi and Jimi Agbaje, the PDP governorship flag bearer in Lagos State in the 2015 gubernatorial elections.
Responding on behalf of the aspirants, Ladoja thanked the leadership of the party for providing a level playing field for the contestants, promising on behalf of his colleagues that “The convention will not break our party.”
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