Offending aspirants risk disqualification George absent at event
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Chairmanship aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yon Tuesday entered into an agreement to observe fair-play rules as rolled out by the partyâ€™s leadership.
The agreement provides for the disqualification of any of the aspirants that runs afoul of the peace deal.
Highlights of the peace accord signed by the aspirants included a commitment to support whoever emerges winner among them.
The agreement states that no aspirant shall leave the party or encourage his or her supporters, promoters to do so, as a result of the outcome of the national chairmanship election at the elective National Convention;
It further stipulates that : â€œAny 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;
â€œAny 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.â€
However, a precondition that commits the aspirants to the deal is that the process should be transparent, free and fair in accordance with the provisions of the constitution of the party and guidelines of the elective National Conventionâ€
Six of the eight aspirants were present at the accord signing ceremony, which was presided over by the Chairman of the PDP National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi.
Former Deputy National Chairman, Chief Olabode George was said to have informed the party elders in Enugu last Sunday that Tuesday would not be suitable for him but promised to sign the document whenever he returns, former Minister of Sport and Social Development, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja, came after others had concluded the ceremony and also signed the deal.
Senator Makarfi said before the signing ceremony that the presence of the aspirants was an indication that they were working together.
â€œYou have resolved that whoever that is crowned by God and elected by the delegates will be accepted by you. PDP has not done this before.
â€œNo matter the divergent interests, the overall interest of the party prevails. That is a sign of greatness and a vindication of good things to come,â€ Makarfi stated.
He disclosed that the accord and code of conduct were drawn up by the aspirants themselves but only presented to the party leadership.
Makarfi, however, advised that in order to save time and for early conclusion of the convention, some less competitive positions could be resolved within the zone â€œso that positions that are competitive can be conducted.â€
He assured the party that nobody would be excluded from contesting at the convention while pledging a transparent, free and fair election.
Ladoja who spoke on behalf of the aspirants promised that the December convention would be a carnival, assuring them that none of the aspirants will leave the party because of the convention so far it is transparent.
â€œIt is usual in politics that people should fight for positions and it is an aberration that when you lose, you leave. When you join the party, you did not join to become the chairman or secretary but to be a member.
â€œWe shall try to control our supporters so that they do not cause injury to themselves and to other supporters. All of us are serious at making our party great because of the yearning of Nigerian to find a credible alternative.
Meanwhile, the Media Office of the former acting national chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus said he has what it takes to rebuild the PDP into a formidable team ahead of 2019.
It said that one of the biggest strength of Secondus is a clear understanding of political party administration and his firm grip on the partyâ€™s workings.
A statement issued yesterday by the Director of the media office, Ike Abonyi, urged members of the party to see the forthcoming National Convention as a ripe opportunity to rebuild the party with a view to handing it over to the true owners-the people.