The national chairmanship aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Tuesday signed a peace agreement as part of their commitments toward a successful and violent free national convention on December 9.
The National Chairman, PDP National Caretaker Committee, Ahmed Makarfi, at the occasion held at the party’s national secretariat, Abuja, advised contestants in the elective positions to reduce hardship of the convention.
He said that though the party is not averse to consensus, it would not impose any candidate or force any decision on anybody.
“Yes, we want the convention to be transparent, free and fair.
“We also want the convention to be conducted in good enough time because keeping delegates for two days will be big issue.
“So, it will be in order if people talk among themselves, especially where lower positions can be resolved at home by contending forces; so that those positions that are highly competitive, maybe the one that we involve elections.
“Even if it is a single candidate there will be election, but you know that PDP as a family must talk to one another and try to minimise the hardship of the process,” Mr. Makarfi said.
Mr. Makarfi described the accord as a code of conduct and idea of the contestants.
He added that the event had confirmed pledge of the aspirants to work together and support whoever wins.
He also denied rumours that PDP governors and party leaders wanted to impose an aspirant, saying their focus is how to go into the convention in unity and come out as one family.
Rasheed Ladoja, speaking for the eight aspirants, assured that the convention would be smooth, would not break the party or cause members to defect from PDP.
He said that all the aspirants had been working to ensure that their supporters “do not heat the polity.”
“We are trying as much as possible to ensure that our supporters conduct themselves in a way that they do not annoy other supporters, not to talk of other contestants.
“We would try as much as possible to contrive our quota to the convention and the party in general before, during and after the convention.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the agreement was signed by the aspirants and their Campaign Director Generals.
Aspirants who signed were Raymond Dokpesi, Jimi Agbaje, Taoheed Adedoja, Tunde Adeniran, Uche Secondus, Gbenga Daniel and Rasheed Ladoja.
Meanwhile, Bode George, who was the only aspirants not present at the occasion according to Mr. Makarfi, had sent his apology and promised to sign the accord as soon as he is back in Abuja.
Some of the contents of the document include to support whoever emerges as the National Chairman of the party as long as the process is transparent.
“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 agreement “shall be disqualified from contesting the National Chairmanship election.”