From Priscilla Ediare, Ado Ekiti

Prince Funso Ayeni, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senatorial candidate for Ekiti North, has hailed the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party for lifting the suspension slammed on him recently.

The NWC had after the Atiku/Okowa presidential campaign rally held in Ado Ekiti, capital of Ekiti State, suspended seven out of the nine National Assembly candidates of the party in the state – five House of Representatives candidates and two Senatorial candidates over alleged anti-party activities.

But the NWC of the party had through a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, on Saturday announced the lifting of the suspension on Ayeni and the House of Representatives candidate for Ekiti North Federal Constituency II, Otunba Ajayi Babatunde Samuel.

According to the statement, the decision to lift the suspension follows the report of the disciplinary committee which recommended the lifting of the suspension on the ground that they have “shown manifest remorse, and apologised for their conduct and affirmed loyalty to the party, as well as, renewed commitment towards the success of the PDP at all levels in the 2023 general elections.”

In his reaction to the lifting of the suspension, Ayeni appreciated the party leadership for their painstaking efforts, not only in repositioning the party but by galvanizing members to work for the victory of the candidates in the forthcoming elections.

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“Let me begin by commending the leadership of our great party -The Peoples Democratic Party for their commitment and painstaking effort, not only in repositioning the party but by galvanizing members to work for the victory of our candidates in the forthcoming elections.

“Like every political party, the PDP is not immune against internal wrangling, disagreement, realignment and reconciliation. A few days ago, these characteristics came to the fore, when the party leadership announced the suspension of some leaders in Ekiti State, including yours sincerely.

“As a party to beat in the next month’s general election, not only in Ekiti but across the 36 states of Nigeria, the announcement unsettled the polity. It’s expected. As a loyal and patriotic family member in the PDP, who trusted its leadership judgement and crisis management mechanism, I knew that our pragmatic leaders would soon resolve the crisis.

“Of course, my confidence was also hinged on the track record of our leaders which has taken us this far. True to type, stakeholders have since stepped in and begun to consult on how to resolve the issue as soon as possible to avoid further damage.

“Yesterday, the committee set up to look into the matter met and the suspension was lifted. I was not surprised because I know PDP is blessed with forward-looking leaders and home builders who appreciate the need to operate as one family, devoid of rancour before the election.

“While using this opportunity to thank the National Chairman of our great party, Dr Iyorchia Ayu and members of his exco for their magnanimity, I also appreciate our leaders and other stakeholders who have spent time and applied wisdom to resolve the issue.”