The Social Democratic Party (SDP) has adopted President Muhammadu Buhari as its presidential candidate in the forthcoming presidential February 16th election.
The adoption took place yesterday in Abuja at the end of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC). The advised all its members to vote for Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the poll.
But in a swift reaction, the party’s presidential candidate, Mr. Donald Duke, and supporters of another claimant to the ticket, Prof. Jerry Gana, objected to the NEC’s decision, describing it as unfortunate and betrayal.
According to Donald Duke, in a statement issued yesterday night, he said:
“For the SDP NEC to thereby endorse the APC or any other party, is rather unfortunate and betrays in my opinion, the desire of the vast majority of our party members and Nigerians credible alternatives to our nation’s leadership.”
“Regardless and for the avoidance of doubt, I Donald Duke, remain on the ballot and the candidate of the SDP as recognized by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).”
A faction of the party loyal to a former Minister of Information, Prof Jerry Gana, yesterday dissociated itself from the adoption of Buhari.
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Alfa Mohammed, in a statement made available to journalists said the soul of the party remained in the hands of those he called “SDP Patriots” led by Gana.
Mohammed said the party would not have found itself in a tight corner if the National Chairman, Chief Olu Falae; and the National Secretary, Alhaji Shehu Gabam, had heeded wise counsel by majority of the National Working Committee (NWC) members against appealing the judgment of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, which gave the party ticket to Gana.
He said Gana remained the only person that could give SDP members the direction to follow during the presidential election.
He added that the former minister would give the direction after due consultations with appropriate leaders and stakeholders.