Presidential Poll: SDP makes u-turn, backs Atiku

By Emeka Nze

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) has announced the suspension of the Prof Tunde Adeniran and Alhaji Shehu Gabam, National Deputy chairman and National Secretary of the respectively.

The party also appointed former National Vice Chairman Supo Sonibare as the acting national chairman of the party.

At a stakeholders’ meeting on Monday, organised by the faction loyal to Prof Jerry Gana, the party endorsed the People’s Democratic Party’s candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as its candidate in the Saturday’s presidential election.  

According to a statement read by the newly appointed National Secretary of the faction, Adakole Ijogi, the party adopted Atiku based on his ideals on restructuring the country, urging party faithful to vote for Atiku in the presidential election.  

The communique adopting Atiku reads: “This directive is premised on the Alhaji Atiku Abubakar acceptance of the template for fiscal and political restructuring to devolve to the states all functions of government that are not the exclusive prerogative of obligations under international treaties or common services of states , and on assurance that Atiku will be able to effectively address the economic security and political challenges facing the polity.”

This was coming on the heels of similar endorsement of President Muhammadu Buhari by the Tunde Adeniran and Shehu Gabam led faction of the party.

Earlier, the Edo State chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) who also doubles as the chairman of SDP Unity Forum, Hon Collins Oreruan, accused the national leadership of the party of misappropriating over N1billion realised from the sale of nomination forms.

Oreruan made this allegation on Monday at a stakeholders’ conference organised by a faction of the party opposed to the adoption of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Edo chapter chairman of the SDP popularly called Chairman of chairmen stated that his group has substantial proof of financial impropriety by some National officers of the Party. 

He said investigations from records at INEC, indicated that SDP ranked as third highest in fielding candidates  for the 2019 general elections. 

“Unfortunately, facts available to us show that the over 1 billion naira realised from the sale of nomination forms to party members for congresses and to aspirants for party primaries have mysteriously vanished from the party’s account, as the party is now said to be broke.”

Oreruan also decried what he called “shameful and uncivilized acts of thuggery at the national secretariat of the party, meted out to National Officers of the party who he alleged were brutalised and beaten up by thugs recruited by the national secretary, Alhaji Shehu Musa Gabam. 

He stated that the both the party’s Youth Leader and the National Publicity Secretary during their awful duties at the national secretariat of the party were brutalised by thugs allegedly loyal to Gabam on Tuesday 22, January and 25th January respectively.    

“We also bring to your notice the shameful and uncivilized acts of thuggery at the National Secretariat of the Party, to National Officers of the party who have been brutalised and beaten up by thugs recruited by the National Secretary of the Party in the person of Alh. Shehu Musa Gabam. 

“This reign of terror and gangsterism now characterise the party. On Tuesday 22nd January, the National Youth Speaker of the Party was at the National Office of the Party to duly conduct his official business and was attacked, beaten up, brutalised and injured for standing on this conviction for justice and Constitution by demanding that Alh Shehu Gabam should respect provisions of Article 24.3 of the SDP constitution and vacate his position as National Secretary, having now become running mate to Mr Donald Duke. 

In the same vein of lawlessness and gangsterism, the National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Alh. Alfa Mohammed was on Friday 25th January, 2019, personally attacked and brutalised by the National Secretary and his thugs. 

“This horrid uncivilised show of shame is completely unacceptable. 

“The SDP Progressives, as law abiding citizens have taken legal actions and reported the matters to relevant security agencies. 

“Hopefully, the law will not suddenly become lame as we seek redress in these matters.”

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