December 18, 2018

2019: Gana is our recognised presidential candidate,says SDP

Jerry Gana

Prof. Jerry Gana

…No,he can’t be,says party’s state chairmen

By Joseph Erunke

ABUJA- THE Social Democratic Party,SDP,has said the former Minister of Information and National Orientation, Professor Jerry Gana is its recognised presidential candidate in the 2019 election.

Prof. Jerry Gana

But the party’s state chairmen rejected Gana, declaring that the former governor of Cross River State,Mr Donald Duke remains the candidate at the poll.

The National Publicity Secretary of SDP, Alhaji Alpha Mohammed, responding to the confusion trailing the party’s presidential candidate in the 2019 election,declared that Gana was the recognised candidate for now in line with last week’s judgement of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

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He,however,said the party could revert to Donald Duke as its candidate if the appeal before the Court of Appeal declares the former Cross River State governor as the party’s candidate in its expected judgement.

He said:” We remain impartial in the matter between Prof. Jerry Gana and Mr Donald Duke.The party will comply with the ruling of the lower court, until the Appeal Court rules otherwise.”

On their part, the party’s forum of state chairmen rejected Pro. Gana even as they condemned the High Court ruling by Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf nullifying the candidature of Mr Donald Duke as SDP’s presidential candidate in next year’s election.

The forum’s chairman, Oke Idawane, at a press briefing in Abuja, flayed the judgement, insisting that the court lacked the “locus stand to deny and scuttle the inalienable right of a presidential flag bearer who was duly elected and returned as the party’s candidate.”

Idawene, argued that the court misinterpreted Article 15:3 (ii) (2) of the party’s constitution which states “the office of the President and National Chairman of the Party shall rotate between the South and North and among the six (6) geopolitical zones.”

“What the overwhelming majority of delegates did on the October 6, 2018, was to elect our presidential candidate.

“We did not elect a president; otherwise the only logical consequence of Friday’s Abuja, High Court decision would be that Prof. Jerry Gana would be sworn in as president of Nigeria on May 22, 2019,”he said.

He vowed that the forum, based on the above provision and clarification “will pursue to a logical conclusion, the mandate given to us by thousands of party members from the 37 states of Nigeria.”