SDP withdraws from Presidential race, adopts Buhari/Osinbajo
WITH only nine days to the Presidential election in Nigeria, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), on Thursday, withdrew from the race and adopted of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as its candidates for February 16 election.
The NEC, who hanged its decisions on the protracted legal tussle that had rocked the party in recent time, said it was imperative to technically withdraw from the presidential election and focus on the National Assembly, Governorship and State Assemblies elections, which the party had already fielded candidates across the country.
In a communiqué authorized by the Director, Media and Publicity of the party, Honourable Yemi Akinbode, after the meeting in Abuja, the NEC expressed regret that since the end of the National Convention of the party in Abuja, and emergence of Donald Duke as the presidential candidate, the party has been enmeshed in litigation which has significantly sapped its energy, time and resources.
“With less than nine days before the presidential election, our great party is caught up in a web with very little room for manoeuvre. The options before us at this critical junction are limited, we either realign our forces or we lose out completely because we cannot campaign, we cannot do anything,” it stated.
It said with the multitude of parties in the race for the crucial presidency of the country, it has become imperative for engagements and strategic collaboration between and among parties that were strongly committed to the Nigerian ideal so that the future of the country is not doomed.
The NEC noted that the number of political parties has approached the party for collaboration during the forthcoming elections, and after extensive deliberations, it resolved that the party that came close to and nearly shares the social democratic and progressive ideals and values of the SDP was the APC.
“After further weighing the options and reviewing the political situation in the country, NEC was convinced that with the SDP and the APC working together, SDP has the better chance of gaining lost grounds in meeting the yearnings of Nigerians and we have no doubt whatsoever that Nigeria will surely make progress and lip forward in the march to greatness through the resolution of pending challenges and progressively to the next level.”
“It is in view of all these that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the SDP has resolved to adopt President Muhammadu Buhari and the Vice-Presidential candidate, Professor Yemi Osinbajo of APC, as candidates of the party for the 2019 presidential election. Consequently, all members of the SDP are, hereby enjoyed voting for President Buhari of APC at the election.
“For the avoidance of doubt, NEC restates that this is not a merger between the SDP and APC and therefore, the SDP retains its identity and remains a distinct political party. NEC calls on all our members nationwide to vote for SDP candidates for the National Assembly, gubernatorial and state House of Assemblies elections. We indeed respect and demand reciprocity from the APC in return as the implementation of these resolutions will be coordinated through zonal and state committees in view of local peculiarities.” The NEC stressed.