SDP, Duke Set For a Face-off

SDP,  Duke Set For a Face-off

Ten days to the Presidential election scheduled for February 16, 2019, the Social Democratic Party, SDP is heading for a face-off with its presidential candidate, Donald Duke as its National Executive Committee, NEC meets Thursday to consider the pros and  cons of having Duke on the ballot.

As far as fielding a presidential candidate for the presidential election is concerned,  the SDP has not done enough work, says sources at the party headquarters.

To map the way forward, a meeting of the party's principal organ, the National Executive Committee, NEC would meet  Thursday to review the party's position.

  SDP's National Organising Secretary, Hon Emeka Atuma told  that as at today,  Tuesday  the party has not embarked on Presidential campaigns as two contenders for the position, Messrs Donald Duke and Jerry Gana are still jostling over the ticket in court.

" The SDP is concerned that 10 days to the Presidential election, it is yet to have a confirmed Presidential candidate. Of course former governor, Donald Duke is SDP's Presidential candidate today. But Prof Jerry Gana is already at the Supreme Court to contest Court of Appeal judgment which gave the ticket to Duke.

"The thinking of the party is that unless the Supreme Court delivers its judgment within 48 hours, SDP's NEC will meet to review whether or not it will field a presidential candidate or enter an allliance with a party of similar ideology," Atuma said.

Atuma further explained that though the party has entrenched its structures nationwide, it may be impossible to transverse the width and length of the Country within the available time.

It will be recalled that after Duke polled 812 to emerge SDP's presidential candidate, at the party's presidential primaries, in October, 2018,  former Minister of Information, Prof. Gana, who polled 611 dragged him to court.

However Donald Duke, who won the ticket at the party's primaries and further consolidated his position with a Court of Appeal ruling in his favour says he is going ahead with his campaigns in spite of delays caused by litigation over his candidature.

Duke, a former Governor of Cross River, told journalists in Lagos Saturday  February 2 that his campaign would officially commence ASAP as he had been pronounced the bonafide candidate of SDP by the Court of Appeal.

The court in Abuja on Thursday, January 31 declared Mr Duke the presidential candidate of SDP for the Feb. 16 Presidential Election.

Says Duke: “I may have lost time over the proceedings but it will not in any way stall my progress or affect my victory at the polls.

“We have concluded arrangements to kick-start a very smart campaign that will reach the electorate across the nation.

“My campaign will not be a conventional one but it will be very effective.

“Nigerians are yearning for an alternative platform and we intend to position ourselves as that alternative that the people crave for"

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