SDP Splits into Factions over Gana, Duke Dispute

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Laleye Dipo in Minna

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) may have split over support for court-declared presidential candidate, Professor Jerry Gana, and the supposed winner of the party’s national convention and former Cross Rivers State Governor, Mr. Donald Duke.

While the National Chairman of the party, Olu Falae and the National Secretary, Shehu Gabam, are on the side of Duke, other members of the National Working Committee (NWC) are supporting Professor Gana.

It was gathered however, that the majority of the members of the NWC told the chairman and those aligning with him that going to court to appeal the ruling would be counterproductive with about 50 days to the presidential election.”

A member of the NWC and National Publicity Secretary of the party, Alhaji Alfa Mohammed, who confirmed this to THISDAY in Minna on Monday said “We are backing Professor Gana in obedience to the court decision, we are a law abiding party and we should respect the law if we want the people to take us serious.

“The presidential election is around the corner and we must not dissipate energy on a legal matter we know we cannot win instead of focusing on the election” Mohammed said”

“Over 90 per cent of us in the NWC have backed Professor Gana, leaving the national chairman who probably has not made up his mind and the national secretary who happens to be the running mate to Duke.

“We have sent a memo to the National chairman asking him not to commit the party to any appeal, going to appeal when the election is less than 50 days has no any advantage to the party” The party spokesman disclosed.

Mohammed said “Gana is ready for the presidential race, his capacity and human resources will make him to coast to victory”.

In the meantime, THISDAY learnt that Gana had been given the presidential nomination form by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Gana was said to have in turn filled the form and returned it to the National Organising Secretary who was expected to have returned the filled form to INEC.