By Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja
The Prof. Jerry Gana Campaign Group known as G19 has distanced itself from the purported adoption of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari as the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), for the February 16 presidential election.
The group described the adoption as “shameful betrayal of trust.”
President Buhari was on Thursday adopted as SDP presidential candidate at the end of the meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) held in Abuja The Director General of G19, Dr. Ike Neliaku, while addressing newsmen yesterday in Abuja, distanced Gana from the adoption and maintained that the adoption had plunged the party into a political mudslide.
He fingered the party’s National Secretary, Mr. Shehu Gabam, as the arrowhead and stressed that principled NEC members were shoved aside to enable them carry out their “insidious plot packaged in a desperate bid to create a perception of acceptability.”
“We wish to categorically condemn and dissociate ourselves from this unfortunate, retrogressive, outrageous, unjust, mercantilist, disgraceful betrayal of trust and anti-party activity led by a small faction loyal to the running mate to Donald Duke, Alhaji Shehu Gabam.
“Their pronouncement puts the party in a political mudslide that not only put the party in bad light but is injurious to all other SDP candidates standing election on the platform of the party.
“This repulsive duplicity is unacceptable to our campaign team, our supporters and millions of esteemed SDP members whose voices we represented and on whose mandate this statement is issued,” he added.
Dr. Neliaku claimed that the “sordid outcome” represented the manifestation of a long drawn sword of conspiracy designed, employed and executed from the beginning by some “evil gate keeper” within and outside the party, to manipulate the process of its national convention.
He blamed the party’s presidential candidate Mr. Donald Duke for his unwillingness to execute his mandate and commence campaigns since October 7 to December 14, 2018, and from January 24 till date.
“It is partly for this same reason that we have approached the Supreme Court. For us, democracy and the rule of law are inseparable. The manner of Mr. Duke’s emergence, the choice of his running mate in the National Secretary of the Party, and his lack of capacity to execute his mandate to date, made our suspicion of an intended foul play more evident.
“It is indeed both curious and embarrassing to note that Mr. Duke disappeared from the radar, or absconded from his duty or even abdicated his throne to nicely make room for the endorsement of another candidate,” he stated.
The DG said the party would hold a stakeholders conference on Monday, adding that the purported suspension of the National Publicity Secretary of the party Mr. Alfa Muhammad, was a ‘joke’, noting that he was never served a letter notifying him of any antiparty misdemeanor to enable him clear himself and that he remained the authentic spokesperson for the party