The Director General of the Prof. Jerry Gana Campaign organization, G19, Mr Ike Neliaku, has rejected the outcome of the Social Democratic Party (SDP)’s Presidential Primary which led to the emergence of Mr Donald Duke as the party’s presidential candidate.
Neliaku told newsmen in Abuja that the party did not adhere to the principles of zoning and rotation of political offices based on inclusiveness justice and fairness to all.
According to him, since the chairmanship of the party had gone to the South West, the contest for presidential candidacy should have been limited to only aspirants from the North.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that five aspirants who contested for the party’s presidential ticket during its on Oct. 6 and 7 Convention in Abuja were returned with following votes: Donald Duke 812 votes and Prof. Jerry Gana 611 votes.
Others are Mr John Dara 104 votes, Prof. Iyorwuese Hagher 72 votes and Amb. Felix Osakwe 10 votes.
However, Neliaku insisted that the party went against its zoning formula during the convention.
“While the process was in progress, we drew the attention of some party leaders that the presidential ticket was zoned to the North.
“Sadly this matter of zoning was ignored, but our conditions are in line with the provisions of the SDP constitution on the principle of rotation and zoning of offices, contained in section 15.3 (i and ii) of the party’s constitution,” he said.
Neliaku claimed that since Chief Olu Falae, who is from the South, emerged the National Chairman of the party, “it then follows that in accordance with the tenants of our party, the contest for presidential ticket ought to have been restricted to aspirants from the North.
“So our advice which was ignored, was not merely wishful thinking, but a weighty constitutional matter.
“We expect the party to do the right thing by disqualifying the affected southern aspirants from contesting at the presidential primary.
“We find it most appropriate to stress that the Supreme Court, in a plethora of cases, has ruled and asserted the fact that political parties must obey their own constitutions and guidelines.
“And where necessary the courts will intervene and wield the big stick to prevent arbitrariness,” he said.