Amid rumour that the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu may dump the party if the outcome of the forthcoming presidential primary does not go in his favour, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) has issued a statement.
Telescope.ng reports that the SDP said there were conditions to be met by Tinubu and chieftains of other political parties before they could be admitted to use its platform for their ambition in 2023.
The acting national chairman of the SDP, Chief Supo Shonibare, stated this in a chat with newsmen on the sidelines of the party’s congress held in Lagos.
It was reported that there have been speculations that some aspirants of the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may dump their party for an alternative platform if they fail to secure the tickets.
One of the presidential aspirants who has been rumoured to be considering an alternative platform like SDP is Tinubu.
Some supporters of Tinubu had advised him to activate a Plan-B in case he fails to secure the APC ticket to realise his ‘life-time’ ambition.
The SDP which is being strongly considered as an alternative platform has however stated that the party would not be available to just any aspirant.
Asked specifically about Tinubu, the acting National Chairman explained that while the party welcomes any politician from other parties, those to be admitted must be people of integrity without any baggage.
He said: “We welcome people from other political parties who feel that they have been unjustly treated in their present party, but we will not be a vehicle for opportunistic individuals who in our own judgement think have been part of the problem of Nigeria. SDP cannot be a clone of PDP or APC, in that case why are we offering ourselves as alternatives.
The chairman admitted that there are aspirants with high integrity in APC and PDP and they are the ones the party will welcome.
Shonibare further stated: “We won’t welcome people who have been convicted even if they say they are appealing against the conviction, we won’t welcome people with pending cases even if the case has not been determined.
“If, prima facie, we look at their matter and we see that there are allegations against them that are waiting, because we have a committee consisting of lawyers, if they look at the allegations, particularly when the charge has been proffered, and the person has not been convicted, we will not wish to push people like that as our flag bearers in the face of indictment.”
The chairman said the chances of the party are extremely high in the coming elections based on the poor performance of both APC and PDP in their over 20 years of leadership.
Shonibare also alleged that there are forces that have infiltrated SDP because of the stance it has while trying to hijack it from the founding fathers.
He stated that the party is relying on pending court cases to help it overcome that challenge.