By Hon Adakole Ijogi, National Secretary, Social Democratic Party
Removal and Suspension of Prof. Tunde Adeniran as Chairman of the SDP and The Adoption of Alh. Atiku Abubakar for the 2019 Presidential Election by the Social Democratic Party.
Our attention has been drawn to speculations of impropriety and unconstitutionality on the far reaching decision of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of our Party the Social Democratic Party (SDP) that was held on Monday 11th of February 2019 to effectively reposition the Party.
As social democrats and upholders of the rule of law, allow me to say that no processes were contravened or circumvented, the NEC which was properly constituted only acted in accordance to the provision of the constitution of our Party to correct series of gross violation of the Party’s Constitution.
Allow me to state that after Chief Olu Falae suddenly resigned his position as chairman of the Party and his unilaterally, unconstitutionally and without nomination from the appropriate organ of the Party, announced Prof Tunde Adeniran as his successor contravened provisions of our Party’s constitution and was voided by the NEC.
Consequently, the removal and suspension of Prof. Tunde Adeniran was based on the Court of Appeal decision of January 24, 2019 in the case of SDP, Mr. Donald Duke, others and Prof. Jerry Gana which declared that the Party’s amended Constitution of 2018 only became operational on October 8, 2018; And whereas the said judgment declared that it was the former and old Constitution of the SDP that regulated the National Convention of October 6, 2018; And whereas by the combined effects of the above, the then ratification of Prof. Tunde Adeniran’s appointment as Deputy National Chairman South by the National Convention was thus ineffectual, null and void; as the position of Deputy National Chairman South is nonexistent in the Old SDP Constitution that was used to regulate the October 8 2018 SDP Convention as pronounced by the Appeal Court Judgement, hence his removal as Chairman and suspension from the party for gross violation of the Party’s constitution. The NEC then nominated, elected and ratified Chief Supo Shonibare as National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party.
Also on the removal and indefinite suspension of Alh. Shehu Gabam as National Secretary of the Party was by the virtue of Article 24.3.i of SDP Constitution. Alh. Shehu Gabam ought to have since relinquished his position as National Secretary in favour of his current position as running mate to Mr. Donald Duke; and whereas he has failed, refused and/or neglected to so relinquish, the NEC approved his removal from office as National Secretary and suspended him from the party for gross violation of the provisions of the constitution of the SDP. The NEC then nominated, elected and ratified Hon. Adakole Ijogi as National Secretary of the Social Democratic Party.
On the adoption of Alh. Atiku Abubakar by the SDP for the 2019 presidential election, the NEC acted in consonance with its powers to effective give credence to the yearnings and aspirations of Party leaders and members. Premised on the fact that Mr. Donald Duke, the Presidential Candidate of the Party since October 7th 2018, was yet to commence any visible and serious campaign, didn’t build any nationwide presidential structure (campaign team, state coordinators etc) and did not campaign with other SDP candidates standing for elections, it was obvious to NEC that going to the polls was not Mr. Donald Duke’s plans. The NEC received report from a technical committee mandated to review and recommend to NEC on the way forward, the committee reported that after a careful study and assessment of leading presidential candidates, the presidential campaign plans of Alh. Atiku Abubakar was closely related to the ideals and manifesto of the SDP. The NEC also took this position in consonance with the outcry of millions of Nigerians who desire national leadership change and the coming together of political forces to ensure the nation is rescued from hunger, maladministration, nepotism and quasi dictatorship.
As the 2019 elections beckons, may I use this medium to urge all SDP Party members and supporters nationwide to come out in multitude on Election Day and vote for SDP candidates, and to also implore the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remain impartial and ensure the elections are credible, free, fair and peaceful.