Saturday, May 28, 2022

Tinubu, Osinbajo can join us if cheated in APC primaries: SDP

“We won’t welcome anyone who we feel has a pending court case…anyone that has been convicted, even if the person is actually now appealing that conviction.”

• May 13, 2022
Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Yemi Osinbajo
Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Yemi Osinbajo

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) says it will welcome APC national leader Bola Tinubu, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and other aspirants willing to contest elective positions in 2023 on the party’s platform.

SDP acting national chairman Supo Shonibare, who stated this at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday, however, said aggrieved aspirants from other parties must not come to the party with “baggage.”

Mr Shonibare said while those who felt cheated in other political parties could come and join the SDP to pursue their political ambitions in 2023, they should be ready to submit themselves to stringent conditions, including integrity tests.

He also clarified that Mr Tinubu was not a registered member of the SDP.

“On the issue of Asiwaju Tinubu, the last time I checked, he is not a member of the SDP. I checked on the list because the membership list of our party as INEC has required, has already been submitted by our state chapters to us in Abuja,” said the SDP leader. “His name is not among those who are members of our party in Lagos State. That’s all I can say, he’s not a member of SDP.”

He, however, said the APC national leader or any other aspirant from other registered political parties interested to join the party was welcome.

“Yes, we welcome anyone felt cheated by another political party, but must be consistent with integrity. If he (Tinubu) comes, it won’t be automatic. What we would emphasise is consistency with integrity within the public officer,” explained Mr Shonibare. “Also anyone who is controversial, rated low or with baggage, who doesn’t have integrity will not be allowed. SDP leadership does not want the party to be an opportunistic vehicle.”

Mr Shonibare also maintained that the party would only give consideration to individuals cheated by his party but not in controversial circumstances.

“In instances where we’ve seen great injustices to an individual, who we feel is not coming to us with baggage, yes that individual will be welcome to SDP,” he noted. “But we won’t welcome anyone who we feel has a pending court case. We won’t welcome anyone that has been convicted, even if the person is actually now appealing that conviction.”

He said the SDP would pay attention to defectors with integrity and honour.

On the party leadership crisis, Mr Shonibare maintained that INEC lacked the powers to determine the authentic leadership of SDP.

“INEC is not the court of law, so it cannot determine which fact is the rightful leadership of the party. It is the constitution of the party, the rules of the party and the determination of the court that will determine who is the legitimate leadership of the party. It is that process that INEC will oblige to accept,” he said. “We shall resist the machinations of the burgeoning usurpers.” 

(NAN)

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