- Jerry Gana has been recognised by the SDP as its presidential candidate for 2019 following a court order
- The party had earlier declared a former governor of Cross River, Donald Duke, as its flag bearer for the forthcoming polls
- Gana has promised to carry everyone along, irrespective of what had happened; and has also sought the support of the party leadership and its members
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) said it had received a Federal High Court judgment directing it to recognise Jerry Gana as its presidential candidate for the 2019 election.
The party’s deputy national chairman, Abdul Isiaq, disclosed this when he received Gana who paid a courtesy visit to the party national secretariat on Wednesday, December 19, in Abuja, NAN reports.
Legit.ng notes that the Federal High Court in Maitama, Abuja had on Friday, December 14, declared Gana, a former information minister, as the rightful candidate of the SDP in the 2019 election.
The party had earlier declared a former governor of Cross River, Donald Duke, as its flag bearer for the 2019 general elections. The party declared Duke as winner of its primary election; saying that he polled 812 votes while Gana had 611.
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However, Gana went to court seeking that it should declare him the winner in line with the zoning and rotation formula of the party’s constitution.
In his judgement, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, held that the regulations contained in the party’s constitution were binding on every member and must be obeyed. He held that the zoning and rotation formula as contained in the party’s constitution stipulated that both the chairman of the party and the flag bearer should not come from the same zone.
Isiaq said that the party would comply with the court directive. He said: “As a party, we have received the judgment from the high court. This party, like you know, is a very disciplined party and you will not find impunity in the process of our party. By so doing whatever the court say is what the party will comply with."
The deputy national chairman said that the party would do the needful on Gana’s request to approve his policy document to enable him launch his campaign.
Gana, speaking earlier, called on the SDP leadership to complete his nomination process with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in line with the recent court order.
He said: “Arising from the court ruling, the INEC has been directed that you ensure that the processes of my nomination are put in place. Therefore, they (INEC) have given us the forms, we have completed them, and the forms are supposed to be directed back to INEC through you.
“I like to take this opportunity to say that by the grace of God, the candidate of your party will be the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.’’
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Gana, who presented his nomination forms to the party, urged the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to endorse his policy document to enable him to commence his nationwide campaign rallies.
He said: “We like to appeal to the party’s leadership to facilitate the processes of our reaching out to the nation because we have lost some time. We are ready to go into campaign.’’
Gana said details of his five-point agenda coded “SWIFT’’ would be made public once endorsed by the party leadership.
“As soon as you show us the green light, we will reach out to the nation. We will run an issue-based campaign. We want to present to Nigeria, a programme of development that will change the situation of ordinary people of Nigeria regarding the serious issue of security and biting poverty," he said.
Gana, who promised to carry everyone along irrespective of what had happened, sought the support of the party leadership and its members.
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“All of us must now mobilise because Nigerians are waiting for us. APC and PDP are not the answer, they are waiting for credible alternative, which is SDP. We believe in solidarity and in working together so, there will be tremendous reconciliation and accommodation so that we can move together because we want the SDP to win and by the grace of God we will win,” he said.
Asked if he was considering picking Duke as his running mate, Gana said it was a matter for the party leadership to approve.
“I will make proposal to them and they will approve and announce to the nation,” he said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Donald Duke said he will appeal the judgment removing him as the presidential flag bearer of the Social Democratic Party .
In a chat with newsmen in Lagos, Duke stated in part: "As a law abiding citizen, I urge my supporters and members to remain calm as we are confident that the decision of the court will be upturned on appeal. We are optimistic that the Appellate Court will reach a decision that reinforces the essential tenets of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria."
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