The Social Democratic Party has said it is willing to provide its platform for aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress, Peoples Democratic Party, and other political parties to contest elective public offices in the 2023 general election.
The party had set conditions for a former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and other aspirants who may want to contest on its platform.
The party’s acting National Chairman, Chief Supo Shonibare, at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, stated that Tinubu is not on its membership register yet. However, he said the APC chieftain and other aspirants might run for president on its platform if they meet the party’s conditions.
When asked to confirm the rumour that Tinubu and his political camp might opt for the SDP should the ex-governor fail to pursue his presidential ambition in the APC, Shonibare said Tinubu and other aspirants who have been “wrongly dealt with” and fall out with their current parties are welcome.
He said, “As of the last time I checked, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is not a member of the Social Democratic Party. I checked the list. The membership list of our party, as INEC required, has already been submitted by our state chapters to us here in Abuja. His name is not on the membership list of our party in Lagos State.”
Responding to another question on whether the SDP would welcome politicians seeking elective public offices in the forthcoming elections, he said due to what the party stands for, the leadership does not want it to be “an opportunistic vehicle.”
He added, “But definitely instances where we have seen great injustice to an individual who we feel did not come in to join us with baggage. Yes, that individual is welcome to our party. But we will not welcome anyone that has a case pending in court. We won’t welcome anyone that has been convicted, even if the person is now appealing that conviction.
“We will try to ensure that those we welcome to our party are men and women of integrity. Yes, SDP will be succour for those wrongly dealt with in their political parties, provided those coming (into the SDP) have displayed integrity and honour in the way and manner that they have conducted themselves in
“We want SDP to be an exemplary political vehicle, that when people look at those who are leading, those who are elected, and those who are candidates, they will see those who have displayed integrity, honour, prudent management of our public resources when they have been placed in a position to superintend over our resources.
“So, yes, we will be looking at individuals who fit that bill to come and join us in SDP. We want the SDP to be completely different from the ruling party, APC, and the former ruling party, PDP.”
Shonibare also disclosed that two persons – a male and a female – had obtained presidential forms of the SDP.
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