19 May 2022
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2023: We Won’t Be A Vehicle For Opportunistic Defectors - SDP

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2023: We Won’t Be A Vehicle For Opportunistic Defectors, Says SDP

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) has stated that the party won’t serve as an “opportunistic vehicle” for defectors.

This was stated on Thursday by Supo Shonibare, SDP’s acting national chairman at a media briefing on the party’s plans for the 2023 polls.

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There have been speculations that Bola Tinubu, presidential hopeful on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), may defect to the SDP if he doesn’t clinch his party’s ticket.

Addressing questions from journalists on if the party will accept Tinubu and offer him its presidential ticket should that be the eventual case, Shonibare said the SDP will be cautious about those they accept.

“The issue of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the last time I checked, he is not a member of the Social Democratic Party. I checked the membership list of our party as INEC has required, and which has been submitted by our state chapters to us in Abuja, and his name is not on the list of those who are members of our party in Lagos state,” he said.

“The party won’t be an opportunistic vehicle. Definitely, in instances where we’ve seen great injustice to an individual who we feel that the individual is not coming to us with baggage, yes, that individual will be welcomed to our party.

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

“So, we will try to ensure that those who we will welcome into our party, are men and women of integrity, and make SDP be a succour for those who have been wrongly dealt with in their political parties, provided those who are coming have displayed integrity and honour in the way and manner they have conducted themselves in government.

“We want SDP to be an exemplary political vehicle, that when people look at those who are leading and those who are elected or those who are our candidates, they’ll see those who have displayed integrity, honour, and prudent management of our public resources when they were placed in a position to superintend over our resources.

“If he (Tinubu) wants to join, then the party has to make a determination whether the way and manner he’s actually managed the resources of the state from where he started is consistent with the profile of the integrity that we said needs to displayed by anyone that is coming to us.

“Remember, I said we will welcome anyone who is not with us now, who feels they have been cheated in their political party. But then, in that process, we will look at that particular individual at that time.”

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Shonibare also said the federal high court has fixed May 30 and 31 to deliver judgment on the party’s leadership crisis, adding that “interlopers” are seeking to hijack the party.

In the preparation for the 2023 presidential election, he said the ward and LGA congresses will be held on May 19, while state congresses are scheduled for May 20.

Shonibare added that the national convention of the party will take place from May 20 to 30.

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