The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) on Thursday adopted President Muhammadu Buhari as its candidate for the 2019 election.
The adoption took place in Abuja after the party’s NEC meeting where a communiqué was issued and adopted by NEC members present.
The party explained it adopted Buhari because the battle for its presidential ticket between former Minister of Information Prof. Jerry Gana and former Cross River State Governor Donald Duke has taken a great toll on it.
SDP, in the communiqué read by the National Vice Chairman, Dr. Abdul Ahmed Ishaq said: “It is in view of all this that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the SDP has resolved to adopt President Mohammadu Buhari and Vice Presidential candidate Prof. Yemi Osibanjo of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as candidates of the party for the 2019 Presidential election.
“Consequently, all members of the party are hereby enjoined to vote for President Buhari of the APC at the presidential election coming up on Saturday 16 February 2019.
“With less than ten days before the Presidential election, our great party is caught up in a web with very little room for manoeuver.
“The options before us at this critical juncture are limited: we either realign our forces or we lose out completely
“Whatever the dangers and demerits of political alignments, it is far better than to go on alone at this point as it will, in the end, disenfranchise our members.
“With the multitude of parties in the race for the crucial Presidency of the country, it has become imperative for engagements and strategic collaboration between and among parties that are strongly committed to the Nigerian ideal so that the future of our great country is not doomed.
“A number of political parties have approached the SDP for collaboration during the forthcoming elections. However, after extensive deliberations, NEC noted the party that comes close to and nearly shares the Social Democratic and Progressive ideals and values of the SDP is the All Progressive Congress (APC).
“After further weighing the options and reviewing the political situation in the country, NEC was convinced that with the SDP and the APC working together.
“SDP has a better chance of gaining lost grounds in meeting the yearnings of Nigerians and we have no doubt whatsoever that Nigeria will surely make progress and leap forward in the match go greatness through the solution of pending challenges and progressively to the next level.”
The party NEC insisted that the adoption was only for the forthcoming presidential poll, stating “for the avoidance of doubt, NEC restates that this is not a merger between the SDP and the APC and therefore the SDP retains its identity and remains a distinct political party.
“NEC calls on all our members nationwide to vote for SDP candidates for the National Assembly, Gubernatorial and State Houses of Assembly elections.
“We indeed expect and demand reciprocity from the APC in return as the implementation of these resolutions will be coordinated through Zonal and State committees, in view of local peculiarities.”