By Jubril Bada
After a week, Ebenezer Ikeyina, a former lawmaker representing Anambra central in the senate emerged the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), even as another faction of the party said will today elect its own presidential candidate ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Ikeyina, a second republic senator, contested unopposed at a special national convention held in Abuja on Tuesday last week.
Acting National Chariman of the party and factional leader, Chief Supo Shonibare produced lkeyina as the presidential candidate, while Sheu Gabam’s faction will pick its candidate today.
Recall that the party screening committee for Gabam’s faction disqualified Khadijat Mobolanle Okunnu-Lamidi, one of the two female presidential aspirants on the party’s platform.
Okunnu failed to make the list of recommended aspirants by the Professor Tunde Adeniran-led panel on Friday. She had sought the top office saying Nigeria needed “a woman’s touch.
The panel recommended that Okunnu was “enthusiastic. However, she should be advised or encouraged to vie for any other position such as Chairmanship of LGA, member of State or National Assembly.”
The party’s primary is scheduled to hold on Wednesday June 8 at International Conference Centre, Abuja.
Those screened were Khadijat Okunnu-Lamidi, Prince Adewole Adebayo and Cesnabmihilo Dorathy.
Panel headed by Professor Tunde Adeniran Former Minister of Education, had Mr Femi Melefa as Secretary, Senator Mohammed Alkali as Vice Chairman, other members are Hajia Saadatu Abubakar, Ibrahim Modibbo, Mohammed Ibrahim Biu among others.
In an interview with The Hope yesterday, the Chairman of the party in Ondo State, Mr. Dele Thomas said his own faction ( Shonibare faction) had picked Senator lkeyina as its presidential candidate during the party national convention held in Abuja last week, while Gabam and Olu Agunloye’s faction has scheduled to hold their presidential primary election today.
Thomas, who expressed hope that within the couple of months, judgement will be delivered by the Federal High Court, Abuja on the issue of factionalisation of the party, assuring that the judgement will resolve the issue rocking the party once delivered.
“It will go down with everybody as the judgement will take care of court cases rocking the party at the State and even the national levels” Thomas assured
But the chairman noted that if the judgement will be appealed by the parties involved in the case the way it happened in 2018 presidential primary when its former presidential candidate, Jerry Gana sued the party to court at the level of supreme court will badly affected the party in the next year polls.
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