…appoints ex-Ekiti gov, Oni chairman National Convention Committee
. Vows to spring surprises at Ekiti guber poll
As the preparations for the forthcoming general elections hots up, the Social Democratic Party, on Monday, announced the scheduling of its Special National Convention for the selection of its presidential candidate for June 8 at the Eagle Square, Abuja.
SDP National Chairman, Alhaji Shehu Musa Gabam, disclosed this in Abuja while inaugurating the party’s Special National Convention Planning Committee being chaired by a former governor of Ekiti State , Chief Segun Oni.
Oni, who doubles as the party’s Ekiti flagbearer in the June 18 governorship election, is joined by the National Secretary of the party and former Minister of Defence, Dr. Olu Agunloye as Secretary of the committee and Alhaji Ibrahim Modibo as deputy chairman.
Speaking at the ceremony, Alhaji Gabam said that the party was set to conduct a transparent primary in line with the guidelines of the Independent National Electoral Commission, which prompted it to assemble people of impeccable character for the national assignment.
He extolled the leadership qualities of Chief Oni, which he said was the reason the people of Ekiti have been clamouring for his return as the governor of the state, saying that his presence in the governorship race was already driving fears down the spine of the ruling All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party in the state.
However, Gabam declared that the party would spring surprises at the Ekiti poll by winning a landside victory.
According to him, “Chief Oni is a seasoned technocrat and an engineer per excellence who started his career at the multi-billion naira steel complex at Ovwian-Aladja from where he proceeded to Leventis, a multi-national company and later, Rank Xeros with responsibilities at international and local levels.
“The SDP is confident that on June 18, that excellence that was denied Ekiti people will be restored with his success at the poll. Members of the committee are men with proven integrity and I have no doubt that this year’s convention will out-perform the previous ones.
“I like to state that the National Working Committee, NWC, repose great confidence in the Committee. I am aware of the time constraint that the chairman faces given the imminent Ekiti election, but working under pressure is not new to the chairman and other members of the committee.”
In his acceptance speech, Chief Oni promised to justify the confidence reposed in the committee, saying, ” We will not let you down. We will do a very good job and that job must be flawless. If it is not flawless, it is not good enough.”
Oni added that the Ekiti governorship election would pitch the people against their oppressors, stressing that “the people are the ones leading the revolution against “those that have oppressed them for years.”
In his brief remarks,, the National Secretary of the party, Dr Olu Agunloye said that the party was doing everything possible to conduct a free, fair and credible National Convention for the selection of its presidential flagbearer for the coming election.
He said that this was being done in order to convince Nigerians that the SDP was the available alternative for the country in the next dispensation.
Meanwhile, Gabam has dismissed the statement credited to former SDP National Chairman, Chief Olu Falae, who last week questioned the manner of emergence of the Gabam-led NWC.
Falae was quoted last week as saying that anyone claiming to be national chairman of the party “is floating on water.”
Reacting to the comment, Gabam advised the media to be wary of people bent on making political gains during electioneering period even as he vowed not to be distracted by “political vultures.”