The Social Democratic Party (SDP) has suspended its presidential candidate, Donald Duke, and expelled the contender for his ticket, Jerry Gana, four days to the 2019 presidential election.
While addressing the media at the SDP secretariat in Abuja on Tuesday, February 12, 2019, the party’s spokesperson, Yemi Akinbode, said Duke was suspended for being critical of the party and disrespecting its leadership.
The suspension is believed to be in connection to the conflict over the party’s presidential ticket which was won by Duke during a primary election in October 2018.
During a December 2018 ruling, an FCT High Court in Maitama had sided with Gana, a former minister, and declared Duke’s victory null and void.
However, the Court of Appeal in Abuja ruled the lower court’s initial judgement to be “perverse and wrong”, noting that it was a violation of Duke’s right to freedom from discrimination.
The court reinstated Duke, a former governor, as the party’s candidate but this was soon upstaged by the party’s decision to suddenly withdraw from the presidential election and endorse President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to win the February 16 election.
The decision did not go down well with Duke who called Gana a “sore loser” in a statement and announced that he’s still a candidate while being critical of the party’s decision. Duke only just joined the party in September 2018 after 20 years of being a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The party also disclosed that it expelled Gana for gross misconduct and anti-party activities. The party also expelled Supo Shonibare for being the arrowhead of a splinter group within the party.