The Social Democratic Party (SDP), in Ekiti State has said it did not arrived at its candidates via dummy, but that they were duly elected via consensus.
In a statement issued, the SDP said, “Our attention has been drawn to the rumour being peddled by some opposing politicians in Ekiti State that our party, the Social Democratic Party has selected some people and sent their names to the Independent National Electoral Commission as dummy candidates in the State.
“This is far from the truth as our party, which adheres strictly to democratic norms and principles at all times, will not engage in any act that is undemocratic.
“Fact is, hundreds of aspirants bought Expression of Interest forms in our party in Ekiti State to contest for National and State Assemblies positions.
“Only those who emerged as our party candidates were allowed to purchase Nomination Forms. Meaning that those who did not get Nomination Forms are already out of the race.
“This we did in consideration of the economic situation of the country and to lessen the financial burden on our party members, bearing in mind that we have a crucial governorship election in Ekiti State.
“In compliance with Section 84 (9) of the Electoral Act (as amended), our candidates emerged through consensus arrangement and their names will be sent to INEC in accordance with Section 29 of the Electoral Act (as amended).
“It is a fact known to all that once this is done, it is only in the event of death or voluntary withdrawal by the candidates that can alter the names already submitted to INEC.”
The SDP said it would never compel any candidate to withdraw as being speculated.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Section 33 of the Electoral Act (as amended) provided that ‘A political party shall not be allowed to change or substitute its candidate whose name has been submitted under section 29 of this Act, except in the case of death or withdrawal by the candidate: Provided that in the case of such withdrawal or death of a candidate, the political party affected shall, within 14 days of the occurrence of the event, hold a fresh primary election to produce and submit a fresh candidate to the Commission for the election concerned.’
“With above provision of the Electoral Act, even in the event of voluntary withdrawal of candidates or death, our party will conduct primary election to be monitored by INEC to elect another candidate.
“We, therefore, appeal to the aspirants who did not emerged as candidates not to despair. They should remain committed to the party and we assure that they will be adequately rewarded when we win the governorship election.”