The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) has explained the reasons for the expulsion of Jerry Gana, the former Minister of Information, and the suspension of Donald Duke, its presidential candidate from the party.
Yemi Akinbode, the Director of Media and Publicity of the party, who gave an insight into the offences committed by the politicians on Tuesday in Abuja, said the party decided to wield the big stick because of their gross misconduct.
Akinbode explained that Gana does not have the locus standi to call the purported National Executive Council (NEC) meeting. He stated that the meeting was illegal and unconstitutional.
"You will recall that the same act of greed, arrogance, disloyalty and perversion being displayed by Professor Gana today in the SDP was responsible for his problem with the leadership of his former party, the PDP, where Professor Gana was accused of embezzling the sum of N500million. This is not a good story for the man. It doesn't portray him in good public light,” he said.
He stressed that he went to court after he had signed an undertaking to support whoever emerges as the winner of the presidential primaries.
He said: "The party has, therefore, come to the realisation that Gana’s legal suit was motivated by nothing than arrogance, greed, ethnicity and nepotism. He has demonstrated high level of disloyalty and antithetical behaviour that has no iota of goodwill and respect for the ideals and principles of one indivisible, progressive and united Nigeria.
“It is also very clear that Professor Gana has become a divisive politician that has nothing to give back to Nigeria than inciting and promoting religion bigotry in a volatile country like Nigeria.”
He added that the NWC of the party could no longer fold its arms as leaders from whom much is expected, and allow a single individual to “bring to total collapse, a party to which millions of people tied their dreams and destinies”.
He continued: "Consequently, the NWC of our great party, the SDP, on this day, Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, based on the power vested in the NWC by Article 19:4 hereby expels Professor Jerry Gana from the party with immediate effect.”
According to Akinbode, the committee also recommended the National Vice Chairman (South West), Chief Shupo Shonibare for expulsion with immediate effect, because he made himself arrow head of a dissident group in the party.
He expressed surprise that Donald Duke could betray the party so soon, despite all the goodwill of the party towards him. He stated that Duke arrested the progress of the party by not commencing campaign at state, regional and federal levels, thereby diminishing the potentials and capacities of the party.
"Consequently, for his disrespect for the leadership of the party that has done so much for him, and for also his disobedience to the rules and regulations of the SDP, Duke has erred and the law must take its course. Relying on the provisions of the constitution of the party, the NWC wishes to announce his immediate suspension from the party forthwith.”