Mass defection of NASS members to SDP looms

Some retired military officers are among a string of power brokers leading talks on strengthening the Social Democratic Party (SDP) so as to put the party on a good stead ahead the 2019.

At least two frontline members of the groups that have coalesced into the party confided in Sunday Tribune last night that one of the ex-generals was in serious discussions with other stakeholders.

The sources spoke of an imminent exodus of members of the National Assembly elected on the tickets of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the parties to the SDP this month.

Already, two former ministers, Professor Jerry Gana and Professor Tunde Adeniran, as well as a former deputy Senate president, Alhaji Ibrahim Mantu, have joined the party after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the SDP leadership.

A chieftain of Afenifere, one of the mass-based organisations behind the party, told our correspondents that many influential personalities were seriously engaging other power brokers for collaboration towards making the SDP the party to beat in the next round of elections in the country.

He said some influential individuals were talking to former President Olusegun Obasanjo to collaborate with the party.

Another source, who incidentally is the coordinator for the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) announced by Obasanjo was fully discussion with other likeminds on the need to strengthen the SDP.

He said: “A lot of the members of both the PDP and the APC have not only been working underground for us but have indeed joined the fray unofficially. So, one or two things will soon happen, one of which is the imminent exodus from the two parties to the PDP, in fact before the end of March 2018.”

Another source, who corroborated the information, said those leaders of the PDP that have since announced their decision to join the party “only jumped the gun.”

“Most of us were products of the SDP those days and so, people are just being nogalstic about the name. We first muted the idea of coming together after the exit of former President OlusegunObasanjo from power in 2007. We did all we could but the effort could succeed, otherwise the mega party would have even come before the APC. So, a lot of ground works are on to make the SDP the party to beat in 2019,” he said.

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