A former governor of Ekiti State, Segun Oni, on Wednesday described as ‘mere speculation’, reports that a former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, would join the Social Democratic Party.
He was reacting to questions from journalists in Abuja after inaugurating the SDP sub-convention committee on reports that Tinubu would dump the All Progressives Congress should he fail to secure its presidential ticket in the 2023 general election.
According to him, contrary to insinuations, the SDP was not in crisis and was therefore not factionalised.
Oni, the SDP governorship candidate in the forthcoming governorship election in Ekiti, however, said that SDP remained open to people who share its vision and mission, and people who were ready to deepen democracy and good governance.
He assured aspirants and observers that the convention would be transparent, devoid of vote-buying, delegates inducement, and rancour.
Oni said, “Too many speculations! Let me say that we are Social Democratic Party. As far as we are concerned our doors are open to everybody. We are not locking opportunities here. We will wait.
“Every process will be taken seriously and without any preference. So, do not speculate too far. We are going to have our convention.
“As far as I know, negotiation and consensus cannot be limited. We are also going to allow everything to be done in such a way that people will learn a lesson.
“We are not going to coerce anybody and we are not going to bulldoze our way through. Everything will be transparent. No part of our convention will take place in the dead of the night.”
The former governor also clarified that there was no faction in SDP, adding that aggrieved members would be persuaded to drop their grievances for the development of the party
He said, “This is the SDP that INEC recognized; I will not go anywhere if it is not recognized by INEC. Almost immediately after I completed the first round of formalities, INEC came up with a list of accredited persons who are going to contest the governorship in Ekiti and my is there. Which means the work done is in this office.
“The fact speaks for itself; I will like to appeal to our brothers that if there is anything to talk about, they should let us talk it over.
“This is not the time to distract Nigerians. Nigeria must get better; it is not about us individually it is about Nigeria collectively.
“We know some of them and we are going to engage them. We must talk, we must resolve our differences, and we must move forward together. Because they will all be relevant in the quest to move Nigeria forward.
“Nigeria has been going in a circle. But we know those parties are in a decline and new parties will emerge.
“We are going to lead a new vanguard of a new political party and run democracy the way it should be.”