The governorship candidate of the Social
Democratic Party in Gombe State, Prof. Ahmed Alkali, has said the
crisis in the party over its presidential candidacy is being resolved
within the party.





Following the emergence of a former
Governor of Cross River State, Mr Donald Duke, as the SDP’s presidential
standard bearer at the party’s primary, a former Minister of
Information, Prof Jerry Gana, had challenged the preliminary election
result in court and was declared the winner.







However, after appealing the judgment,
Duke again was named the presidential candidate by the Appeal Court, but
Gana had said he would appeal the decision at the Supreme Court.





In the midst of the confusion, the party
said it had adopted President Muhammadu Buhari as its presidential
candidate in next week’s election.





But Alkali, who spoke in an interview
with our correspondent, explained that the party was engaging its
supporters at the grass roots as a means of managing the crisis.





According to the Gombe governorship
candidate, in virtually every political party, after congresses,
primaries and national conventions, it is difficult not to find such
fallout.





He said, “At one level, it is easy to
describe any kind of conflict as a ‘crisis’. This is the popular
language in Nigeria now; everything is a crisis. But at another level,
we also see it as some of those issues that usually emerge.





“The good thing is that Prof Gana is
highly respected; he is a consummate politician to the core. Donald Duke
is also a two-term governor of Cross River State, also highly
respected. They are both co-members of the SDP.





“Whatever is happening is our own
internal matter and we are managing it internally. Therefore, what we
are now trying to do is to reach out to our people outside, so that
nobody should be discouraged, especially those who are contesting
various positions.”





Alkali noted that it was important for the party to continue to reach out to the people.









According to him, elections ultimately
are at the “home level,” adding that “maybe some of these challenges
will give us an opportunity to really discover ourselves.”





Alkali, who is a former National
Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, said he left the
PDP after trying to rescue the party to no avail.





“Having gone through it and seen the
story of the PDP, especially after 2015 when we lost elections, some of
us felt that we should not run away. We tried as much as possible to
salvage the party; we stood by it, though it was very difficult.





“We spent our time, energy and
resources, but when the Supreme Court passed judgment in favour of the
party in August 2017 till December when the national elective convention
was held, I realised that my time was up — at least in the PDP as I
knew it. So, I thought the time was just right to move,” he said.



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