Why I dumped PDP for SDP-Duke

 Former Cross River State Governor Donald Duke has said he dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because the party has lost its ideals and now the shadow of itself.

Duke who stated this Tuesday when he met with national executives of the SDP at the party secretariat in Abuja, noted that the zoning principle of the PDP  is a betrayal of the ideals the party started off with.

Speaking to journalists after announcing he had joined the party to run for the president of Nigeria in 2019, the former governor described the ongoing crisis in the North-East Zone of the country as “a civil war” contrary to popular perception.

He said one of his priority if elected as president would be to address the alarming insecurity in the zone especially and across the country which he further described as fallout of the challenges our past leaders have failed to address.

Having spent 20 years of his political sojourn in one single party(PDP), Duke  said he was delighted  to join the SDP  for the journey forward.

On his decision to quit PDP, Duke explained that although the party was the first true national party, it lost that value and in other to meet the growing yearnings and aspirations of Nigeria he has identified with the SDP.

“Over the years we have seen not only the fortune of the party dwindle away but we have also seen the values of the party dwindle away. When the former president of the party can walk away from the party, then you know there is a problem somewhere.

“It was the first true national party that this country has had but over the years it lost that and became the shadow of itself. That the PDP today is zoning is actually a betrayal of those ideals it started off with because it was a national organization,” he said.

According to him, today in some parts of the country the party is hardly in existence because some parts have felt marginalized by the party over the years, adding, that SDP represent of great party  with  people-oriented ideologies for visionaries who are intent of bringing the desired change Nigerians are yearning for.

“I believe that the nation is seeking a rebirth. I believe that most Nigerians are yearning for something different and something better and I am hoping that the SDP may afford Nigerians the hopes that they see because there is a lot of dissolution and disenchantment in our polity. Too many unfulfilled Nigerians. Most Nigerian youths are frustrated and do not see bright future ahead of them.

“Nigeria is so great a nation to be left in such dire frustration. Our nation is not one that should be ignored because if we fall apart, we have a capacity to drown most of our region-west and central Africa and the spill out will get to other part of the world because the world is interrelated today,” said the presidential hopeful.

Continuing, the aspirant said: “ It’s important that we get our country right, it’s important that we create hope in the minds of Nigerians so that they can aspire to fulfil all their aspirations. We are a potentially great nation but potential is one thing and actualization is another. For too long we have remained in the realm of potential. It’s about time we step forward now and start actualizing ourselves. This is what politics for me is all about and I hope this platform will strive very seriously to achieving this and that’s why I am here.”

On his agenda for the country if given the mandate, Duke said his cardinal focus would be building a productive manpower and an economy that encompasses all Nigerians.

The presidential aspirant believe that “every brain that is untrained is a drain to the nation so every brain has to be skilled in one form or the other.

Hence, another area of priority to him, he said, is to develop the skill base of our nation, adding, “We must have a healthcare delivery system that encompasses every one of us. Today people fall ill you are at the mercy of friends.”

Duke also said he would focus on tackling the deficit of infrastructure that we have, whether road infrastructure, both social and physical infrastructure to bridge the existing huge gap.

While thanking the leadership of the party for the warm reception accorded him, he looked forward to victory saying,  “I believe Nigerians are yearning for something different. They have tested one, two and are now seeking for the best. And of course we know after good, better, this is best. We are aspiring to take our rightful seat.”

The Deputy National Chairman of the party,  Dr Abdul Isaq  had earlier while receiving the presidential aspirant expressed delight over his joining the SDP.

He said: “The SDP is a very disciplined party that is devoid of any impunity, a party which has committed membership and has young people driving the process,  and we feel very encouraged and excited to have you.”

Dr. Isaq noted that the SDP has not zone presidency to any zone, adding, the party  has given Nigerians opportunity to test their popularity.

The Deputy chairman said “for SDP,  it is an open door, it’s about mobilization and  canvassing and whoever the  delegates of the party chooses so shall it be.”

He told the aspirant that the party is an open party, adding that by his defection to the party things will change and a lot of people will run to the drawing board “because you are a thinker, very resourceful and has done well for this country and I think the country is beckoning on you for a more bigger challenge and we feel that you are equal to the task.”

This was as he pledged the party will be committed to the process and will also protect him.

Also in a remark, the party’s National Secretary, Alhaji Shehu Gabam welcomed him to the platform, saying,   the SDP is a great party and great men of visions like him were being looked forward to joining the SDP.

SDP  is not parochial in its approach, Gabam said, adding, “we want Nigeria to move forward towards a modern country that will take care of our challenges now and in the future.”









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