Two days after eight gubernatorial aspirants from the All Progressives Congress APC, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) approached the Social Democratic Party SDP for the ticket of the party in the event of losing the tickets of their party, the National Chairman of the SDP, South East, Chief Arinze Ekelem, has announced that that there will be no automatic ticket for the decampees.
Similarly, the party has dismissed the zoning of the governorship ticket of the party to Anambra South Senatorial District, contending that the ticket of the party is open to the three Senatorial Districts in the state. Speaking yesterday, Ekelem said that already, the party has two aspirants from Anambra North and Central Senatorial Districts, but also confirmed that that there have been overtures from some aspirants from the three major political parties in the state for the ticket of the party should they fall to emerge as candidates of their current political parties. In the last two days, eight aspirants from the APC, APGA and PDP had approached the state executive members of the SDP to fly the flag of the party in the November election, offering to pay the mandatory sum of N11 million for the nomination forms and expression of interest in the party.
A breakdown of the eight aspirants show that four aspirants are from the PDP, two from APGA, while two are from the APC. According to Ekelem; “We are aware of the plot by some aspirants of the APC, PDP and APGA to have the ticket of our party, the SDP, and some of them are talking about automatic tickets which is unacceptable to us in the party. “They must pay the N11 million and also go for the primary election of our party and, if any of them wins, the person becomes the candidate of our party and not from the back door.
“They have been coming, but it is not automatic and can never be and I want to make it clear that we have not zoned the gubernatorial ticket of our party to Anambra South Senatorial District, because it is open to all the three Senatorial Districts in the state.
“The national leadership of our party has made it clear shortly after our meeting that everyone must subject themselves to the primary election of the party and that is the way it is.” Continuing, Ekelem explained that the last meeting of the party in Anam-bra State did not zone the ticket of the party to the South, adding that it was the machinations of the state party chairman who, we learnt, is allegedly reserving the party ticket for an aspirant from Anambra South.
“We wish to make it clear that nobody from the three political parties will get the ticket of the party without going through the primary election of our party, and anyone who believes that he will get our ticket without primary election will not work.
“We also urge the public to discountenance the statement from the state chairman about zoning the ticket to Anambra South because it is not true and cannot work. “When contacted, the state chairman of the party, Mr. Webster Okonkwo, said that the decision was taken by the 21 local government chairmen of the party,” he said.