Alleged Illegal Substitution: Learn from Akpabio’s Scenerio  – Ex Lawmaker admonishes  SDP 

A  Social Democratic Party’s Chieftain, Hon Princess Titilayo Owolabi-Akerele has admonished the SDP national leadership to draw lessons from  what is happening to former Governor Godwin Akpabio in  the All Progressives  Congress(APC ) over alleged illegal substitution.
While blaming the  leadership of the Social Democratic Party over what she described as illegal substitution of her name with another person for the 2023 Ekiti North Senatorial contest.
Akerele  former member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly said it was illegal for the SDP leadership to have substituted her name with that of the 2015 governorship candidate of the party, Mr. Akinloye Oladele Aiyegbusi, after she had won the Ekiti North Senatorial ticket of the party.
Hon Owolabi-Akerele, who represented Ikole Constituency 2 in the Assembly between 2015 and 2019, insisted that such illegal action can’t stand in the face of the law and the new Electoral Act.
The former Parliamentarian spoke in Ado Ekiti, yesterday, during a press conference with a section of  journalists on the  substitution of her name by the SDP  leadership.
She commended the party’s Governorship Candidate and SDP Leader  in Ekiti State, Engr Segun Oni, for standing by the truth on the matter, and insisted that only those  voted for at the primaries will fly the parties flags at all levels in 2023.
Akerele fumed that  the party committed serious constitutional infraction by bringing Aiyegbusi’s name into the INEC’s final  list without recourse to the new Electoral, saying such repugnant and debasing action won’t stand.
Insisting that she stands by the mandate freely given to her by Ekiti people to fly the party’s flag in the 2023 in Ekiti North Senatorial contest, Akerele said she will deploy every constitutional means to fight her course, for justice and equity to be actualised in the county’s body polity.
She stressed that  it won’t fly in the face of the law for the party to have enlisted Aiyegbusi , who didn’t participate in the SDP primary as a candidate against the interest of the party’s majority.
Akerele warned some leaders, who have been threatening her life over the contention to desist or face legal action, saying she can’t be pummeled to abandon a mandate she legitimately earned from the SDP members to those she branded as “Mandate Merchants”.
“It sounded highly troubling and reckless for the National Leadership of the SDP to go ahead and substitute my name on the INEC’s final list with that of Mr. Akinloye Aiyegbusi when he didn’t win the substitution primary elections.
“SDP as a national party must be circumspect of its actions. It must be fully abreast of the changes in the Electoral Act as amended. Under the amended Electoral Law,  no one can be a candidate of any party if he has not won any primary or participate in it.
“Is the SDP national leadership not aware of what is happening to former Governor Godwin Akpabio of the APC in Akwa Ibom? The court recently annuled his mandate on the premise that he didn’t participate in the primary .
“Have they also forgotten how the Senate President, Senator Ibrahim Lawan lost his Senatorial bid in Yobe North on the platform of the APC due to the fact that he didn’t participate in the primary ? What would have informed this illegal and destructive decision that can emasculate our party ahead of 2023?
“I have received a lot of open and covert  threats to my life over this  issue, but I am not deterred. I will fight it out through every constitutional means. So, to my teeming party’s supporters, I want to let them know that I stand by my mandate. Nothing can quake my decision on this.
“As leaders in the struggle for the actualisation of a robust and full-fledged democracy in Nigeria, we owe it a duty to play by the rules and defend our nascent democracy, so that laws and civility  can be our guiding principles, rather than jackboot and inordinate actions that can further destroy the already feeble  system”, she said.

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