The Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Anambra State has said that the party might substitute its candidate, Arinze Ekelem, with another person before the deadline for substitution set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Chairman of the state party, Dr Webster Okonkwo made the statement, suggesting that Ekelem might not be the best candidate to flag the party at the forthcoming November 6 governorship election in the state.
He added that the party’s position is not personal.
“Politics, as far as the SDP is concerned, is not something that is personal. It is something that has to do with the people of the state. So, what it means is that the best interest of the people will be served at all point in time”, Okonkwo said.
The statement continued; “We at the SDP believe that whatever we are going to give to the state will be the best we have, the best available.
“The candidate of the party is subject to substitution at any point in time within the framework of the electoral law. And I think the people that crafted the law knew that there may be a need for a candidate to be changed at any point in time before the window closes,” he said.
“And if at any point in time we have a candidate that we believe is better or more marketable to the people of the state, we are going to opt for substitution and change the candidate.
“But that does not mean that the candidate we have now is holding the ticket for somebody who is to come. No. But anytime we get a candidate we believe is better and more marketable, as a party that wants the best for the state, we are going to opt for substitution. I think that should be the correct perspective.
Asked what the party would do if their current candidate refuses to surrender, he said: “I don’t think something like that should come up. The issue is that it is not a do or die affair.
Ekelem, who doubles as the National Vice Chairman (South East) of the party, was elected the candidate recently at their primary held in Awka ahead of the election.