A Chieftain of opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State, Alhaji Khaleel Bolaji, mni and his supporters on Monday defected to Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Bolaji, a former gubernatorial aspirant and Commissioner in the State, announced his defection at a reception organised in his honour by the State leaders of the SDP, held at the NUJ Press Centre, Ilorin.
Bolaji noted that after thorough consultations with his political associates across the 16 Local Government Areas in Kwara State and having keenly studying the political scenario in the PDP for the past months, especially the process leading to the nomination of candidates for the 2023 General Elections in Kwara State, he decided to declare for SDP.
According to him, “it is no longer news that the Peoples Democratic Party is still firmly in the grip of its dictatorial leadership style, and this is not in tune with the democratic aspiration of the majority members of the party and in deed, the good people of Kwara State.
“It is also out of tune with the global best practice. As this continues in the 21st century in the PDP, it is my conclusion that the leadership of the party cannot change from imposition of candidates and unwholesome practice which lead to the massive failure of the party in the state in the 2019 General Elections”, he said.
The former PDP philanthropist, said that for over four decades, he has remain an active participant in the politics of Kwara State and also been guide by the noble principles of justice, fairness, equity and transparency in all my political engagements. “Therefore, I can no longer mortgage my political virtues by continuing in an environment where the opinions of the critical stakeholders are not recognized or factored in to process of taking crucial decisions that would affect the fortunes of the party.
“Against this background, I wish to formally denounce and resign my membership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) today. I therefore align and cast my lot with the Social Democratic Party (SDP). The SDP is a progressive and fast-growing party in Kwara State and dare say in Nigeria. It cannot be otherwise because the SDP represents an unblemished third force in Kwara State.
“With my arrival in the party, I assure that the SDP will win all the elective posts in Kwara State and in Nigeria at large come 2023. It is no doubt, my declaration today will make and transform the SDP to a party to beat in the state. It is a dream comes true because I guarantee that the party will rise from grass to grace.
“As from today, SDP has been rebranded and has become a household name in Kwara State that is blessed with people of political value and sagacity to win elections. Let us work together like one big family unit to wrestle power at the polls and become the ruling party in our dear state.
“I believe the SDP leadership will give us the opportunity to contribute our quota to the development of Kwara State through rebranding of the party and having an inclusive leadership at all levels towards ensuring the victory of the party in the forthcoming elections”, he said.
While received the former PDP member and his supporters on behalf of the party, the representatives of the National Chairman, Chief Lekan Alabi welcomed Alhaji Khaleel Bolaji to the party and commended him for taking the bold step of dumping the PDP for SDP.
He said that SDP is not a dividend party but a very strong, democratic party which has been in existence for so many years.
Chief Alabi assured the decampees that SDP would carry every member of the party along, promising that they would be treated as full members of the SDP.
He, however, advised them to register and get their new party membership cards from their respective wards.
Earlier, the Chairman of the party in the state, Comrade Ibrahim M. Yahaya said that SDP has come to stay in Kwara.
He said further that the party has its membership cut across the sixteen Local Govt Areas in the state and by the grace of God, SDP will rule the state come 2023.
Yahaya, then, called on all Kwarans home and abroad to massively come and join this great party, SDP, adding that it is the only party that will take Kwarans to the promise land.