2023: Be creative, strategic in campaigns – SDP tells candidates

By Emmanuel Oloniruha

The National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Alhaji Shehu Gabam, has advised candidates of the party in the forthcoming general elections to be creative and strategic in their campaigns.

Gabam, at the party national stakeholders meeting for SDP candidates in Abuja on Sunday, urged the candidates to take advantage of simple and cheap technology in their campaign to reach out to voters.

“In Nigeria of today, people want people who recognise that they exist and that they are importantt and also pay a role in changing the current situation that we have today.

“Even, if you don’t have money, you have gadgets, you can buy even N500 call credit. You can network.

“Fundamentally, you should know, wining election from the president to governorship, to Senate, House of representatives you have various chambers that need to be followed.

“For the presidential candidate, you need virtually everybody on the election day. This include the poling units in the wards, local government, state and national.”

Gabam advised the party’s candidates not to be intimidated by anyone, but reach out to all Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) carriers to seek their votes.

“We know that power comes from God, but you have to put in your best. Power doesn’t fall from heaven. Anybody who wants to win must fight, not in terms of physical fight, but you must be in the field, reach out to every carrier of PVC.”

Gabam who said that the party national leaders had made the necessary sacrifices to make its candidates victorious in 2023 general elections, urging them to reciprocate by proving that they have the capacity to win election.

He said the party made the sacrifices by not making revenue generation a priority during its sales of nomination forms, but ensure that young and competent Nigerians were nominated.

“SDP did not go for revenue generation. We made a lot of sacrifice because we are determined to contribute to a new Nigeria.

“Luckily, from the presidential candidate to vice presidential candidates, they are in the range of 50 years.

“If Nigerians are looking for young people, we have vibrant, young generational people for the country in the SDP. We have provided the needed options,” he said.

He also advised the candidates to obey INEC rule and regulations guarding conduct voters and candidates, especially at pulling units on election day.

He advised them to make use of party agents at polling units and not playing the role of the party agents.

“The new Electoral Act is very strict on that. You can’t go close to the polling units except you are a voter or agent. INEC has made it explicitly clear.

“In this era of vote buying there are many things that voters can be distracted with, either through whispering or sign.

“So if you don’t have pulling unit agent right there to stop that whispering and attempt to buy votes, so you are at the losing end,” Gabam said.

Also speaking, the SDP Vice Presidential Candidate, Yusuf Buhari expressed confidence in the forthcoming elections.

Buhari said that the challenges confronting Nigerians had made campaigns easier for the party.

He said the SDP has presented Presidential Candidate Adewole Adebayo, who has the capacity to address all challenges.

“We have challenges but they are not insurmountable. This is what leadership entails.”

The party National Secretary, Dr Olu Agunloye, said the meeting was organised to allow for  interaction between candidates to further strategise for victory in the 2023 general elections..

The 2022 SDP Governorship candidate for Ekiti, Mr Olusegun Oni, advised the candidates not to take the 2023 elections for granted.

The party’s governorship candidate in Adamawa, Dr Umar Ardo, said that all factors were working in favour of the SDP to win the state governorship election.

Ado advised all candidates to close ranks to ensure that the party wins.(NAN)