The National Chairman, Social Democratic Party (SDP), Shehu Gabam has advised candidates of the party in the forthcoming general elections to be creative and strategic in their electioneering campaigns.
Gabam at the party national stakeholders summit for SDP candidate in Abuja on Sunday urged the candidates to take advantage of simple and cheap technology in their campaign to reach out to voters.
He said that being strategic would help the party and its candidates to be victorious at various elective positions in the forthcoming elections.
“In Nigeria of today, people want people who recognize that they exist, that they are important, that they can pay a role in changing the current situation that we have today.
“Even if you don’t have money, you have gadgets, you can even buy N500 credit. You can network.
“Fundamentally, you should know, winning elections from the president to governorship, to the Senate, to the House of representatives, you have various chambers that need to be followed.
“For the president you need virtually everybody on the election day from the pulling units, ward level, local government, state, national.”
Gabam advised the party’s candidates not to be intimidated by anyone, but to 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, reaching 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 it in SDP. We have vibrant, young generational people for the country. We have provided the needed options.
“Likewise, at the gubernatorial, National and state house of assembly levels, we made the needed sacrifices,” Gabam said.
He also advised the candidates to obey INEC rule and regulations guarding conduct of voters and candidates, especially at pulling units on election day.
He advised them to make use of party agents at polling units and not play 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 a pulling unit agent right there to stop that whispering and attempt to buy votes, you are at the losing end,” Gabam said.
SDP Vice Presidential Candidate, Yusuf Buhari, expressed confidence in the forthcoming elections, saying the reception for the party presidential candidate campaign across the country has been overwhelming.
Buhari said that the challenges confronting Nigerians had made campaigns easier for the party.
Buhari said that SDP had presented Presidential Candidate, Adewole Adebayo, with capacity to address the challenges.
“We have challenges but they are not insurmountable. This is what leadership entails.”
The party National Secretary, Dr Olu Agunloye, speaking on the summit, said it was for intimacy and interaction between candidates to further strategise for victory in the 2023 general elections.
Agunloye said that register voters would also be shared with the participants of the summit.
The 2022 SDP Governor candidate for Ekiti State, Olusegun Oni advised the candidates not to take the 2023 elections for granted, saying it is not going to be a tea party.
Oni advised them not to be relaxed just because INEC had pledged that the elections would be free and fair.
He also decried the failure of INEC to allow him and his legal team to examine the details of BVAS used for Ekiti governorship election, in spite of a court order compelling it to do so.
SDP Governorship Candidate in Adamawa, Dr Umar Ardo said that all factors were working in favour of SDP to win the state governorship election.
Ado advised all candidates of the party to continue to solicit votes for the SPD presidential candidate, whom he described as the youngest and best candidate in the race.
SDP National Organising Secretary, Achile Abu, described the summit as one the major steps being taken by SDP leaders toward attaining victory for the party in the forthcoming elections.
Abu said that though SDP may not have candidates for all elective positions in the 2023 general elections, it was able to present the best candidate across board and was confident of victory in the elections.