I was not party to Buhari’s adoption, says Falae
Former National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and one-time Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Olu Falae, has distanced himself from the party’s adoption of President Muhammadu Buhari as the party’s candidate for next Saturday’s election.
This came barely 24 hours after the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party announced that they had adopted the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential candidate, Buhari, for the election.
According to Falae: “I was here in Akure when I learnt about it; I was not at the meeting. I was not at the meeting because since last year, I have decided to retire from active politics.”He explained that he took the decision to quit active politics last year when he turned 80 last years and had wanted to announce it on September 21, that year, when he attained the age of 80.
“But we found out that the national convention of party was just 13 days ahead, which was October 6, and I felt that to announce my retirement two weeks to the convention would disrupt everything. So, we didn’t announce it and said that after the convention, it would be announced.
“But after the convention, Prof. Jerry Gana went to court and sued the party and me, and we were in court for three months and I could not announce it because of the litigation.”
Falae, who said he has stepped down as the party’s leader, however, declared that the judgment vindicate them, adding: “You now see why it has not been announced till now. And that is why you did not see me at that meeting, since I retired.
“There is a section in the constitution of the party that says if the position of the chairman is vacant, the deputy national chapman 1, from the chairman’s zone, automatically steps in and the person in that position is Prof. Tunde Adeniran. “Though we did not announce my retirement, but I handed over to him then and now, he is defacto chairman of the party. He is a very competent and loyal party member.”
He explained further that “to stop carrying the heavy burden the national chairman of a major party after 80, when most of my mates can hardly leave their rooms, I took that decision and I have handed over to Adeniran.”
While dismissing insinuations that he betrayed the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, which recently adopted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Falae reiterated that he was not at the meeting that adopted APC, noting: “The meeting they held with APC, I was never there and not part of that decision.
“Though I understand there was a committee that met with the APC, it is not a personal thing, as Adeniran normally briefs me since our presidential candidate, Donald Duke, was nowhere to be found and has not done anything to implement.“When Adeniran mentioned APC, I said ‘any party which you’re going to collaborate with, you should commit it to restructuring and that is the absolute minimal.’ He said he is committed to restructuring and he was aware of that and would take care of everything and I advised him as the outgone chairman.
“I was not party to that decision because I have decided to retire and I don’t even know those they talk to and I don’t want to because I have retired,” he said.
Nonetheless, the former SGF stressed that he has not betrayed the cause of restructuring, declaring that the stance the ruling party of the federal government takes towards it opposed his philosophy, saying: “I consider restructuring as an absolute requirement in any group we are going to collaborate with. As far as I am aware, APC has not done that.
“But maybe when they are talking and discussing, the APC has embraced restructuring. I don’t want to second guess anybody, but I will advise you to talk to Adeniran.”
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