The Social Democratic Party, SDP, in Cross River State has denied ever contemplating endorsing Gov Ben Ayade as alleged in some quarters.
In a press release made available to our reporter, and signed by Ambo Ekpenyong, Director General Eyo Ekpo Campaign Organisation and Newton Bassey, State Secretary of the party, the SDP said “It has come to the notice of our campaign organisation and Party that certain members of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) at LG Chapter and State level have been holding clandestine meetings with certain individuals connected with the PDP-led State Government.
“We understand that the objective of these meetings is to engineer the publication of a statement, purportedly to be made by the SDP State Executive Committee, that the Party in Cross River State has adopted the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ben Ayade, as its candidate in the forthcoming elections on Saturday, 9th March.
“Such a statement would be fake news intended to create confusion in the minds of SDP supporters and members and thereby create apathy and suppress their votes on 9th March. Cross Riverians, particularly supporters and loyal members of the SDP are hereby advised to ignore such a statement if ever it is released.
“In the past 7 months, and particularly since this electioneering campaign season opened, the SDP Governorship and House of Assembly campaigns in the State have been conducted with utmost decorum and respect for the rules. We have focused totally on presenting our Party, our candidates, our FRESH Manifesto and our Execution Plan (GettingTheJobDone) to the people.
“The enthusiastic welcome and the loud pleas for us to stay the course to the very end have boosted our conviction that our campaign enjoys popular support. We have no doubt that our campaign is rooted firmly in the minds of our fellow citizens across the State as an endeavour entirely for their benefit.
“Therefore, our #RecoverAndRestore campaign cannot and will never be destroyed by a greedy few in our Party who believe that the Party is a vehicle solely for conducting mercenary business to betray candidates at the eleventh hour.
“All Party members, supporters and indeed all citizens of Cross River State are hereby advised once again to ignore any message whatsoever claiming that the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and/or the Eyo Ekpo Campaign Organisation (EECO) have endorsed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship and/or House of Assembly candidates or any other Party candidates whatsoever.
“We urge Cross River voters, particularly supporters of the SDP not to relent in their support but rather to turn out in large numbers *on* Saturday, 9th March and vote in support of our Party, SDP.
“All media organizations are kindly requested to note this statement and to do us the courtesy of making enquiries with the undersigned to clarify any doubts or questions.”