Prof. Tunde Adeniran, a long time chieftain of the Peoples Democratic party, shocked stakeholders in the Nigerian political atmosphere when he alongside other top chieftains of the party, Jerry Gana, Alkali etc decamped from the party for SDP.
Now, in a recent interview with Daily Trust, Adeniran reveals the reason why they left the former ruling party;
“We are being guided by a definite philosophy called orientation. We are social democrats, we believe in the welfare and wellbeing of the people. We believe that there are certain irreducible minimums an average Nigerian is entitled to. We believe for instance, that education is the key to the future.
Without education, we are nobody. We believe that education should be made free and compulsory for every Nigerian up to secondary school level. The second area is health.
Before you can become anything in terms of growth and development, you have to be healthy. That is why we believe that health issues should not be played with.
The healthcare delivery system has to be overhauled in such a way that people will have access to basic healthcare facilities. Health insurance is one of the things we believe in very much. You see, Nigerians of old age can no longer afford drugs, they can no longer take care of themselves. I have visited virtually all continents of the world, I also had the privilege of visiting about 56 countries.
I do not know of any that is as blessed as Nigeria in terms of both human and material resources. Our vegetation, you look at it and ask, ‘why should Nigerians be hungry?’ There should be no hunger in this country for goodness sake. And that is why we believe that agriculture will be handled in such a way that hunger will be pushed out. Nigeria does not have reason to be hungry. As social democrats, these are some of the things that prompted us to go to the SDP.
Apart from the core values that we share with that party, we asked our team to go round. We also went round when it became apparent that the present party (APC) and the PDP can no longer divorce themselves. They seem to have a covenant with impunity and imposition.
So I feel that an alternative has to be considered. In the consideration of an alternative, the APC is a no go area because the damage that it has done to this country within a short time shows that we cannot entrust this country to the care of the APC with just one additional year after 2019.
It will be a greater disaster because we are already in a disastrous situation. During the consultations, people felt these values that are entrenched in the programme and philosophy of this party (SDP), we share them because we could have gone ahead and registered a new party. But what we are looking for is already on ground, we can build on it, we can remodel it, we can reposition it the more.
Then of course, when you are coming up with new parties, there is the tendency to have as it is inherent in party formation some elements of what you can call possibility for crisis. So you do not have a perfect situation in an arrangement, whether it is a family you are putting together or a political party.
In the history of the SDP, you can see that relatively, it has been crisis-free. It is also national and not driven by primordial, parochial or sectional tendencies and they have not deviated from that. We did a thorough survey, it didn’t just come from the blues. So we are thinking of making a more people-oriented party.”