Social Democratic Party (Nigeria)

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Social Democratic Party
Founded 1980s/1990s
Ideology Social democracy
Democratic socialism
Social justice
Political position Centre-left to left-wing

The Social Democratic Party of Nigeria, popularly known as SDP, was a political party created to encompass the ideals of a center left political organization. It was one of the products of a democracy project by former President Ibrahim Babangida to have two detribalized political parties, one a little to the left and one for the right. However, it was seen as a moderate party with a flavor for young radical intellectuals and socialists. In its manifesto, it called for concerted efforts to improve the people's welfare and fight for social justice.

Party structure and strength[edit]

After the banning of 13 prospective parties by the administration of Ibrahim Babangida in 1989. A few of the "illegal" associations decided to re-align. The People's Front of Nigeria, People's Solidarity Party and the Nigerian Labor Party were the three main inchoate groups that emerged to form the core constituency of the new SDP. The leadership of the party was mostly dominated by Northern Nigerians, with Babagana Kingibe elected party chairman in 1990 over his rival Mohammed Arzika. On the other hand, the electoral strength of the party lain in the Yoruba states and Imo and Anambra states. The party won 57% of the Senate seats in the 1992 National Assembly election, and won 53% of the seats of the House of Representatives in the same election. The party was largely financed by the Federal Government and a few individuals, such as Shehu Musa Yar'Adua, Francis Nzeribe and M.K.O. Abiola. In its primary elections, Yar'adua collated about 480,000 votes dominating his primary opponent, Olu Falae in the first round.[1] Another financier, Abiola (a former member of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons and chairman of the National Party of Nigeria) won the primary election on March 1993, after the first election was canceled. Abiola's contested the national election which was later annulled, a seemingly coherent legacy of Nigeria's swivelling and revolving door like political landscape.

Among former members, Atiku Abubakar, Abubakar Rimi, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Umaru Yar'Adua, Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila, Dapo Sarumi, and Mohammed Arzika later became senior figures in the People's Democratic Party (PDP).

SDP Revived[edit]

After the ban on old SPD as part of democratic process of Major General Ibrahim Babangida. A new merger party emerged in the name of SDP was formed by coalition of 13 political party.[2][3] The revived party contested for various political posts in the 2015 Nigerian general elections conducted election[4] except the President which conceded to People's Democratic Party candidate Ex- President Goodluck Jonathan[5][6]

Ideology of the Revived Party[edit]

According to Chief Olu Falae,[7] SDP was created to mount pressure on the two prominent Parties in Nigeria People's Democratic Party and All Progressive Congress.

Reasons for the Reviving of the Party[edit]

See also[edit]



  • The PRS Group, Inc./Political Risk Services, Nigeria Country Report, SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY (SDP) April 1, 1993.
  • Social Democratic Party Official Website (