By Charles Kalu
The presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Mr. Donald Duke says he is still in the race for the presidency come February 16.
In a statement in reaction to the declaration for President Buhari by the Jerry Gana led faction; Duke said he remained the authentic candidate of the SDP as recognised by the electoral umpire, INEC and also by virtue of the fact that his name is on the ballot.
The former Cross River State Governor said it was unfortunate that an aspirant who lost the primaries of the party would query his suitability to vie for the presidency because he claims “Duke comes from the wrong part of the country”
Find below details of the statement personally signed by Mr. Donald Duke, the SDP presidential candidate for the 2019 election.
This afternoon, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Social Democrats Party (SDP) came up with a decision to endorse the APC and its candidate, President Mohammadu Buhari for the February 16th Presidential election. This decision has arisen according to the party, as a result of protracted legal squabbles within the party which has made the party unable to commence a decent campaign.
Regardless and for the avoidance of doubt, I Donald Duke, remain on the ballot and the candidate of the SDP as recognized by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
This unfortunate saga, is as a result of an aspirant who lost at the party primaries on the 6th of October fair and square, does not query the conduct of the primaries but rather resorts to bigotry, querying my suitability to contest for the presidency on grounds that I come from “the wrong part of the country”. The Federal Court of Appeal has put this matter to rest. The office of President and any constitutional office for that matter, does not belong to any party and therefore not for a party to zone. What is more worrisome for our nascent party is its inability to reign in its members, particularly sore losers. Internal management of party affairs has been the bane of our democracy.
My decision to run on an untainted political platform rather than on one which I was a founding member, is grounded on a desire to afford our electorate and indeed our nation a clean break, options and alternatives to her current gladiators. For the SDP NEC to thereby endorse the APC or any other party, is rather unfortunate and betrays in my opinion, the desire of the vast majority of our party members and Nigerians credible alternatives to our nation’s leadership. I need not say more, suffice that I remain on the ballot and thereby still present myself as a candidate for the office of President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Thank you and look forward to your endorsement on the 16th of February 2019.
Presidential Candidate, Social Democratic Party