Despite his party SDP adopting Buhari as it presidential candidate, Donald Duke vows to continue contest

The presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Donald Duke, has reacted to his party’s adoption of President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as its presidential candidate for the February 16 election.

He said that not minding the development that he is still in the race as the candidate of the SDP as recognized by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The former governor of Cross River State stated this in a statement he posted on his Twitter handle in reaction to the decision of his party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to adopt Buhari.

SDP NEC had while announcing the abandonment of Duke for Buhari, explained that its action was due to “lingering legal battle” between Duke and his major challenger for the party’s presidential ticket, Professor Jerry Gana.

But in his response Duke wrote: This afternoon (yesterday), the National executive Council (NEC) of the Social democratic Party (SDP) came up with a decision to endorse the APC and its candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari for the February 16 presidential election. This decision has risen 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 recognised 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 consent for the presidency on the 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 constitution 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 rein in its members, particularly sore losers, Internal management of any 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 indded our nation a clean break, options and alternative to the current gladiators.

“For the SDP NEC to thereby endorse the APC or any other party, is rather unfortunate and betrays my opinion, the desire of the vast majority of our party members and Nigerians credible alternative 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”.

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