A former governor of Cross Rivers State, Donald Duke, has said he is still in the presidential race and on the ballot for the 2019 elections.
The National Executive Committee of the Social Democrats Party had yesterday met in Abuja and endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress as its party candidate.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Donald Duke said the SDP’s endorsement is rather unfortunate and betrays the desire of majority of members of the party.
He blamed the crisis on an aspirant who lost at the primaries and queried his suitability to contest for the presidency on grounds that he (Duke) came from “the wrong part of the country.”
He said, “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).
“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. “