One of the leading opposition parties in Nigeria on Thursday announced its withdrawal from the Feb. 16 presidential election and adoption of incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari for the poll.
This was part of the resolutions of the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria.
“We cannot campaign, we cannot do anything because of the protracted legal issue and we feel that it is impeccable to technically withdraw from the presidential election,” the party said in a statement.
The statement followed the recent legal battle between its two candidates: former Information Minister Jerry Gana and former Cross River State Governor Donald Duke, who jostled for a presidential ticket.
The SDP announced Duke as the winner of last October’s primary, with the former governor garnering 812 votes and Gana scoring 611 votes.
However, Gana claimed that the process of the primary violated the constitution of the party, and went to the court in November seeking to nullify the victory of Duke.
“We want to focus on the National Assembly, governorship and State House of Assemblies elections for which we have fielded candidates across the country,” the statement said.
“We are therefore adopting the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, as our preferred candidate for the Feb. 16 election,” the SPD said.
Earlier, Yemi Akinbode, the party spokesperson, said the SDP was not going to merge with the APC and its decision was due to its inability to present a candidate.
The SDP was first established in the late 1980s as a political party to encompass the ideals of a center-left political organization. It was the most influential party back then. Enditem