Gana loses out as SDP affirms Duke as presidential candidate

Kerry gana

The Social Democratic Party(SDP) yesterday affirmed ex-Governor Donald Duke as its presidential candidate.

It said Duke was validly nominated at the party’s October 6 national convention and his name already submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The party said ex-Minister of Information  Prof. Jerry Gana congratulated, hugged and wished Duke well after the shadow election.

Party’s Media and Publicity Director Yemi Akinbode in a statement yesterday “noted” the statement by Dr. Ike Neliaku, the Consultant to the Prof Jerry Gana’s campaign group but disagreed with the references to the SDP Constitution as “premature and misplaced” and “frowns” at recent misrepresentations by his statements that  Southsouth candidates were barred from participating in the primary.

The party said it would not take up issues with Gana but will inform Nigerians how Duke emerged.

“The current cry to ‘screen him out’ or ‘disqualify him’ was not raised during the process adding that Duke emerged through a transparent process and delegates were never directed to vote for any presidential aspirant.

The statement added: “There were two aspirants from the South-South Zone and three aspirants from the North Central Zone. His Excellency, Donald Duke was the first person to submit the nomination form at a widely publicised event and no one ever protested until he won the primary.

“All the four other contestants including Prof. Gana actively participated in all the preliminary and final stages of the presidential primary and SDP did not issue any statement directing its members to vote for or against any presidential aspirant from any particular geographic zone.

“The party understands that Gana was very disappointed by the outcome of the primary and sent a high-ranking delegation headed by National Chairman Chief Olu Falae to visit and explain to him, to assuage his feelings and appreciate his contributions to the party.

“The SDP and its leaders duly appreciate the significant contributions that the elder statesman Gana has put to the development of the party since he joined six months ago.

“Above all, they had privately and publicly appreciated the tremendous contributions that he has made to Nigeria over the last 45 years.”

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