Published On: Mon, Oct 8th, 2018

Donald Duke, ex-Cross River’s governor, wins SDP presidential ticket

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Donald Duke

By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja

Former Governor of Cross River State, Mr Donald Duke, has emerged as Presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) for the 2019 general election.
Duke, who governed Cross Rivers between 1999 and 2007, polled 812 votes to defeat his close rival, former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, who scored 611 votes at the party’s national convention, that took place at the Old Parade Ground, Abuja.
While announcing the results in early hours of Sunday, the Chief Returning Officer, Dr Abdul Isiaq, said Mr. John Dara, former Special Assistant to Lt. General Theophilus Danjuma, former Defence Minister, scored 104 votes.
A one-time Ambassador and former Minister, Prof. Iyorwuese Hagher, according to the Returning Officer, polled 72 votes; with another former Ambassador, Felix Osakwe scoring 10 votes.
The number of invalid votes stood at 63.
In his acceptance speech, the presidential flag bearer of the SDP, described his emergence as collective victory for all aspirants who participated in the contest, as well for the party and the nation.
Duke described the very peaceful and orderly primary as just a step in the contest, saying he will go through the nation to campaign and sell the party and it’s polices to citizens.
The former governor therefore solicited for support of all the other aspirants, the party officials and Nigerians to win 2019 general election, saying “we will reawaken in Nigerians that are yearning that we are destined to be, but we cannot do this alone.”.
According to him, “What divides us is inadequacy and wants, because in the face of this survival of the fittest comes in, which ought not to be so because there is more than enough for everyone.”
He posited that if Nigerians were productive and abide by rules and regulations , the nation would grow from strength to strength.
“This is what good governance is all about and that is what I stand for”, Duke said.
Earlier in his speech at the commencement of the convention, the National Chairman of the SDP and former Secretary to the government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, said that he is convinced that SDP has all it takes to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.
According to Falae, “ It is therefore gratifying to know that the forthcoming 2019 elections are not only going to be about change of government at all levels in the country but more importantly, it will be driven by people’s hopes and aspirations for the emergence of a united, peaceful and economically vibrant Nigeria”.
Continuing, the SDP National Chairman said, “As a political Party on a rescue mission, we raised a world-class team of experts to think through and deliberate on effective, realistic and realisable programmes that will be implemented in the interest of all Nigerians when, with the support of Nigerians and God’s grace, SDP is elected into office.”

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