A former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, has emerged as the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) for the 2019 general election.
Mr Duke governed Cross River between 1999 and 2007 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He defected from the PDP to pursue his presidential ambition.
At the primary on Saturday, Mr Duke polled 812 votes to defeat his close rival, former Minister of Information, Jerry Gana, who polled 611 votes at the party’s National Convention held at Old Parade Ground, Abuja.
The Convention Returning Officer, Abdul Isiaq, declaring the results of the presidential primary election at the early hour of Sunday, said John Dara, former Special Assistant to Theophilus Danjuma, former defence minister, scored 104 votes.
He also announced that former ambassador and former minister, Iyorwuese Hagher, polled 72 votes; former ambassador, Felix Osakwe scored 10 votes, while the number of invalid votes was 63.
Mr Duke in his acceptance speech, described his emergence as a collective victory for all aspirants that participated in the contest, as well for the party and the nation.
He said the primary was 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.
Mr Duke called for the support of all aspirants, the party officials and Nigerians to win 2019 general election, saying “we will reawaken in Nigerians that yearning that we are destined to be, but we cannot do this alone.”
He said that Nigeria was not a divided nation but a country of common purpose.
“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 said 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.”