The Social Democratic Party (SDP) has announced its withdrawal from the forthcoming presidential election and adopted the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari.

The party made this known in a statement as part of the resolutions of its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja on Thursday.

The SDP had earlier denied being part of the adoption of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, as the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) consensus candidate.

Later the party announced its withdrawal from the CUPP for the 2019 presidential election.

And in the statement, the SDP NEC said, “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.

“We want to focus on the National Assembly, Governorship and State House of Assemblies election for which we have fielded candidates across the country.

“We are therefore adopting the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, as our preferred candidate for the Feb. 16 election.”

SDP NEC, however, explained that the adoption does not herald a merger with the APC.

Recall that the SDP has been entangled in court case over who to be the flagbearer of the party during the February 16 presidential election.

The Appeal Court on January 24, affirmed former Cross Rivers State Governor Donald Duke as the authentic presidential candidate for the Social Democratic Party (SDP), overturning an earlier judgment declaring Prof. Jerry Gana the candidate of the party.

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The court, in a unanimous decision by a three-man panel, led by Justice Abdul Aboki, set aside the December 14, 2018 judgment of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court which had declared Gana the candidate of the party.

The court held that Gana’s position as the party’s candidate in section 18 of the party’s amended constitution contravenes the Electoral Acts stipulation for the validity of a candidate in any election.

The FCT High Court in Maitama on December 14, 2018, had declared Prof. Gana, the winner of the presidential primary election of the SDP conducted on October 6.

The party had declared Duke, the winner of the election and its flag bearer for the 2019 General Elections.

The party said that Duke polled 812 votes while Gana had 611.

However, Gana went to court seeking that it would declare him the winner in line with the zoning and rotation formula of the party’s constitution.

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