Okwe Obi, Abuja
Benue State governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Saturday’s poll, Dr. Stephen Hwande, has announced his withdrawal from the race.
Hwande, attributed his decision to the legal tussle which he said affected the party’s preparations for the election.
In a statement made available to journalists by the Director-General of his campaign, Julius Ikima, in Makurdi, he advised his supporters to vote for the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Emmanuel Jime, with the strong belief that he would transform the state.
His words: “After the High Court judgment, we went to the Court of Appeal to challenge the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Makurdi which nullified Dr. Hwande’s nomination as the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Benne State.
“It was only two days ago that the Court of Appeal finally determined the case by dismissing the judgment of the Federal High Court and affirmed Hwande as the SDP governorship candidate in tomorrow’s election.
“After long deliberation, and consultations with party supporters and considering the timing of the judgment which has given us little or no time to campaign and reach the electorate with our programmes, we wish to announce our withdrawal from the 2019 governorship election in Benue State with immediate effect.
“At the decisive and crucial meeting of the stakeholders, we hereby call on all our party supporters to go out tomorrow Saturday, March 9, 2019, and support the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Hon. Emmanuel Jime.
“This decision was taken without any agreement whatsoever with the APC leadership in Benue State, but we believe and hope that in the spirit of give and take, the APC leadership should
reciprocate our kind gesture by being fair and allow a degree of kindness to our House of Assembly candidates especially in our strongholds,” he added.