The former Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) , Chief Olu False, said on Friday that he resigned his position because of old age.
The Director, Media & Publicity of SDP, Yemi Akinbode, said his resignation was not new to the leadership of the party.
But Falae said he didn’t resign, rather he retired.
He said: “I was determined to retire from active politics when I clock 80. After I clocked 80 last September, I wanted to announce my retirement but the national convention of the party was starting days ahead, and after the convention, Prof. Jerry Gana took us to court. That is why I could not announce.
“So in line with the party’s constitution, Prof. Tunde Adeniran is the defacto National Chairman, I have retired but I did not resign.
”The SDP NEC had on Thursday announced the party’s withdrawal from the presidential race while adopting President Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, for the poll.
It explained that the decision was based on the protracted legal issue facing the party.
“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 Buhari, the APC Presidential candidate, as our preferred candidate for the Feb. 16 election,” it said.
The party had gone forward and back on the presidential candidates between Donald Duke and Prof Jerry Gana.
However, Falae stated his resignation was not because of adoption of Buhari.
In his resignation letter, he gave his ailing health as part of the reasons for his resignation.
Akinbode said Falae was part of the party leadership that adopted Buhari as SDP’s presidential candidate.
He said: “He stepped down as Chairman of the party. He ought to have stepped down on September 31, 2018.
“That was when he clocked 80 years of age. But I do not know what caused the delay.
“He had earlier made it known that when he clocks 80 he will quit politics. It is not a new thing.
“I feel that he was trying to wait after the election tactically to quit. But he did that now. And he cannot deny the adoption of President Muhammadu Buhari as the presidential candidate of the SDP because he was part of the entire process.“
Meanwhile, presidential candidate of the SDP, Donald Duke would present himself for the February 16 polls.
Duke said this in a statement on Friday in Lagos, while reacting to the decision of the NEC of the party to withdraw from the election and adopt President Buhari as its preferred candidate.
“Regardless and for the avoidance of doubt, I Donald Duke, remain on the ballot and the candidate of the SDP as recognised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“This unfortunate saga is as a result of an aspirant who lost at the party primaries on October 6, 2018, fair and square, does not query the conduct of the primaries but rather resorts to bigotry, querying my suitability to contest for the presidency on grounds that I come from the wrong part of the country.
“The Federal Court of Appeal has put this matter to rest. The office of the president does not belong to any party and therefore not for a party to zone,” he said.
Duke identified internal management of party affairs as the bane of the nation’s democracy.
He said his decision to run for the presidency was to afford the electorate a credible alternative.
“My decision to run on an untainted political platform rather than on one which I was a founding member is grounded on a desire to afford our electorate and indeed our nation a clean break, options, and alternatives to her current gladiators.
“For the SDP NEC to thereby endorse the APC or any other party, is rather unfortunate and betrays in my opinion, the desire of the vast majority of our party members and Nigerians credible alternatives to our nation’s leadership.
“I need not say more, suffice that I remain on the ballot and thereby still present myself as a candidate for the office of president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Duke said.