Former deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, told reporters at a press conference in Stormont “I haven’t gone away you know”.
The phrase was once used by Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams, when referring to the IRA in August 1995.
Mr. McGuinness was speaking at a press conference during which former Health Minister, Michelle O’Neill, was unveiled as his successor as leader of Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland.
“I haven’t gone away you know,” said Mr. McGuinness on Monday.
He said: “I am proud that Michelle O’Neill is my leader, is our leader.
“I am overjoyed that Michelle is my leader and she will have my wholehearted support.”
Last week Mr. McGuinness announced that he would not be contesting election to the Assembly on March 2 but insisted that he intends to remain politically active.