by crossriverwatch admin
The Newly registered All Progressive Congress, APC is putting all machinery in place to woo the former governor of Cross River State, Mr Donald Duke as a first step to divide the political climate of the state, CrossRiverWatch has reliably gathered.
Donald Duke is a political heavy weight in Cross River State and South South region and remains the only former governor that has not been found wanting by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC despite numerous petitions by concerned Cross Riverians accusing him of stealing billions during his tenure.
He was governor of Cross River State between 1999 and 2007 and he is still very popular amongst his people several years after leaving office.
The former Governor has been consulting secretly with the Lagos state governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola lately and often times he has been a guest at the Bourdillon road palace of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Those close to the two strong APC stalwarts say the consistent visits of Donald to Fashola in this era of politics show that Donald has interest in the opposition party, APC.
Donald Duke had in may 2010 resigned from his ruling Peoples Democratic Party when he reportedly said “It is with dissonant mix of relief and regret that I formally tender my resignation from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“When in 1998, we came together and forged a vehicle destined, as we thought at the time, to carry forward our beloved country’s hopes and dreams, there was a sense of being on the cusp of something that would endure, that has not proved to be the case.
“Since then, a lack of commitment to the purpose and focus of the founding fathers of our party and our country has emasculated the PDP. The party, in its present evolutionary state, has become dysfunctional, unable to articulate a road map and lead Nigerians on a clear and concise path to national renewal. Faithfulness and fervor have been dissipated by a seamless stream of internecine factional warfare.
“I leave behind friends, many with whom I shared sincerity of purpose but, regrettably, no longer share commonality of purpose. They shall in future be friends outside the party rather than friends within it, but always friends first. Our politics must be big enough for us to differ as we cohabit.
“My former colleagues, I wish you and our beloved country well. For my part, I shall not fail to rise to the challenges and opportunities that the twenty-first century continue to hold unto to our country.”
After intense lobbying and persuasion by his friends and political associates before 2011 elections, he returned to the party, but since then he has not been seen identifying with the party as he used to before he left in 2010.
Donald Duke’s latest visit to Fashola was during his father’s burial where he was seen closely with the Lagos governor in a manner reminiscent of how both governors had visited Obudu Ranch in 2010 just before Duke’s resignation from the PDP.
Reacting to the possibility of Duke joining the APC, Chairman of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN in Cross River State Mr. Hilard Eta said, “APC is the alternative, it is the viable one, by the special grace of God. Except one has told me that Donald Duke has divested of his citizenship of Nigeria, one can pursue from the premise that he can no more participate in the political platform of his choice given that the constitution guarantee him the freedom of association, No one can stop him from coming into this party.
“Donald is needed. Just like every other Nigerian, he is welcomed to APC. We need those big men in APC, but they will leave their ‘wayo’ they are known with in PDP. In fact, we need them more in Cross River State because the political elites in the state have aligned themselves too much with the conservatives such that we have lost our bearings to the demands and expectations of the people.
“For instance because of alignment to the conservative class in Nigeria, we have lost our regard and focus on free education and what should be done to make Cross River state competitive. Cross River state now believes in flashy cars for the Commissioners and Special Advisers that do not affect the lives of the ordinary people.
“If they can now commit ideological suicide of their party and come over to the progressive platform we will welcome them because we want Cross River State to stop this unprofitable association and marriage and move from the conservative to the progressive party to deliver real governance to the people like Adams in Edo, Fashola in Lagos and Aregbeshola in Osun.
“Let me speak to you as the Chairman of the defunct ACN in Cross River State, effort is being made to woo Donald and if Liyel his friend is willing to abandon his crisis ridden PDP and join the progressives and embrace the principle of All Progressives Congress, he is welcomed because we need to build a new Nigeria and that is what APC stand for.
“The only thing they must do is that as they are leaving the conservative party, they must bury their idea of conservatism and embrace the idea of progress because the interest of all Nigerians must be the epicenter of all political policies.” he said.
Efforts to speak with former governor Duke on the matter were unsuccessful as several calls put across to his GSM phone were not picked.
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