I strongly admire Donald Duke despite the fact when he was Governor I was one of his fiercest critics. He is awesomely handsome, bold, courageous, visionary but dictatorial. I also alleged that his government was corrupt.
I did not like some of the white elephants projects (such as Tinapa) he embarked on during his time. But he made single-minded effort to open up the State economy.
Even though I was his critic , he never failed to make an effort to extend his hand of friendship to me. Duke never hated my guts. He tolerated me like a good leader.
Donald Duke ‘s approach to governance was modernist and trail blazing. He personally replied to all the letters I wrote to him while he was Governor. Even though sometimes the tone of my letters are harsh; he would still reply to them in very measured style.
When Duke named the Calabar International Airport after Madam Margaret Ekpo, I wrote to him suggesting that he would rather have named it after Dr. Okoi Arikpo (SAN). Duke replied my letter promptly and proceeded to name the former Mercantile Bank Building along Calabar Road! Dr. Okoi Arikpo’s House!.
Duke ought to be in the leadership level at the Federal Government level. If PDP is not a bad Party, Duke should have been chosen the Vice President in 2007. Rather a dour, uninspiring, incompetent Goodluck Jonathan was foisted on the people of the South/South by the cabal in the PDP. Today we all suffering from that mindless and thoughtless decision of the mandarins in the PDP.
Yesterday, Donald Duke lived to his billing . He was the only PDP Leader from the State who stood up boldly and pointedly told President Good luck Jonathan, that he has woefully failed the people of the South/South Region by his abysmal and inept performance in office.
I therefore heartily salute Donald Etim Duke, the debonair former Governor of Cross River State for his leadership.
The position of Duke has also vindicated some of us who have dismissed President Jonathan as a Joker (apologies to Barrister Festus Keyamo).
Thumbs down for Governor Liyel Imoke and all other PDP leaders from the State who with due respect lack the courage to represent our hapless people.