By CrossRiverWatch Admin
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday joined Nigerians to celebrate former Cross River Governor, Mr. Donald Duke on his 60th birthday celebration.
Also, guber hopeful and stalwart of the People’s Democratic Party, Arthur Jarvis Archibong and the Chairman of The Akpanke Foundation,’ Peter Akpanke joined in greeting the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party in the 2019 general elections.
A notable absentee in the felicitations was the incumbent Governor, Benedict Ayade.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, Mr. Buhari joined, “family and friends to rejoice with the political leader, whose antecedents continue to inspire hope in a new generation of leaders.”
“The President affirms that the leadership strides of the former governor reverberated across the country, with innovative and creative strategies of development that placed Nigeria on the spotlight for rapid urban development, agriculture, industrialization, hospitality and tourism.
“President Buhari believes Duke, who was elected governor in his 30s, in 1999, provided a visionary and focused style of leadership that showcased the potentials in Nigerian youths, projecting the loyalty, dedication and sense of patriotism that heralded nationalist movements and consolidated the country’s unity.
“The President notes the maturity and measured disposition of the former governor, even in opposition for many years, working diligently to promote peace, good governance and virility of democratic institutions that will benefit the country,” the statement read.
For Archibong who is also the Chancellor of Arthur Jarvis University, Mr. Duke is a natural born leader who provided unprecedented leadership during his tenure as Governor of Cross River State.
“Without mincing words, the Leadership you provided for Cross River State from 1999 to 2007 has remained unprecedented, even after leaving office as Governor, you have become an icon of hope because you lead the way and light up the path for all,” Archibong said in a statement issued on Thursday.
“I want to thank you for everything you have done and to let you know how much the people of Cross River State appreciate the incredible changes you made and still making as we progress.
“Your proactive approach and passion as a leader to achieve what you set out to do are so remarkable and truly inspirational as you turned Cross River State around in an unprecedented manner with unbeatable records.
“You led Cross River State in the right direction and motivated a lot by bringing out the very best because they believed in you and the multiplier effect of that mentorship you provided has raised both men and women.
“Your leadership prowess is sublime and to date, remains invaluable in so many ways. Thank you for being such a great leader whose focus, commitment and vigour have always been in the interest of the people.
“I want to use the occasion of your 60th birthday to wish you many more great years of making great contributions not just for the development of Cross River State but Nigeria as a Country.
“While I congratulate and celebrate your new age, I want to enjoin you to once again play the uncommon role you started both in our Party and the State at the age of 37.
“Above all, you have grown into a man with more wisdom, experience and your tenacity in brokering peace in the state is second to none, I urge you to also bring this to bear as our dear state forges ahead.
“My family and I, including the Peoples Democratic Party, are wishing you the very best of your birthday filled with countless possibilities,” Archibong said.
For Akpanke, Duke’s “devotion towards the growth of Cross River State and the people of the country,” is highly appreciated as well as his effort towards nation building.
“Leaders are the stars of the night and the moon that gives light to our path in the dark. I’m glad you are these and more.
“You have developed the four corners of your territory and made life much easier for the ones you lead.
“Your birthday is like a festival for me, I pray that you live thousands of years with your simplicity and beautiful smile,” Akpanke said.