Liyel Imoke contributes to PDP’s problems in Cross River State
OpenLife Nigeria reports that Donald Duke, former governor of Cross River State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP between 1999 and 2007, has confirmed his return to the PDP.
He disclosed, in a statement, that his return dates back to 2020 even though it was not officially announced.
Duke left the party in 2018 to contest for the presidential election under the Social Democratic Party, SDP.
At that time, he convinced Nigerians that the SDP platform was without blemish and good enough to actualize the Nigeria’s dream of economic rebirth.
He pointed out as a founding member of the PDP, he was very sure that even if angels descend from heaven to manage Nigeria on the PDP platform, Nigeria would remain a failed state because the PDP structure is full of sharks that would diminish patriotic governance efforts.
He told Nigerians not to support Abubakar Atiku who was then PDP’s presidential candidate saying nothing good can be derived from the umbrella party.
He had said he left the PDP because the “umbrella was breaking”.
In a statement on Wednesday, Duke said that PDP was was well organized in Cross River State between 1999 and 2007 when he was governor.
He disclosed that problems started in the party when Liyel Imoke took over the leadership of the party as the governor of the State in 2007.
Duke stated that former governor Liyel Imoke was high handed with autocratic tendencies, a development that nosedived the party.
“However, post 2007, the party’s fortune started ebbing. An autocratic leadership style emerged,” Duke stated.
His statement is reproduced below unedited.
“Dear Friends, a lot is being said about my return to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Truth is, I reunited with the party almost a year ago now, but in spirit never left the ideals for which the party was founded upon. It is rather unfortunate that Governor Ben Ayade who constantly egged me to rejoin the party has himself had cause to leave,” Duke said.
“A rather unfortunate decision for which I neither support nor condemn, as I’m not privy to the details except his complaints of being stifled and unappreciated by the leadership of the party and certain elements of Cross River State origin at Abuja.
“In our early to mid thirties buoyed by optimism and faith in our State and Nation, we took a plunge into the unknown world of politics. Providence smiled at us and thrust us into the limelight and leadership of national politics.
“In Cross River State, we took on the establishment and won a razor thin victory in 1999, but through firm and adroit leadership and adherence to the democratic principles of inclusion we soon brought largely all the political class in the state under the PDP and by 2007, we were perhaps the most PDP state in Nigeria.
“However, post 2007, the party’s fortune started ebbing. An autocratic leadership style emerged, communication with its followers declined and emergence in the party was determined largely not by the party constitution or structures but by the whims of the States Chief Executive. This is the structure Governor Ayade inherited and has largely led us to where we are today.
“The very top down political style we fought against prior 1999, instead of consultation, accommodation and inclusion reared its head to the extent that founding members of the party in the state including former state chairmen, senators, members of the National Assembly and I, over time opted out and this attrition has continued unabated to the extent that the Governor himself has left to seek pasture elsewhere.”