Former Cross River State governor, Mr. Donald Duke, has joined the large number of aspirants for the office of President in the 2019 election, but unsure of the party to adopt to achieve his aspiration.
Duke who joins the race along former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, and a number of former governors from the north, declared his intentions at the annual Law dinner of the University of Nigeria, on Friday
His intention may be difficult to materialise as his platform, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), had zoned the office to the North.
Although the zoning had become controversial following the declaration of governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti to vie, the party had yet to discard the zoning.
Duke who spoke on ‘Nigeria In Clear and Present Danger’, explained that he was not yet sure of the platform with which he will be contesting.
He said he was convinced that it was time to make a move towards addressing Nigeria’s problem.
He also stated that “will and strategy” are major components needed to ensure all-round national development.
“I am putting myself forward for the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“I’m not going to sit back any longer and postulate. And I want each one of those young people there to be part of it. That’s why I urge them to go and get their voter’s card and be part of this society.
“Don’t be onlookers any longer, this is not a football match where you sit in the audience and cheer and grumble. Get unto the field and take part.
“I’m not going to sit back, I’m going to take part,” he asserted.
He was also one of those who witnessed the formal registration of the former president (Obasanjo) as a member of the group, which he had called for to save Nigeria from the myriad of challenges it is facing.
56-year-old Donald Duke was the Governor of Cross River State, Nigeria from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007.
He received his LLB degree in 1982 from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria – Nigeria, the B.L in 1983 from the Nigerian Law School, Lagos and a L.L.M. in Business Law and Admiralty in 1984 from University of Pennsylvania.
Duke initiated the Obudu Ranch International Mountain Race which attracted contestants and visitors from other countries.
In 2005, he created a special reserve fund for the state meant to ‘‘hedge against economic downturn, and the inevitable rainy day’’. This was meant to cushion the effect of unforeseeable economic challenges that may occasion uncertainty in the state’s internally generated revenue, as well as monthly allocation from the federal government.
He also initiated the Calabar Carnival which started in 2004 and is popularly referred to as “Africa’s biggest street party.”