19 September 2018
"Donald Duke: Those who live in glass houses do not throw stones"
Your Excellency I read with uttermost disgust your interview with an online medium Calitown.com which was published on Sunday 16th September, 2018 with the headline " The Death of Cross River State happened in 2007 – Donald Duke" in which you vengefully tried to vilify Imoke for the woes of Cross River.
Your Excellency, where is your honour? You should be eternally grateful to Imoke for finding the path through which you walked to stardom.
Your periodic vitriolic attacks on Senator Liyel Imoke who happens to be your biggest benefactor exposes your treachery, jealousy and discernible dwindling political patronage.
The death of Cross River as orchestrated by you would have started in 200. But this was not be according to your projection. You had in pursuit of transient fame and favour took the state to the dunghill by leaving behind a debt of 97 billion naira.
Consequently, you succeeded in plunging the state into financial slavery by deliberately purposing the crystalization of your huge debt in 2007.
Liyel, without any complaints on assumption of office as the governor, began to service the huge debt burden you left behind for the state. You practically ran Cross River aground by 2007. It took the ingenuity and financial re-engineering of a dynamic Liyel to keep the state afloat while still servicing the debt you left behind.
According to the current debt management plan, Cross River State will remain under a compulsory monthly 1billion naira deductions for the next 12 years before it can repay the Debts accumulated under your administration.
Since May 30th 2007, the state has remained a notable national debtor and despite several attempts to renegotiate the terms of the commercial bank borrowing through the issuance of bonds, the state remains ill with financial prostrate caused by you (Donald Duke).
You benefitted from oil derivation revenue for 8 years and Liyel got none for 8 and yet was able to improve and sustain your only legacies (Calabar Carnival, Obudu Mountain Resort and Marina Resorts). He drove development into the rural areas and brought government closer to the people who needed it the most but you (Donald Duke) left us impoverished and pauperised with acute infrastructural and financial deficits.
You ignobly collaborated with the federal government to cede Bakassi to the cameroun and thereby depriving the state of a rich oil territory and proceeds therefrom. Cross River people have not forgotten.
At your exit from government House in 2007, you left only 1billion naira in the reserve fund after pressuring the House of Assembly pass the law setting up the reserve fund with a clause which foreclosed withdrawal from the fund until 2023 when governorship would have returned to the southern senatorial district. An unpatriotic, selfish and retrogressive move which was later amended to enable the the incoming governor to draw from for the purpose of intervening in areas infrastructures and other developmental projects.
Liyel grew your 1billion reserve fund to over 6billion. While you left behind 1billion at the end of your tenure, Liyel Imoke left behind over 5billion at the expiration of his administration in 2015 with a monumental record of achievements to show.
Liyel built institutions, empowered the people and transformed our rural areas. You rather sold the only state owned hotel Metropolitan hotel, coveted government property for private use (your present house in Calabar by Police headquarters), sold the building housing the Cross River State Liaison office in Lagos, coveted other state properties in the state housing estate and many more infamous perpetrations, yet Liyel never called you out for a day neither did he make an inquest nor probed your administration.
Your Excellency, you are a sore ingrate, traitor and man without honour.
You did your worst political miscalculation in 2006 when you opted against supporting Sen Liyel Imoke Governorship bid and preferred to partner with you own political creation, the late Walter Eneji. That singular act showed the lack of understanding of your own political foundation.
Consequently, you lost the arithmetic and exited from the political space created for you by Senator Liyel Imoke.
Obviously, you became a mere political candle designed to burn for a lifespan of 8 years 1999 to 2007, and since then, every attempt to light the candle since then has failed.
From your bid to become President in 2007, later vice president; your defection from PDP to infamous election fraud allegations to the current bid to become President under SDP, you (Donald Duke) have struggled to reinvent your self outside the Sen Imoke political holding environment to no avail.
All these attempts, I will describe as an amusement in media activism and an investment in an expired political reputation only notable in the footnote of history crafted in a hurry.
Liyel is honorable and statesmanlike. He never speaks ill of his friends or any body for that matter. He possesses the strength of character with a similitude that attracts ovation anywhere he goes. His humility which is one virtue you badly lack is deeply endearing.
Your Excellency, sir, Liyel is by far and by all standards above you and will continue to be. So wallow in your self inflicted frustrations alone and stop using Liyel to gain cheap political publicity.
Obviously, you have outlived your relevance in the politics of the state.
Almost every person who followed your administration to Liyel's knows the difference between both of you.
Your Excellency, as long as Cross River and Nigeria's politics are concerned, you stand dwarfed where Liyel Imoke stands. So, I will advise that you take your envy elsewhere.
Donald Duke, you have no bearing!
Azogor I. Anari