‘PDP ruled C’River from 1999 to 2021, must be held responsible…’ Group calls Duke to order

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A Cross River-based group has elected to call a former governor of Cross River state to order over recent rhetoric credited to him and bothering on public administration NEGROIDHAVEN can say.

Southern Initiative a group of leaders of thought, opinion moulders and influencers from the southern senatorial district of Cross River has frowned at Donald Duke a former governor of the state for making reckless and inciting statements on social media against the candidature of Ntufam (Senator) Bassey Edet Otu the All Progressives Congress, APC Cross River state gubernatorial candidate for the 18th March general elections.

The group registered her profound displeasure in a strongly worded 14 points press release made available in a press conference in Calabar the state capital metropolis on Thursday.

According to Southern Initiative who noted that Duke’s outburst on social media is disingenuous and treacherous, they said that their subscription to political rotation of power, especially the office of governor of the state, was in the interest of justice, equity, fair play, brotherly accommodation and peace coexistence.

‘The politics of Cross River State has been characterized by relatively peaceful and orderly rotation and transition of power within political wards, LGAs, Constituencies, Senatorial districts, and the State as a whole

‘In a fledgling democracy within a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society, the zoning and rotation of offices ensure that minorities get a fair share, equal opportunity, and access to various offices. Rotation helps to stop Might is Right and the oppression of any disadvantaged segments of society. There have been aberrations over time and now we have an opportunity to work together to correct same.

‘The Southern Senatorial District has 7 LGAs, Central has 6 while the North has 5. It is easy to see that without applying rotation, whether by law or gentleman’s agreement, one of these districts may be oppressed and never allowed access to some higher offices, as has happened in some of our neighbouring states.

Etubom Arc. Bassey Ndem (M), the leader of the Southern Initiative With Winifred Oyo-Ita former Head of Service of the Federation (R) and Sylvester Nsa former NDDC commissioner (L)

‘That is why the Southern Initiative sees as most disingenuous and treacherous, the attempt by our son, HE Mr Donald Duke. to upturn the principle of zoning and rotation as recorded in his latest outburst on social media.

‘… For our own son to equate the beautiful principle of orderly and equitable rotation of power encapsulated in the Back-to-South slogan, and rather equate it to “Back to status quo”, “back to Ayades”, “Back to co-governor” and back to “single- handedly picked Surrogate” is a most unfortunate betrayal of every Cross Riverian who believes in justice, equity, accommodation and being your brother’s keeper’, the signatories to the release averred.

On the claim by Donald Duke on Bassey Otu being a stooge to the incumbent, the Southern Initiative argued thus: ‘The 2023 gubernatorial election is NOT about Ayade, as he is not in the contest. Our son Donald Duke knows, based on bitter experience, that every governor is responsible and must be held personally accountable for his own success or failure. If not, is he willing to take responsibility for all of HE Gov Imoke’s actions whom he installed brazenly into office? Did they not fall out a few months after?

‘HE Gov Imoke ready to take responsibility for all of HE Ben Ayade’s actions whom he claims to have sponsored, and did they not fall out, within months, to the extent that Ayade finally left the PDP party, after 20 years, in order to escape from Imoke and Duke’s dictatorial tendencies.

‘It is very bad when leaders who know better, try to deceive our people to think that after taking office, Senator Prince Otu will be anybody’s stooge or surrogate.’

The finally urged all and sundry come Saturday 18th March 2023 to vote Otu of the APC enmasse.