THE project cost was so over-bloated that it is certainly of less economic value to the state, mortgaging in its wake the future of our children with over N500 million ofÂ the stateâ€™s monthly allocationÂ being deducted at source to service Dukeâ€™s fantasy and fronts!
We simply wish DukeÂ will find again in his future such passionate friends who will serve him loyally, bear their pains and their frustrations with his ignominious attitude and remain committed to the party under him as we all did. Obviously he is not a leader. He only craves to be served at all times.
For us in Cross River , we know better. A leader must sometimes learn to serve. As it is said of leadership, a leader without committed followers is only taking a walk. Mr. Duke we hope you do not find the walk too lonely.
There is nothing as laughable as the permutation that Imoke is planning to run the second term without Effiok CobhamÂ his current deputy. Maybe someone, somewhere is trying very hard to stir the hornetâ€™s nest and hope that we can replay the politics of the Duke era.
I recall very vividly that this is how the ouster of the late Chief John Okpa as Deputy GovernorÂ started. I believe the Deputy Governor himself knows the difference between serving as Deputy Governor in this dispensation and what he knew obtained under Duke.
Some people simply do not feel that insecure, you know. And if there is one such Nigerian I know, he is Liyel Imoke. In the face of the gravest provocation, Mr. Imoke is known to remain calm. I am sure the Deputy Governor knows that Imoke is not given to paranoid reactions on the basis of unfounded rumours.
Mr. Duke is simply driven by his own insecurity, having stepped out of the power he so coveted.
In the shaky days of the third term debate he proposed as his major input to the national debate for or against thirdÂ and indefinite term of office for all elected officials, legislative and executive. This is on record as his alternative to third term! Such an advocate of democracy!
We, in Cross River State, shudder to imagine Duke as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria! HisÂ lack of patience with the practice of democracy was again very evident in the recentÂ and highly publicised interview he granted Thisday Newspapers, as his contribution to the debate on how to resolve the constitutional crisis following the events and circumstances of the now late Presidentâ€™s inability to hand over power to his then Vice President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
He expressed his utter contempt for Dr. Jonathan whom he chided for â€œwaiting for a letterâ€ as if that was not the constitutional process. For him the then Vice President only needed to force his way in.
He is never at ease with liberal use ofÂ power. He spoils for a fight and sets up a bout with himself.Â How frustrating it must be. And now he has finally chased himself out of PDP and out of relevance in this craving for power. What a lesson for all of us to beware the things we love too much. They usually become our Achillesâ€™ heel. Mr. Duke the love of power is the beginning of all self-destruction!
I will like to place it on record too that I am aware that Ntufam Ekpo Okon, State Chairman PDP, though an Efik son like Donald Duke, actually knew Liyel Imoke as senator, when they were both at the National Assembly, where he served in the House of Representatives,Â long before he later got to know Donald Duke,Â then Commissioner for Finance, Cross River State.
Painful as it might look to Ekpo Okon, I know him enough to be confident that it will take more than Donald Dukeâ€™s antics to shirk his responsibility to the party we all slaved for. He cannot by any account be called a Duke loyalist above his loyalty to the party.
Duke has had more than his fair share of PDP and Cross River State and re-united with his Eko friends. Let the show go on. For us in Cross River State PDP it is good riddance to bad rubbish.
Talking of Dukeâ€™s nocturnal meetings.Â I do not know of any governor worth his name who if heÂ hears that members of his cabinet are holding nocturnal meetings with people preparing to defect from his party will not sack them summarily.
I know that Duke would have announced their â€˜resignationâ€™ before the end of that night. It takes a Senator Imoke to still keep such members of cabinet several months later and counting because he believes everyone deserves the benefit of doubt.
I am not also aware of any politician who appoints his cabinet on the basis of the individualâ€™s opposition, as againstÂ loyalty to him. And elect to his party executive persons opposed to his re-election, if he desires it, andÂ then waits for some imaginary loyalist to pressurize him to fire them.
Mr.Â Â Ikem is a former National Publicity Secretary ofÂ the PDP.