His excellency, Donald Etim Duke, former governor of Cross River State from 1999 to 2007, in an interview on Channel Television categorically and unequivocally rejected the idea of zoning of the office of the governorship of Cross River State in the 2023 governorship election based on geographical consideration.
Photo of Donald Duke
Before now, everyone believed that Donald Duke became the governor because the ticket was zoned to the southern part of the state. But Donald Duke stated clearly that it wasn't because the ticket was zoned to the south that he won the election.
Duke mentioned that he has never subjected himself to zoning. According to him, when he ran for the governorship position, he was not afforded zoning. Everyone and anybody were allowed to run in Cross River.
I recollect vividly that in 1999, Donald Duke emerged the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from a keenly contested Primary Election. His opponent was the formidable Kanu Godwin Agabi SAN. Donald Duke is from Cross River South, while Kanu Godwin Agabi is from Cross River North.
Now that Donald Duke has spoken the truth that he was not elected governor based on Zoning, I think that those pushing for the governorship ticket to be zoned to a particular region should have a rethink.
Whether you are from Cross River South, Cross River Central, or Cross River North, and you think you have what it takes to be governor, jump into the arena and contest. It will allow the electorate to assess their manifesto, programs, and road map. For me, this is what democracy is all about.
I commend the honesty, statesmanship, and integrity of Mr. Donald Duke on this issue, which has become somewhat controversial.
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