Thursday, 27 May 2021

Ayade's defection: Duke slams Imoke for killing PDP, calls him an autocratic leader

CALABAR- As the political squabbles in Cross River State takes new shapes and dimensions, a former governor of the state and presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, in the last presidential elections, Mr. Donald Duke has broken his silence while kicking his successor, Sen. Liyel Imoke in the boot for the current happenings within the People's Democratic Party in Cross River State.

Duke who said Liyel's autocratic leadership style has brought the party to where it is today, regretted the departure of Ayade from the party while expressing mixed feelings over the unfortunate incident. 

The statement reads in parts; 

"...It is rather unfortunate that Governor Ben Ayade who constantly egged me to rejoin the party has himself had cause to leave. A rather unfortunate decision for which I neither support nor condemn, as I'm not privy to the details except his complaints of being stifled and unappreciated by the leadership of the party and certain elements of Cross River State origin at Abuja. 

However, post 2007, the party's fortune started ebbing. An autocratic leadership style emerged, communication with its followers declined and emergence in the party was determined largely not by the party constitution or structures but by the whims of the States Chief Executive.  

This is the structure Gov Ayade inherited and has largely led us to where we are today. The very top down political style we fought against prior 1999, instead of consultation, accommodation and inclusion reared its head to the extent that founding members of the party in the state including former state chairmen, senators, members of the National Assembly and I, over time opted out and this attrition has continued unabated to the extent that the Governor himself has left to seek pasture elsewhere."

Duke who was rumored to have recently defected back to the party after his failed attempt become the president of Nigeria under the umbrella of the SDP in the last president election, said he reunited with the PDP nearly a year ago, not recently as being rumored. Governor Ben Ayade was behind his return to the party though he was still with the party in spirit.

He however, called on the party to return back to its roots and ensure young people, especially the next generation are given the mantle of leadership.

"I believe it is important that we provide the same opportunities that democratic inclusion afforded us in our youth to other young people as they prepare to takeover the mantle of leadership.  

It is my hope that we all have learnt the lessons of the past couple of years. Our nation begs for sincere and committed leadership. We can and must do better. There is no room nor time for egoistic pandering but selfless service and this, is what the times deserves. Thank you and may God Bless our state and nation." He concluded.