Donald Duke Dumps Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

Friday, April 30, 2010

With the 2011 general elections looming,  the former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke has resigned from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, preparatory for the launch of his much rumoured presidential campaign on the platform of another party.

Citing among other reasons for the decision, Duke said the PDP had become “dysfunctional, unable to articulate a road map and lead Nigerians on a clear and concise path to national renewal.”
In his resignation letter dated April 29 and addressed to the Cross River State chairman of the party, Duke said: “When in 1998, we came together and forged a vehicle destined (as we thought at the time) to carry forward our beloved country’s hopes and dreams, there was a sense of being on the cusp of something that would endure. That has not proved to be the case.”

He regretted that PDP rather than building a robust and people-oriented party, “what has endured has been a lack of commitment to the purpose and focus of the founding fathers of the party and our country, which has emasculated the PDP.”
Duke continued: “Faithfulness and favour have been dissipated by a seamless stream of internecine factional warfare.”
He acknowledged that with his departure from the party, he would be leaving behind friends, “many with whom I shared sincerity of purpose but, regrettably, no longer share commonality of purpose.

“They shall in future be friends outside the party rather than friends within it, but always friends first. Our politics must be big enough for us to differ as we can cohabitate,” he added.
On his political future, Duke affirmed that he shall not fail to rise to the challenges and opportunities that the twenty-first century continues to hold for Nigeria.

“I shall always be mindful to speak the truth of our circumstances and our condition,” he said.
Following Duke’s resignation from the PDP, the former governor has suddenly become a beautiful political bride with opposition parties including the Action Congress, Labour Party and the Mega Party Movement intensifying efforts and wooing him to join their respective parties.

It is not known which party Duke will finally pitch his tent with but it was reliably gathered that he would likely join the Labour Party where he hopes to build a “bottom-up grassroots movement to confront the 2011 presidential question.”
Duke was a two-term governor of Cross River State under the platform of PDP and played prominent roles in shaping the party during its teething stage.

However, in the last few years after leaving office, he has become highly disenchanted with goings-on within the party and has been quite critical of the way the party has managed its successes since the return to civil rule in 1999.
Duke’s major angst with the PDP is its unwritten agreement to zone and rotate the presidency between the North and South geo-political zones.

In 2006, his quest to become the party’s flag-bearer was truncated by the party’s last minute decision to zone the presidency to the North forcing him and others from the South to withdraw from the race.
His decision to again throw his hat into the ring is believed to be another chance to challenge the unconstitutional zoning arrangement given fillip by the chairman of the PDP, Vincent Ogbulafor who said the 2011 presidential slot will be retained by the North.

Although there is no official indication as to when he may officially declare his presidential ambition, it was authoritatively gathered that Duke has intensified surreptitious grassroot mobilisation across the country to prepare the grounds for the launch of his presidential ambition by the middle of the month.

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