Former Cross River State governor, Donald Duke has asserted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has failed Nigerians because he was unprepared for leadership when he was elected leader of the country.
He said this when he officially declared to run against Buhari in the 2019 presidential election during an interview with Deutsche Welle Africa on Friday, June 8, 2018.
According to Duke, Buhari has failed to fulfil his campaign promises because he doesn’t understand how to tackle the problems he promised to solve.
He further faulted the president’s method of fighting corruption, arguing that it is merely the symptom of a bigger problem. He noted that the best way to fight corruption is to provide well-paying jobs, create strong institutions and instill real consequences for corrupt acts.
He said, “They were not prepared for leadership. Six months to set up a cabinet? Where’d we hear that? President Buhari campaigned for office in two planks: corruption and security.
“Now let’s take the scorecard. Corruption is not dead. Persecuting corruption is dealing with symptoms and not the problem. The real problem is you’ve got to create jobs for people. You’ve got to pay them adequately. You’ve got to strengthen your institutions that it makes it almost impossible for you to engage in this set of activities; and should you engage in it, you’re sure that there are consequences.
“I could reduce Nigeria’s problem to one word: consequences, and the lack of it. People get away with anything, and so it’s not picking a few largely in the opposition and name and shame them in the press then thereafter nothing happens and they have found a way of now declaring for the party in government and everything peters down. That’s one.
“Security, where are we? Despite the fact that the government has on two or three occassions announced that the war is over and Boko Haram has been defeated, we know it has not been defeated. We know it’s still reigning supreme in the north east; there’s still suicide bombings and kidnaps and all that. And if you visit any of the IDPs, you will appreciate that we’re breeding the next generation of very disgruntled people.”
Despite his opposition of the president, Duke supports his administration’s ban on rice importation, noting that it doesn’t benefit Nigerians in any way.
He said, “We shouldn’t import what we can easily provide. We’re developing the economy, we need to create jobs and importing rice is just creating jobs overseas at the expense of our people.”
Donald Duke’s party remains unknown
Duke failed to disclose on which political platform he’ll run for president next year, but he served as Cross River State governor between 1999 and 2007 and tried to run for president in 2007 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
However, since the PDP has officially zoned its presidential ticket to the north, Duke is most likely to contest on the platform of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) which is the political party that has been adopted by the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) of which he is a founding member.
If he wins his party’s primary election, he’ll face stiff competition from others like incumbent, President Buhari; former vice president, Atiku Abubakar; former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kingsley Moghalu; management consultant and leadership expert, Fela Durotoye; Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore and a host of others.