Former Governor of Cross River State,Mr Donald Duke, has taken a swipe at his predecessor, Senator Liyel Imoke, accusing him of being behind the current problem in Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state, which partly led to the recent decamping of Governor Ben Ayade to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Describing the defection of Ayade to APC as “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.”
He blamed developments on the jettisoning of the ideals and principles of justice established by the PDP since 1999.
According to him, “things started nose-diving for the party during the era of Imoke (Imoke was governor from 2007 to 2015), indicting him for foisting autocratic leadership style on the party and destroying all the elements of democracy which he and others laboured to build over the years.
“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 state’s chief executive.
“This is the structure Ayade inherited and has largely led us to where we are today. The very top-down political style we fought against prior to 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.”
For PDP to rebuild, Duke, who said he returned to the party about a year ago, called for a return to the principles and ideals of the founding fathers.