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2019: I’ll run for president if… Ex-Cross River gov, Duke

From Okwe Obi, Abuja 

Former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, has given reasons why he may contest for the presidency race in  2019.

The former governor, however, said his only condition to kickstart the process would be what he described as the right circumstances. 

He also said it was high time Nigerians began to project people with the technical know-how to take the country to the promised land.  

Duke, who was a guest speaker at the 3rd Mike Omotosho Annual Lecture titled, “Mellinials as protagonists in nation-building” in Abuja, on Sunday, also seized the occasion to encourage the youths to fully participate in the electoral process.

This, he said, include getting their permanent Voters Card and sensitising others ahead of 2019, rather than loafing around and looking for who to heap their problems on. 

“I hear young people ask why would they spend hours queuing and casting their votes when, at the end, their votes won’t count. I tell them that if when parents conceived them, they never gave up on them considering the high mortality rate; so why would they not take a chance in building this nation? 

He added: “We had young leadership at one stage or the other. Even in our first republic, besides the likes of Awolowo and Tafawa Balewa, M. T. Mbu was in his 20s when he became a minister.  

“Gowon was 30 when he became the head of state. It comes back to the disaster, therein, because most of them didn’t have experience in governance, which led us into civil war. We need the combination of both. 

“What I think we should be doing is to have  a government that is youth-friendly, to provide opportunities, because we need to groom the next set of leadership.”

The former presidential aspirant, who attributed the failure of governance on the lack of consequences for erring leaders, which has given room for incompetence,  advised the present administration to delegate responsibilities to ministers and deadline. 

While describing the long stay of Internally Displayed Persons (IDPs) in camps as a dangerous trend, he said the IDPs  could leave the camps worst due to the dehumanising conditions in which they live in. 

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