Former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, has debunked reports linking him to working against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
In statement yesterday, Duke said he is a loyal PDP stakeholder who served as governor of Cross River State for two terms on its platform, stressing that “claiming that I have been drafted to work against Atiku is tantamount to working against the party.
The former Cross River governor explained there was publication in the Leadership Newspaper with the headline: Obasanjo Mobilises South Against Atiku, Wants Power Shift written by Ejike Ejike and Chibuzo Ukaibe and making spurious and unsubstantiated claims about my person.
He said: “In the report, it was alluded that former President Olusegun Obasanjo is upset over the outcome of the just concluded PDP presidential primary election where former Vice President Atiku Abubakar emerged as the Presidential candidate of the part.
“It also claimed that Obasanjo is equally unhappy that the party did not promote power to shift from the north to the south as President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), a northerner is almost completing his two terms of eight years.
“According to the newspaper, the former President has drafted me as the arrowhead of a movement to rally a supposedly aggrieved governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike and other southerners against an Atiku Abubakar’s candidacy in favour of former governor of Anambra state and Presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi.
“I am shocked beyond belief that a journalist could sit down somewhere, perhaps in the comfort of his bedroom to concoct such blatant lies and unfounded claims just to sell his newspaper. At best, the report is highly fictional and a figment of the duo’s imagination because nothing in the report is true.
“I am a loyal PDP stakeholder who served as governor of Cross River State for two terms on its platform and claiming that I have been drafted to work against Atiku is tantamount to working against the party. In the same vein, linking me to Obi as his southern political mobilizer is outlandish, uncharitable and the height of reckless reporting. Even an elementary school student would know it amounts to anti-party activity.
“Without holding brief for the former President whom I never held any such meeting with anyway, I am unaware that since he rescinded his membership of the PDP, he is yet to publicly announce either his return to the party or to engage in active partisanship other than playing a statesman’s role that we know him for.
“I consider this report as a piece of irresponsible and speculative journalism aimed at defaming me and bringing me to public ridicule. I will not hesitate to take legal action if the Leadership newspaper fails to retract this story”.