A former Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation in the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Edem Duke, has declared his intention to join the next governorship race in Cross River State come 2019.
Duke who was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and served as minister from 2011 to 2015, had long ago defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, the platform on which he intends to run during the governorship election next year.
He made this declaration at his Ikot Edem Odo Ward in Akpabuyo Local Government Area on Monday. He said under the current state’s administration, Cross River has lost its status as “a jewel in the crown of Nigeria”.
He said taking Cross River to its former pride of place is what made him decide to enlist for the governorship race ahead of the 2019 general election.
He, therefore, called the people of the state to join him in restoring the state to its glorious past.
“It is, therefore, important for us to put in place an agenda for the restoration of our paradise. We must restore this paradise.
Cross River used to be the tourism destination of Nigeria. That is why it is important for men and women of goodwill to stand together when we have seen that unless we salvage our today, there is no guarantee of a tomorrow for us.”
“I have pledged myself to be a steward for the people of Cross River State. And I want to assure Cross Riverians that this is a major assignment that we must achieve. If the state progresses, that progress trickles down to everyone.”
“The most important thing is to restore the love, the bonding, and the unity and harmony that used to be the hallmark of Cross River State.
The agenda for me as an aspirant is the restoration of what the world used to know as the paradise of Nigeria.
It is the restoration of what used to be the jewel in the crown of Nigeria. It is to restore what God has endowed us with, our tourism sites and natural endowments.”
“When you talk of Cross River State, the first thing that resonates in your mind is the beauty and blessing of God that nature has endowed us with.
It is our hills, it is our riverside, it is our vegetation, it is our people, it is our history, it is our culture, it is our heritage, it is the love that binds us together, it is the critical dynamism of our youths who commit themselves in the search for livelihood, it is our elders who often times are never given attention in political calculations,” he said.
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