Duke wants electorate deterred from selling votes
Immediate past Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Edem Duke, wants the electorate to be dissuaded from selling their votes for any reason.
Briefing journalists in Calabar, Cross River State capital, on his plans if elected governor of Cross River, he described money for vote as the price of good governance for four years.
Duke is running for Cross River governorship on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019.
“Somebody comes and offers you N5,000; that is your pay for the next four years. So we must be actively involved in dissuading the voting public and enriching the consciousness of youths that once you have sold your vote, that is your payment.”
According to him, the media, being the fourth estate of the realm, have a role to play in raising the consciousness of the electorate not to mortgage their future.
“As journalists, it is important for you to define the perimeters of engagement between those who seek to lead people and the followership, and raise the consciousness of people that you cannot mortgage your future and that of your children on the basis of the illusion that you have won,” he said.
Duke, who said he was not in the race to buy anybody’s conscience, stressed that he offered himself to Cross Riverians to decide whether they want him or not.
His words: “I have money, but I am not in this game to buy anybody’s conscience; I am in this game to engage the people of Cross River, to make an offer to them, an offer which I can deliver on. It is for them to decide whether that is what they want, and it is for you (media) to regulate and moderate, as the conscience of the nation, the direction of people in that regard.”
He also promised to revamp the tourism sites in the state if elected governor in 2019.
“If I have the privilege of being, first and foremost, nominated as the candidate of the APC, and in 2019 as the governor of Cross River, I have in my head the strategic plan of the state’s renaissance from 2020 to 2022. This will be a period I will galvanise all of my creative competences, draw on my experience and my global network to reactivate the tourism sector in Cross River. I say this with a deep sense of passion and responsibility because I have a building block within the framework of Cross River tourism in the last decade.”