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Duke debunks having Obasanjo’s support to run for president


A presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Donald Duke, has debunked insinuations that former President Olusegun Obasanjo was backing his presidential ambition next year.

Duke, a former governor of Cross River State, who recently declared his intention to run for office, told newsmen in Lagos that although he remained close to Obasanjo, his decision to run was personal.“I am close the former President but he is neither my sponsor nor my backup. However, those who come up with this propaganda also go to get Obasanjo’s endorsement.

“I will not keep people aside because of what others think. I need everybody’s support but I am running as Duke and nobody’s stooge. I will be putting myself up to run. How it pans out is not what I can say,” he said.

On PDP’s zoning formula, Duke said it would not deter him from running, as it remained his constitutional right, adding: “Let the people decide. Zoning is undemocratic. I am running as a Nigerian. Zoning has never brought out the best in us. It brings compromises,’’ he said.He, however, disclosed that his candidature and final platform would be determined by what unfolds in the party.

“There are talks going on in other platforms. When the talks are concluded, Nigeria will know my final stand. I remain a bona fide member of the PDP,’’ he added.Duke said that there was need for every Nigerian to get involved in governance in one form or another, saying: “Things don’t just happen. Folks make them happen.’’

On the Tinapa Holiday Resort in Cross River, which was his pet project, Duke lamented that successive governments neglected it, insisting: “Tinapa would have been making trillions of Naira for the state if successive governments had continued with the project.

“With continuity it would have been moving. Tinapa is just a metaphor for poor governance and problem of continuity in governance. We built Tinapa to drive development in Cross River. Continuing with such a project would have made the state less dependent on subventions,’’ he stated.

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