Duke: “I have not dumped my presidential ambition”

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The former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke has said he would still contest for the presidency at the appropriate time.

Speaking in Lagos at a programme tagged ‘The Nigerian Symposium for Emerging Leaders’ Duke said he aspired to be the president under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) but did not succeed adding that he would still contest for the presidency if he has the opportunity.

He said it was his preference for the presidential seat that made him not vie for legislative seat in the national assembly after serving out his eight-year tenure as governor.

“I do not have the flair for the legislature; standing up and sitting down at the chambers to raise a point. That was why I did not contest for the senate but the presidency, after serving out my term as governor,” he said.

“I have contested the presidency before; I will still give it a shot when the opportunity presents itself. I believe I still have the energy in me.”

He canvassed the reform of the country’s political system to accommodate wider participation and good governance and suggested the review of the electoral law to allow for independent candidacy.

Duke said the country’s democracy would fare better if young people, who form the larger proportion of the population, took more active part in its political process adding that most developed countries had young people as their leaders at one point or the other in their democratic history.

He however urged young people to participate in the political process and use their prime to add value to the country saying power was never given easily.

“I want to urge young people in the country not to see leadership as if it belongs to some people, but do everything positive to be part of it. You can only make a difference at the prime of your life.

“You can actually add value now, not when you are above 50. So, you need to be part of the political process and play your part. It is your right to be there; nobody is doing you a favour.

“You represent more than 60 per cent of the population; you don’t have to beg for it. Just make effort to make that change and contribute your quota to nation building,” he said.

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