By Nimat Otori
Former Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke, has been indicted for the current problem of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state as he was accused of foisting autocratic leadership style on the party.
The former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, who made the accusation, said his predecessor, Liyel Imoke, destroyed all the elements of democracy which he and others laboured to build over the years.
According to him, things started nose diving for the party during the era of Imoke as governor between 2007 – 2015.
‘‘However, post 2007, the party’s fortune started ebbing. An autocratic leadership style emerged, communication with its followers declined and emergence in the party was determined largely not by the party constitution or structures but by the whims of the state’s chief executive.
While describing the deflection of Ayade to APC as ‘‘a rather unfortunate decision for which I neither support nor condemn, as I’m not privy to the details except his complaints of being stifled and unappreciated by the leadership of the party and certain elements of Cross River State origin at Abuja,’’ he blamed developments within PDP that resulted in jettisoning the ideals and principles of justice established by the party since 1999.
‘‘This is the structure Gov Ayade inherited and has largely led us to where we are today. The very top down political style we fought against prior 1999, instead of consultation, accommodation and inclusion reared its head to the extent that founding members of the party in the state including former state chairmen, senators, members of the National Assembly and I, over time opted out and this attrition has continued unabated to the extent that the governor himself has left to seek pasture elsewhere.’’
For PDP to rebuild, Duke, who said he returned to the party about a year ago, called for a return to the principles and ideals of the founding fathers. ‘‘I believe it is important that we provide the same opportunities that democratic inclusion afforded us in our youth to other young people as they prepare to take over the mantle of leadership,’’ he said.
Adding that: ‘‘It is my hope that we all have learnt the lessons of the past couple of years. Our nation begs for sincere and committed leadership. We can and must do better. There is neither no room nor time for egoistic pandering but selfless service and this, is what the times deserves.
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