Aftermath of the defection of Gov Ben Ayade, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Cross River state has warned members against apportioning blame, saying members should instead come together to rebuild the party .
The caution may have been sequel to a press statement credited to Mr Donald Duke who recently rejoined the party. The press statement, it is believed, appeared to have laid the blame of the party’s challenges on the doorsteps of his successor, Senator Liyel Imoke, who took over power in 2007.
In a press release made available to our reporter, signed by the party’s Caretaker Committee Chairman and former Deputy Governor, Efiok Cobham, and Secretary, Eko Atu, the PDP said, “Our attention has been drawn to a widely circulated statement on social media credited to his Excellency, Mr Donald Duke, former governor of Cross River State.
“Given the vagaries of the social media space, we would have ignored the statement as it is not signed. But since there has been no rebuttal from Mr Duke, we are constrained to respond in assumption of its authenticity.
“We congratulate his Excellency Donald Duke for finding the courage to re-join the party on whose platform he twice contested and won elections as Governor of Cross River state.
“It is our firm belief that his coming back to the party is not only indicative of the party’s strength in the state, but more importantly, will help in rebuilding a strong and virile party.
“The party will like to caution all stakeholders that this is a time for rebuilding, restoration and reconciliation. It is not a time for trading blames. The larger purpose of the development of Cross River state should remain our unwavering focus and should insulate party stakeholders from all other distractions.”
Duke was quoted to have said in a recent release: “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 whim of the State Chief Executives. This is the structure Gov Ben Ayade inherited and has largely led is to where we are today.”