Former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke, has said that he will contest for the presidency in the 2019 general elections.

Mr. Duke, who declared his interest for the plum job at the 3rd Mike Omotosho Annual Lecture titled, “Millennials as Protagonists in Nation Building,” on Sunday night in Abuja, promised to kick-start the process at the right circumstances.

According to him, “I am entitled to run for the presidency of this country. I am entitled to it. Only on right circumstances I will aspire for it. I don’t shy away from responsibility, only the right circumstance, I will aspire for the presidency of this country."

I have what it takes to be president of this country. Duke, however, challenged the youths to fully participate in the electoral process by getting their Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs, and sensitising others ahead of 2019 general election, rather than loafing around, looking for who to heap their problems on.

The former governor charged that “It was high time Nigerians begun to project people with the technical know-how to take the country to the Promised Land. He said, “I hear young people say to me that why would there spend hours queuing and casting their votes when at the end their votes won’t count.

And I tell that if their parents conceived them they never gave up on them considering the high mortality rate so why would there not take a chance in building this nation?

“We had young leadership at one stage or the other. Even in our first republic, besides the likes of Awolowo, Tafawa Balewa, M. T. Mbu was in his twenties when he became a minister."

“Gowon was 30 when he became the head of state. It comes back to the disaster therein because most of them didn’t have experience in governance, which led us into war. We need the combination of both."

“What I think we should be doing is to a government that is youth friendly to provide opportunities because we need to groom the next set of leadership.”

Mr. Duke, who disapproved of the recent death of Nigerian migrants on the Mediterranean sea and slavery in Libya, coupled with job loss and rate of unemployment in Nigeria, summed it up, “I don’t know what the definition of a failed state is and I don’t want to categorize Nigeria as a failed state yet, however, a state that was unable to provide for its people has faded up."

“So, if we are not there yet, we are walking with our eyes open towards it. And we need to pull the hand break now before it gets late. The ex-governor, while rating the activities of the present administration, said, there was a disconnection between President Muhammadu Buhari and his cabinet members." 

According to him, “The challenge we have today is the disconnect. That is the challenge of the governance today. Because if you speak with the folks in government, and I am been candid here. I think we should stop to deceive ourselves here and stop all these political correctness." 

"There is disconnecting between the president and even the ministers.”

He also attributed the failure of governance on the lack of consequences for erring leaders which has given room for incompetence.

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