- Edem Duke, a former minister, is aiming to be the governor of Cross River state in 2019
- He has declared his intention to contest the state's governorship election on the platform of the APC
- Duke defected to the APC from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last year
Former minister for tourism and culture, Edem Duke, on Monday, July 23, declared his intention to contest the Cross River governorship election in 2019 on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC).
NAIJ.com gathered that he made the declaration at his Ikot Edem Udo ward in Akpabuyo local government area of the state.
Duke, a former chieftain of the PDP and former minister under the Goodluck Jonathan administration, said he joined the race to “salvage the state” because the PDP-led administration in the state had not lived up to expectation.
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His words: “For over a decade, Cross River state was a jewel in the crown of Nigeria. But in recent years, all our efforts over time are now receding into history. Therefore, there is need for us to rise up and see the possibility of enthroning true democracy and restore the people’s paradise from the hills of Obanliku to the forest of Bakassi.
“It is time for people of this state to rise up and salvage the situation; and that is why, I have come out to offer myself for this selfless service. I have come out to be a steward of the people because the efforts to restore our state must be the responsibility of all well-meaning people of this state."
The governorship aspirant said that talent, knowledge, training and experience were nothing if these were not put into achievements and the direction of human progress.
He added that he would revitalize the “ailing tourism sites” and create new ones to make the sector thrive again if voted into power in the state.
“I was the architect of tourism revolution in Cross River and I replicated the same thing at the national level as a minister. So, if given the opportunity to be governor of Cross River, I will turn around the tourism fortunes once more.
“I will revive TINAPA; Marina Resort; the Qua Falls and Obudu Ranch Resort will come back to life again. These are the pride of Cross River; we cannot continue to allow our natural heritage to die,’’ he concluded.
He, however, cautioned the APC leadership to resolve the crisis in its state chapter as it might affect the party’s chances in the 2019 election.
Meanwhile, the APC in Akwa Ibom state has taken over the building previously occupied by the PDP as their state secretariat on Ikot Ekpene road.
The PDP had relocated from the building to another rented apartment on Edet Akpan Avenue three years ago leaving the building empty except for some churches which occupied only a section of the massive duplex.
At their first meeting in the sprawling complex, APC members on Saturday, July 21, blocked a section of the road and moved a motion that the place should, henceforth, become their state secretariat.
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