Donald Duke listen (born 30 September 1961 in Calabar) is a Nigerian politician. He was the Governor of Cross River State, Nigeria from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007 and the 2019 Nigeria Presidential candidate for Social Democratic Party, SDP.[1][2]

Donald Duke
Commissioner for Finance and Planning
In office
Preceded byFrancis Afufu
Succeeded byWalter Patrick Eneji
Governor of Cross River State
In office
29 May 1999 – 29 May 2007
Preceded byChristopher Osondu
Succeeded byLiyel Imoke
Personal details
Born (1961-09-30) 30 September 1961 (age 62)
Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria
Political partyPeople's Democratics Party (PDP)
SpouseOnari Duke
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania Class of 1984

Personal life and education edit

Duke was born to Henry Etim Duke who was the second indigenous (after Ayodele Diyan) and longest serving Controller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (then referred to as Chairman board of Customs and excise duties).[3]

He attended Corona School, Lagos, and Federal Government College, Sokoto.[4]

He received his LLB degree in 1982 from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria – Nigeria, his B.L. in 1983 from the Nigerian Law School, Lagos, and an L.L.M. in Business and Admiralty Law in 1984 from the University of Pennsylvania.[5]

Political career edit

Spearheading the incumbent debt of Nigeria, Duke pushed for democracy and against military control. He stated: "What got the military out of power was not democracy but the dreadful state of the economy. If we, the democratic government, cannot deliver food for the mass of people we can forget about democracy."[6]

Duke received praise for his contributions to the fields of agriculture, urban development, government, environment, information and communication, investment drive, and tourism, as well as having made Calabar the cleanest city in Nigeria.[7]

He initiated the Obudu Ranch International Mountain Race which attracted contestants and visitors from other countries.[8][9] In 2005, he created a special reserve fund for the state meant to ‘'hedge against economic downturn, and the inevitable rainy day'’. This was meant to cushion the effect of unforeseeable economic challenges that may occasion uncertainty in the state's internally generated revenue, as well as monthly allocation from the federal government.[10][11]

He also initiated the Calabar Carnival which started in 2004 and is popularly referred to as "Africa's biggest street party."[12]

Duke initiated the Tinapa Resort project as a way to boost business and tourism in the state. Over $350 million was spent on initial development before phase 1 opening in April 2007.[13]

BBC reported in September 2006 that Governor Duke was the only governor specifically mentioned as not being under investigation by the federal Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. (Four other governors were also reported as not under investigation but their names were not released.)[14]

Duke announced that he would run for the presidency in the 2007 election, but stepped aside in favour of the eventual winner, Umaru Yar'Adua.[15]

On 8 June 2018, Duke declared interest in running for presidency in 2019.[16]

On Tuesday, 4 September 2018, Duke after much silence as to what party he'll be running under for president, announced that he'll be leaving PDP to run under SDP.[17]

On Monday, 14 June 2021, Duke was officially welcomed back to PDP by the party's leaders after two years of defection to SDP in the presidential race. He stated some reasons why he left, saying that the party neglected and deviated from some of their core principles, and also urged the party to return to these principles.[18]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Nnochiri, Ikechukwu (24 January 2019). "Breaking: A-Court affirms Duke as SDP Presidential candidate". Vanguard. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  2. ^ Toromade, Samson (9 June 2018). "Ex-Governor officially declares to run for president in 2019". Pulse. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  3. ^[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Ogunbiyi, Yemi (3 September 2006). "Nigeria: Term Limits for Elected Office Holders Undemocratic, Gov. Donald Duke". AllAfrica. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  5. ^ "". Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  6. ^ Odious Debts – A new deal for Africa: Rooting out looters: Nigeria new president aims for debt relief Archived 27 November 2003 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ [1] Archived 30 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ History Archived 3 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Obudu Ranch Mountain Race. Retrieved on 5 December 2009.
  9. ^ Hughes, Danny (21 November 2007). Reigning champions return to contest world’s richest mountain running race – Preview. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-12-05.
  10. ^ Babah, Chinedu (8 October 2018). "DUKE, Donald". Biographical Legacy and Research Foundation. Retrieved 20 December 2023.
  11. ^ Valentine Achum Daily Sun, 11 OCT 2016. VOL 13 NO. 3512
  12. ^ Webmaster. "History of Calabar Carnival". Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Nigeria: Tinapa, Africa's Premier Business-Tourism Resort Opens Monday April 2". Huluq. 1 April 2007. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  14. ^ "Nigeria governors in graft probe". BBC News. 28 September 2006.
  15. ^ Ugwuanyi, Sylvester (11 August 2015). "Yar'Adua, Jonathan were not mentally prepared for power – Donald Duke". Daily Post Nigeria. Retrieved 20 December 2023.
  16. ^ "Ex-Governor officially declares to run for president in 2019". 9 June 2018.
  17. ^ "Donald Duke dumps PDP, picks SDP presidential form". Punch Newspapers. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  18. ^ "Donald Duke rejoins PDP after disastrous SDP run". Pulse Nigeria. 15 June 2021. Retrieved 31 July 2021.