- Former Cross River state governor, Donald Duke, has returned to the PDP
- Duke, however, lamented that Governor Ayade who urged him to return to the lead opposition party has now defected to the ruling APC
- The former governor noted that before leaving for the APC, Ayade had raised complaints about being unappreciated by the PDP leadership
Donald Duke, a former governor of Cross River state, has lamented the defection of Governor Ben Ayade to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a statement publicly announcing his return to the PDP on Wednesday, May 26, Duke said it is unfortunate that Governor Ayade convinced him to return to the PDP only for him to defect to the APC soon after, The Punch reported.
Nevertheless, the new PDP chieftain said he would neither support nor condemn Ayade's defection because he was not privy to the details of what motivated his action.
Duke, however, noted that Governor Ayade had complained of being stifled and unappreciated by the leadership of the PDP and "certain elements of Cross River state origin at Abuja."
He was quoted to have said in the statement:
"It is rather unfortunate that Governor Ben Ayade who constantly egged me to rejoin the party has himself had cause to leave."
Duke, who was Cross River governor from 1999 to 2007 and the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the 2019 election said he returned to the PDP in 2020, The Cable also stated.
Legit.ng notes that he governed Cross Rover state on the platform of the PDP before joining the SDP in 2018 to pursue his presidential ambition.
He had said he left the PDP because the “umbrella was breaking”.
As he rejoins the PDP, Duke said the lead opposition party needs to rebuild its structure for young aspirants to take over the mantle of leadership.
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the chairman of the PDP caretaker committee in Cross River state, Effiok Cobham, confirmed during a press briefing on Wednesday, May 26, that Duke has returned to the PDP.
When asked to confirm the speculations that the former governor had returned to the party, he said:
“Yes, he has registered.”