Former governor of Cross River State, Mr Donald Duke, has said that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, cannot zone his constitutional rights, adding that he has the right to aspire, win or lose the party’s presidential ticket.
Duke, who was governor from 1999 to 2007, said he had always wanted to be president since 2005, with the plan to solve Nigeria’s productivity problem.
He said about two thirds of the total population of the country, about 132 million people, are unproductive.
Speaking in an interview with Osasu Igbinedion on The Osasu Show, Duke said the lack of productivity was responsible for the insurgency, insecurity and unemployment in Nigeria.
He said that the lack of will by leaders was another factor responsible for the challenges plaguing the country, adding that he has this will to change the country.
“I have had interest in the presidency since 2005. It has always been there.
The reason is that there is a certain level of frustration, we seem not to be making the requisite progress we ought to be making as a nation and we all know that we are better than what we are today.
“And to me, the answers to our problems are not far-fetched. What I find missing is the will to make it happen and this is what I bring to the table.
“What I will like to do, to move our nation forward, we need to address the productivity of a Nigerian. Here you are, a nation of almost 200 million people. Two-thirds are not productive. Two-thirds actually depend on one-third.
“When you see the problems we are having, whether it is Boko Haram, militancy or kidnapping, it is all borne of the fact that people are discontented and the discontent is a result of not being able to fend for oneself. So, we have to address the productivity. If every Nigerian were productive, believe me, we wouldn’t have Boko Haram.”
Duke further said that the statistics of unemployment and failure of leadership in Nigeria “is what fuels my interest” to run for presidency.
“That is what fuels my interest. We talk the talk, we know what to say, we know our problems but do we have the will, do we have the strategy to make it happen. I went into the numbers. This is a developing country where many thighs ought to be done are not being done.
“So the reason for people not having jobs is a bit off because people should have a lot of jobs. For example, we have 20m housing shortage and that in itself can engage about 15m people.
“The four things that I will immediately address, we talk about education but in today’s world, it is more than just reading and writing. Education should leave you with a skill.
“So, for me, every brain must be trained because an untrained brain is a drain on the nation, because that brain will be dependent on another brain for its own subsistence. So, we need to invest heavily on education and skill development.”