BY: Vitalis Ugoh, Calabar
Recent developments involving two former governors who are high profile political players in the political space of Cross River State have dominated the media space.
The duo of Mr. Donald Duke and Senator Liyel Imoke have engaged in verbal attacks on the person and office of governor Ben Ayade in the course of their political campaigns.
First it was Sen. Imoke who informed a PDP campaign gathering that “making Ayade a governor was a mistake that he regrets”.
He had gone on to chastise the Ayade for perceived wrongdoings.
This was followed by Mr. Duke who described “Ayade as a failure while campaigning in Obudu for the PDP gubernatorial candidate.”
He followed this up with describing “Ayade in unprintable words in another campaign engagement captured on video and which made the rounds in the social media.”
In his reaction, the former Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), said “the very discourteous statements credited to the duo are unbecoming of the two former occupants of the exalted office of governor in Cross River State.”
Said he, “it is the highest honour everywhere for anyone to be voted and given the mandate to lead as governor and that should not be lost on any occupant of that office, whether past or present.”
Senator Ndoma-Egba expressed these views while answering questions directed at him on the issue from journalists during a media briefing in Calabar by Sen. Prince Bassey Otu, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives’ Congress(APC) in Cross River State to unveil his “People First” manifesto.”
He further reminded the gathering that it is a widely known fact that the two former governors were at some point proteges of former governor Clement Ebri, who brought them up politically.
He added that “fortunately, gov. Ebri is still alive and the two of them should take a cue from him on how to conduct themselves out of power”.
He added that he is well aware that gov. Ebri had his frustrations and disagreements with the two of them while they held sway as governors but he never went public with any condemnations because he sees the office of Governor as sacred.
Speaking further, Sen. Ndoma-Egba appealed to both Gov. Duke and Gov. Imoke not to desecrate the high office they once occupied because it could get back to them. He charged the media to start a debate on the standard of conduct for those in public office, whether past or present.