The Chairman of Executive Group and Board Member, Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), Dr Ayo Ogunsan, has hailed a former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, on the occasion of his 60th birthday.
While extolling the virtues of Duke, in a recent press release, Ogunsan points out that the former governor has exhibited a lovable traits on top of his giant strides in government.
His words: “While in his 30s, His Excellency, former governor Donald Duke served as governor of Cross River State, for two terms spanning 1999 to 2007 and his impact on the state has remained indelible.
“Till date, it is argued that none of his successors has been able to match him in the area of hospitality and tourism, education, infrastructure, investments, agriculture and rural development. To my mind, he remains the architect of modern Cross River, with modern innovations like Tinapa Resort, Obudu Ranch and the annual Calabar Carnival celebration that has since continued to be the pride of Nigeria amongst the comity of nations.
“The noble son of Cross River has provided an exemplary and visionary style of administrative leadership characteristic of true democracy, federalism and nationalism.
“Your Excellency, all your life, you have devoted ample time to national discourses geared towards nation building so much that your sterling contributions cannot be wished away, beginning with the reforms you initiated while you were governor for eight years.
“One would have thought that a public officer of his calibre would be fingered in any financial scandal when he was leaving office but interestingly, as reported by the BBC in September 2006, Governor Duke was the only governor specifically mentioned as free from investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“As you clock 60 today, may I confess to you that hold you in high esteem as someone good enough to emulate.
“I can only pray for you that God grants you the strength, speed and stamina in the years ahead of you. Do have a fantastic celebration and happy birthday, sir.”
Duke, who marks his 60th birthday today, was born on September 30, 1961.