A former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, says Nigeria is still fighting a civil war, adding that 25 per cent of the country is being occupied by terrorists.
Duke said this while picking the N1m Presidential expression of interest form at the national secretariat of the Social Democratic Party in Abuja on Tuesday.
The former governor said, “It is not too difficult to see that the country is falling apart. We like to call what is happening in the North-East a crisis but it is actually a civil war. It has gone on for seven years now.
“It has lasted longer than the Nigerian civil war; it has cost more lives than the Nigerian civil war and it is far more expensive than the Nigerian civil war but because it is somewhere where the media is not very prevalent, we want to believe it is some other country but it is in our country and it is occupying at least 25 per cent of our landmass.
“And 25 per cent of our landmass is far more than what was occupied during the Nigerian civil war. So, it is a fallout of the challenges we have refused to address as a nation.”
Duke said Nigeria needed visionary leadership that would be able to tackle the high rate of poverty and unemployment and also harness the nation’s population effectively.
The former governor, while addressing journalists, said he was a loyal member of the Peoples Democratic Party for 20 years but decided to leave after the party lost focus.
Duke also questioned the decision of the PDP to zone the Presidency to the North.
He said, “I was a member of the PDP but over the years we saw the fortunes and the values of the party dwindle. When a former President walks out of his party, you know there is something. Over the years, you will see that it lost its values and became a shadow of itself.
“That the PDP is zoning today is actually a betrayal of those ideals it started off with because it was a national organisation. Today, in some parts of the country, it is hardly in existence.”
The former governor also berated the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government for failing to improve the lives of Nigerians.
He promised that if elected as President, he would focus on health, education, infrastructural and technological development and job creation
Also speaking, the Deputy National Chairman of the SDP, Abdul Isiaq, said the SDP would not zone any elective offices.
Isiaq added that the party believed in providing a level playing field for all.