Former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, has reacted to the claims in Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s new book, titled, ‘Fighting Corruption is Dangerous: The Story Behind the Headlines’, detailing her experience as a minister of finance.
In the book, Okonjo-Iweala said Donald Duke, a former Governor of Cross River State had urged her not to serve in President Goodluck Jonathan’s government in 2011.
At an event, on Tuesday evening, April 24, preceding the signing of the book held at the Politics and Prose, Washington DC, the former Minister said to an audience which included her husband, aunt, son, brother, friends, colleagues among others that the book was just to put the story in context.
“The thing wasn’t meant to say anything other than just to set the context for the story when I talked about Donald Duke”, she said.
Okonjo-Iweala, who also served as minister of finance under President Olusegun Obasanjo from 2003-2006, said she turned down the advice, which Mr Duke claimed at the time was coming from “a group of concerned people”.
Duke took to the micro-blogging site, Twitter to confirm the meeting with the former Minister, but wondered why a private conversation between “friends” has now been made public.
The former Cross River State wrote on Twitter: “It is true I met with Ngozi when the rumours were swirling about her being considered for appointment.
“As “friends”, she having been literally dismissed from an earlier appointment as finance minister, I urged caution.
“I made no mention of adding or subtracting credibility to anyone or government.
“It was “two friends” discussing careers. It ended there and she subsequently made her choice which I respected. However, I think it is in poor taste and demeaning of her to report a private conversation in whatever self-laundering attempt she may be up to. With hindsight, I was vindicated, Ngozi, as Minister of Finance and Economy, despite massive revenue receipts, left Nigeria poorer than she met it”, he wrote.
Dear Nigerian Youths.. Thank you for your comcerns . Attached is my response regarding Ngozi's… pic.twitter.com/IbQi75q7t5
— Donald Duke (@Donald_Duke) April 25, 2018