Nigeria Politics Top Story

Duke denies being with newly-formed Rescue Nigeria Project

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Pat Utomi says the new project is a movement, not a political party

Former Cross River State Governor, Donald Duke, has denied membership of the newly-formed Rescue Nigeria Project (RNP).

On Tuesday it was reported in a national newspaper that a new organisation comprising the likes of former INEC boss, Prof. Attahiru Jega, Prof. Pat Utomi, and Donald Duke had come together to form an association, the RNP.

But responding to an enquiry from LM this morning, Duke responded, “It is not true.”

Professor Pat Utomi

In an interview he granted an online news operation, Solacebase, he said, “I have never attended any meeting with relation to this party nor (been) informed about it by anybody.”

“While I do not contest the intentions of the conveners of the Rescue Nigeria Project, I wish to state categorically, I am not a part of its formation and hereby reconfirm I’m a bonafide member of the People’s Democratic Party and a member of its Board of Trustees,” he said.

The announcement on Tuesday on the formation of the new group had said that the founders included former Kwara governor Ahmed Abdulfatai, Prof. Pat Utomi, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, former Cross River governor Donald Duke and former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof. Attahiru Jega.

Other names mentioned were Senator Lee Maeba, Usman Bugaje, Amb. Nkoyo Toyo, Yomi Awoniyi, Dr. Rose Idi Danladi, and Dr. Sadiq Gombe.

According to the report the RNP was to serve as a “third force” that can challenge the dominance of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Also read  SEC Nigeria publishes rules on crypto assets

The rebuttal of Donald Duke now puts to question the authenticity of the new group.

“It is a movement, not yet a party”

However, in an interview with LM, Prof. Pat Utomi said that such a suggestion was not in question.

Utomi explained that RNP was a “movement of like minds to inject quality leadership into the political space.”

He faulted the communication portrayed in the Tuesday report, which he said was “jumping the gun” as consultations were still going on.

Prof. Utomi said, “With the present state of things in the country, we can no longer just fold our arms and watch things slide. Everyone must rise up and make that effort to make things better.”

On whether the group will eventually become a political party, he reiterated, “It is a movement. The possibility of it becoming a unique political party is there. Some of us are thinking in that direction. But for now, we want to ensure that even within the present political arrangement, the right people rise up and take up leadership.”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.