|Commissioner for Finance and Planning|
|Preceded by||Francis Afufu|
|Succeeded by||Walter Patrick Eneji|
|Governor of Cross River State|
29 May 1999 – 29 May 2007
|Preceded by||Christopher Osondu|
|Succeeded by||Liyel Imoke|
|Born||30 September 1961|
Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria
|Political party||Social Democratic Party (SDP)|
|Alma mater||University of Pennsylvania Class of 1984|
Donald Duke (born 30 September 1961 in Calabar) is a Nigerian politician. He was the Governor of Cross River State, Nigeria from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007 and the 2019 Nigeria Presidential candidate for Social Democratic Party, SDP.
Personal life and education
Duke was born to Henry Etim Duke, and the second indigenous (after Ayodele Diyan) and longest ever serving Controller General (then referred to as Chairman board of Customs and excise duties) of the Nigerian Customs service.
He received his LLB degree in 1982 from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria - Nigeria, the B.L in 1983 from the Nigerian Law School, Lagos and a L.L.M. in Business Law and Admiralty in 1984 from University of Pennsylvania.
Spearheading the incumbent debt of Nigeria, Duke pushed for democracy and against military control. He stated; "What got the military out of power was not democracy but the dreadful state of the economy. If we, the democratic government, cannot deliver food for the mass of people we can forget about democracy."
Duke received praises for his contributions to the fields of agriculture, urban development, government, environment, information and communication, investment drive, and tourism and making Calabar the cleanest city in Nigeria.
He initiated the Obudu Ranch International Mountain Race which attracted contestants and visitors from other countries. In 2005, he created a special reserve fund for the state meant to ‘‘hedge against economic downturn, and the inevitable rainy day’’. This was meant to cushion the effect of unforeseeable economic challenges that may occasion uncertainty in the state's Internally generated revenue, as well as monthly allocation from the federal government.
Duke initiated the Tinapa Resort project as a way to boost business and tourism in the state. Over $350 million was spent on initial development before phase 1 opening in April 2007. BBC reported in September 2006 that Governor Duke was the only governor specifically mentioned as not being under investigation by the federal Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Four other governors were also reported as not under investigation but their names were not released.)
Duke announced that he would run for the presidency in the 2007 presidential election, but stepped aside in favour of the eventual winner, Umaru Yar'Adua.
On 8 June 2018, Duke declared interest in running for presidency in 2019.
- Nnochiri, Ikechukwu. "Breaking: A-Court affirms Duke as SDP Presidential candidate". Vanguard. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
- Toromade, Samson. "Ex-Governor officially declares to run for president in 2019". Pulse. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
- https://www.nigerianbulletin.com/threads/reforming-the-nigeria-customs-service.151796/[permanent dead link]
- Ogunbiyi, Yemi (3 September 2006). "Nigeria: Term Limits for Elected Office Holders Undemocratic, Gov. Donald Duke". AllAfrica. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
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- Odious Debts - A new deal for Africa: Rooting out looters: Nigeria new president aims for debt relief Archived 27 November 2003 at the Wayback Machine
-  Archived 30 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine
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- Hughes, Danny (21 November 2007). Reigning champions return to contest world’s richest mountain running race - Preview. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-12-05.
- Valentine Achum http://sunnewsonline.com/managing-recession-the-duke-obi-examples/ Daily Sun, OCT 11, 2016. VOL 13 NO. 3512
- Webmaster. "History of Calabar Carnival". www.nico.gov.ng. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
- "Nigeria: Tinapa, Africa's Premier Business-Tourism Resort Opens Monday April 2". Huluq. 1 April 2007. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
- "Nigeria governors in graft probe". BBC News. 28 September 2006.
- "Donald Duke dumps PDP, picks SDP presidential form". Punch Newspapers. Retrieved 5 September 2018.