The rift between a former governor of Cross River State, Mr Donald Duke and a former senator, Florence Ita-Giwa is assuming a frightening but interesting dimension, with the senator saying that Duke’s statement against her was rubbish and did not deserve her response.
Duke had issued a statement he signed personally on Tuesday, in which he responded to Ita-Giwa’s claims early this year, at the heat of election campaigns. In the statement, Duke had said Ita-Giwa was both from Akwa Ibom State and also from Abia State, maternally. He said the former senator was not from Cross River as generally believed.
The former governor had also described Ita-Giwa in unprintable words. “Mma Floxy(Ita-Giwa), has been known to be courtesan(another word for prostitute, paid mistress etc) in her political and business dealings. All said, it will be a betrayal of my upbringing to be abusive or cast aspersions on such a personage. Politics should never be a platform that denigrates the ethos of respect to our elders.”
Duke’s public pronouncement which is already causing a stir on social media came after Ita-Giwa had said at an election campaign ground that Duke got to Cross River carrying a briefcase to seek election into the office of governor and that after he won, all he could were what she called 419 projects. She listed Tinapa among such projects.
She had equally insinuated that Duke was homosexual. In the video which has also gone viral, Ita-Giwa was heard saying that she was not even sure if Duke was a male or female.
On his part, even though Duke had said he was careful not to insult Ita-Giwa because of the age difference, he had said: “Recently, she queried my gender. Frankly, I’m pleased she’s not in a position to confirm as that would have been sacrilegious, but I am indeed a proud father of three biological children. On the issue of me being indigent prior to being elected governor, I needn’t remind her or anyone my pedigree and that I self sponsored my elections even at that time of political uncertainty.”
When TNN reached Ita-Giwa over the telephone on Wednesday night on the unfolding matter, she confirmed having seen Duke’s public statement but described it as a piece of rubbish. She said at the appropriate time, she would respond.
Even though she told TNN that she was at a crowded place and could not talk much, she was quick to add that Duke’s reference to her as a courtesan was not strange because all female politicians were usually seen as prostitutes.
The politician usually called Mama Bakassi said it was good that Duke did not call her a thief. She said it would have been painful if the former governor had accused her of eloping with money for contracts awarded to her during his tenure.
Then she asked if it was a crime, at the time of his active political life, or even now, for someone to be a paid mistress. She said the former governor was yet to answer the three questions she asked him before now, but did not disclose to TNN what the questions were.