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Donald Duke hits back at Okonjo-Iweala over ‘image-laundering’ book

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Former governor of Cross River State, Mr Donald Duke, has hit back  at former Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, over issues she raised in her current book.

Okonjo-Iweala had in the book, entitled “Fighting Corruption is Dangerous: The Story Behind the Headlines,” said the former governor asked her not to serve in President Goodluck Jonathan’s government in 2011.

Mr Donald Duke, and former Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

According to her, the ploy was to deny Jonathan’s government credibility so that it would be “weak and not succeed.”

Okonjo-Iweala, who also served as Minister of Finance under President Olusegun Obasanjo from 2003-2006, said she turned down the advice, which Duke allegedly claimed was coming from “a group of concerned people.”

However, in his response on Twitter, Duke prefaced it with a message to the youths, confirmed meeting with Okonjo-Iweala but said it was in good faith and wondered why a private conversation between “friends” had now been made public.

His message to the youths came against the backdrop of their concerns to allegations of the former minister against him.

He said: “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.”

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