Former Cross River Governor, Donald Duke in a recent interview with ThisDay, shared a life changing encounter he had with his wife and his chief protocol officer.
In his words, when I see public officers misbehaving it is probably because they do not have a good wife or a good marriage. Read his story.
As governor, I was on call 24/7 sometimes. I got very angry and could take my anger on anyone. So, my chief of protocol bore the brunt one day. I had a reception for guests, and he placed them in rooms not the way I would have done it, but he didn’t do anything wrong. He used his own judgment. I would have done it the other way, but I over reacted, I spoke very harsh to him. While I was doing this, my wife walked in, and didn’t say a word. She goes in, does some other things in my office and leaves.
When I got back home in the evening, I’ve forgotten about it. It’s just a normal event in the day. And she said to me the way I spoke to this guy was wrong and that I have to go and apologise to him. She said I had no reason to speak to anyone like that. I said what! He did this and she said ‘yes, I heard everything. The way you would have done it was different, but he didn’t do a bad thing. He used his discretion. So, what are you going to do? You have destroyed that. Tomorrow he is not going to do anything discretionally.
He would wait for orders and then you will get irritated at that. You have made him lose his self-confidence and that is wrong. You need to go and apologise to him. Why should you speak to someone like that? Because you are governor?’ I ignored her. I was in my room still fuming and she came back, and said I had to do it that night and not tomorrow because I kept saying I would do it tomorrow. She said no, tonight. That he was not going to sleep well and so I did not have the right to sleep well when he was not sleeping well.
I said ok. We got into the car and we drove to his house. I knocked on the door. His wife turned in. They were about to go to bed. She was in her night gown. She saw me and was scared with the expression of ‘Okay you have come to fire my husband finally’. The guy came down stairs petrified. My wife and I walked in. The wife wanted to get up and leave. I told the guy I was sorry. They all got emotional but I got relief. It was like a load had been taken off me.
I still get upset with things going up wrong, but I don’t get to a point I don’t feel I am too big to say sorry.