The trio is referred to in the state as the three musketeers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Duke was governor from May 29, 1999 to May 29, 2007 while Imoke held the reins between May 29, 2007 and May 29, 2015.
They held reconciliation meetings at the weekend at two venues to forget the past and work together for their party.
Imoke hosted the meeting in his private residence at the State Housing Estate with some PDP founding members and other stakeholders while Duke hosted the reception in his private residence at Diamond Hill, both in Calabar, the state capital.
It was learnt that the challenge to garner the fortunes of the PDP after it lost the state, following the defection of Governor Ben Ayade to the governing All Progressive Congress (APC) made the reconciliation imperative.
During the closed-door meeting on Saturday, the PDP chieftains reportedly agreed to form a formidable front to recapture the state from the APC in 2023.
In a video of the closed-door meeting leaked to some reporters yesterday, Duke, cheering and applauding, said: “It’s not about winning elections. We’re trying to build the people and not just winning elections. I think that is what politics is all about.
“We have a lot of work to do; a lot of people are waiting to hear from us and waiting to see that our house is in order and I want to say something; this house is in order.”
Alluding to their 14 years of political differences, Duke said: “As long or as protracted as this has gone on, if we sat down and robbed minds, the issue would have vanished in 10 minutes. We needed an event like this where we would say: ‘What is your problem?’ We will still talk about it, but that is not the issue now.
“Right now, there is the greatest thing at stake, which is the corporate unity of all of us. I may have gone on sabbatical and temporary retirement, but you will find no record of me retiring from the PDP. We have work to do and we can’t sit down here to do this work.
“Just as in 1999, we traversed the length and breadth of this country. Let us go back to that root and once again traverse the length and breadth. Let our children, who we want to put into the system, see that their fathers are still around and are laughing because you see you can inherit anything.”
Imoke also said the PDP would receive Governor Ben Ayade back into the party, if he decides to return.
“I will welcome him. I will definitely welcome him. Ben and I don’t have personal differences, maybe political differences. That’s why I said that his decision to quit PDP may be personal to him,” Imoke announced in a statement yesterday in Abuja to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).