By Edem Darlington
As distinguished Senator Prince Bassey Edet Otu marks another important milestone in his life today, as usual, there have been countless messages of appreciation and support for the man who many call “ Sweet Prince”.
Without doubt, the distinguished Senator and seasoned lawmaker is perhaps the only politician in the history of modern day Cross River State politics with the largest cult-like followership and unfathomable acceptability across the length and breath of the state. And the reason is not far fetched. He is very different from other politicians.
Unlike others, he knows clearly that, to remove a fly from a friend’s forehead, one must never use a hatchet. He also understands that, there is no better mirror, than a best friend. ( In this case, your own people)
I am therefore not surprised with what friends and associates of Prince Otu have done to celebrate his birthday. He has over the years become a perfect mirror and example for his friends, associates and others to emulate.
Today, Senator has become a household name, despite not occupying any public office for the past 6 years or more. Whether young or old, politician or non politician, Sweet Prince has continued to remain the beautiful bride of Cross River State politics, anytime and any day.
He is one politician in the state whose name resonates hope, trust and sincerity. His kind of politics carries with it so much lessons for politicians to learn from.
For those politicians who may not have fully learnt their lessons. Those who believe that it is in continuous oppression of the people that they will remain relevant. They must understand that when a man goes to bed with an itching anus, he must surely wake with a smelly finger. It is what a man sow that he reaps.
But today, is a day to celebrate an enigma, a politician with a different flavor and taste. A politician with a beautiful soul and compassionate spirit. One who loves his people without a fault. Not wonder, not a few of his constituents and indeed Cross Riverians are ready to go the extra mile for him at any given time.
This is a lesson for Politicians in the State. To rise above selfish and mundane politicking and make the people their focus.
As a lawmaker, Senator Otu challenged and demystified so many myths about political offices usually peddled by oppressive politicians, who typically will have the masses rather remain perpetually in penury. Perhaps that is his greatest ‘sin’, well, that is a story for another day.
The kind of followership Senator Otu enjoys from Cross Riverians today could be liken to that of Chief MKO Abiola in the wake of his 1993 Presidential elections. People who follow not because they are told, but out of their own conviction. People who are ready to sacrifice not because they want anything in return but because they believe that their sacrifices will bring greater freedom.
Senator Otu is certainly the fulcrum of decent and modern politics where the bolts and knots of a better and prosperous Cross River will be tightened. I see hope, I see light and I see the future.
Dear sweet Prince with a sweet spirit, let me join many other Cross Riverians, from the hills of Obanliku to the Creeks of Bakassi, to wish you a very happy and fun filled birthday.
My prayer is that, God’s desire and will for your life will come to pass and that no human will be able to tamper with it.
Happy birthday distinguished Senator and very many happy returns.
Edem Darlington is a Journalist and a public affairs analyst. He writes from Calabar