By Our Reporter
Gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Cross River State, Sen. Bassey Edet Otu, has concluded his statewide consultative and thank you tour. The tour which began in the Northern Senatorial district featuring consultations with Paramount Rulers and members of the Traditional council, stakeholders, Youths, Women and delegates, took the gubernatorial hopeful across all the 18 Local Government areas in the State and yesterday terminated in Odukpani LGA local government area.
In Odukpani, Supporters and admirers of Sen. Otu took over the local government secretariat in a carnival-like setting, putting on a spectacle of different masquerades and traditional dances. It was a gathering of sons and daughters of Odukpani to welcome a worthy son.
The mammoth crowd also included leaders, stakeholders, government functionaries, support groups among others from across the state who came in support of the man many prefer to call the Sweet Prince.
Sen. Otu who paid homage to the Paramount Ruler of Odukpani, HRM, Etinyin Mesembe Otu and the traditional council where he received royal blessings from the Monarch assured of his commitment to a better Cross River.
In his welcome address, the Paramount ruler affirmed his endorsement of Sen. Otu and expressed confidence that Sen. Bassey Otu, if elected governor will perform excellently.
“It is thing of joy to welcome our son home. He is our beloved son in whom we are well pleased. He is not just product of quality, he is a product of superlative quality. He doesn’t come across like your regular politician.. politics is not about lies but about delivering. Here is a son who delivered even beyond our expectations, We are proud of his track records”
The traditional ruler also conferred a chieftaincy title of ETI EKA ODUKPANI on the wife of the APC guber candidate, Rev. Mrs. Eyoawan Bassey Otu.
Also speaking, a renowned political leader in Odukpani, High Chief Dr Asuquo Ekpenyong, assured Cross Riverians of Sen. Otu’s readiness and commitment to deliver and properly reposition the state if elected governor. “Sen. Otu is known across the State for his humanity, he is a man that everyone can guarantee and I can attest myself to the person that he is. His emergence as flagbearer is by merit. We are very sure that he will take our state to greater height” he said.
The elder statesman and leader described Sen. Otu as a good product, simple to market and a compelling contender.
“We thank God for this opportunity given to Odukpani. The choice of Sen. Bassey Otu is a masterstroke, he is a good product and has eased the job for us. The opposition is very worried and disturbed because of the choice of Sen Prince Bassey Otu. He is a man who believes in fairness and I know he will deliver good governance”
Speaking unbehalf of the Northern Senatorial district, Hon Stella Odey reaffirmed the district’s believe in equity, justice and fair play, insisting that northern Cross River will continue to stand with the back-to-South agenda. She described Sen. Otu as humility personified and an embodiment of humanity.
An APC Chieftain, Dr. Egbe Ayuk who spoke unbehalf of Central Senatorial district said the central is United in their resolve to return power back to the South, “central senatorial district totally and unequivocally supports back-to-South and Sen. Prince Bassey Otu is our next governor”.
Former gubernatorial aspirants under the All Progressives Congress were also in the event to pledge their support, in his remarks, Engr. Ben Akak said “I thank God that the prophesy of God concerning Odukpani has come to pass. When the consensus was made, we had the option of rejecting the consensus, but the choice of Sen. Otu was very compelling, we all stood behind him knowing our dear state was in good hands.”
Also speaking, a former frontline guber aspirant, Barr. Chris Agara said “my presence here speaks for itself, I want to assure you of my full support and that of the good people of central”
Responding, Sen. Otu expressed appreciation to the people for the warm reception, hospitality and show of love.
“Odukpani has always been known for her hospitality and they are a peace loving people, I’m overwhelmed by your show of love and solidarity. I’m here to thank you for your unflinching support and the role you played in my emergence in the Party primaries”
“My sincere gratitude goes to the delegates, stakeholders and others who found me worthy and gave me their support without any inducement, to you and everyone else, I say thank you.”
Senator Otu said his administration will centre on the three E’s, Employment, Empowerment and Emancipation for the aged, youths and women of Cross River State. He noted that the issue of unemployment has driven living standards far below acceptable level.
He said when voted into office, he will sustain the human capital development and industrialization legacies of Gov. Ben Ayade, ensuring the optimum running and operations of the industries and building more industries in a view of decoupling the State from over dependence on the Federal allocation.
“I’m not here for campaigns, but I want to assure you of a prosperous, productive and peaceful Cross River.”
Accompanying Sen. Otu were, his wife, Rev. Mrs. Eyoanwan Bassey Otu, the deputy governorship candidate, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey, leadership of the Cross River State APC led by the state Chairman, Barr. Alphonsus Eba, Director General of his campaign organisation, H.E. Amb. Soni Abang, gubernatorial aspirants of the APC, Barr. Chris Agara, Engr Ben Akak and Engr. Engr. Ekpenyong Nsa, Dame Sen. Florence Ita Giwa, High Chief Edem Duke, High Chief Prof. Eyo Etim Nyong, Chief Peter Ojie, Ntufam Fidelis Ugbo, Chief Obono Obla, Senatorial/House of Representatives/state assembly candidates of the Southern Senatorial District, Commissioners, House of Assembly among others