Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Sen. Otu's officially declares before Party Exco, see Full speech


   I, Senator (Prince) Bassey Edet Otu, hereby stand before you to declare my intention to contest for the Office of Governor of Cross River State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
   After due consideration and conviction within myself followed by a fruitful round of consultations with critical stakeholders across the divide, I am fully convinced that I can make the desired difference and propel the state higher in consonance with the solid foundation already laid by the present administration ably led by His Excellency, Senator (Prof.) Ben Ayade. My declaration for governorship right here before the state executive of our party is indeed symbolic, having started my political career with the blessings showered on me by my ever-loving people of Cross River State many years ago, I believe categorically that I have paid my dues and I therefore solicit the firm support of our party the All Progressives Congress to continue with the prosperity agenda of the Ben Ayade led administration. My conviction to contest for the highest office in the land is further fuelled and energized by my strong humanitarian disposition and unquestioned patriotic zeal to contribute my quota towards our collective match to economic freedom, social justice and infrastructural development, among others. I was equally inundated with immense pressure from key stakeholders who are convinced of my capabilities to come out and seek the highest office in the land. They include very notable stakeholders within and outside the state and even internationally that I cannot ignore as they are hugely involved in development initiatives. I made vigorous research and concluded that indeed, we can build the Cross River State of our collective dreams where everyone will live and be happy. I would not have called you all out here if I was not convinced of my decision. I must therefore thank you for sparing time to be here.
   You will all recall that in my days in the National Assembly either as a Senator or member of the Federal House of Representatives, I played very decisive roles in the enactment of many laws which are today, making operations a lot easier both in the customs and our oil industry, particularly as far as the local content component of the industry is concerned. Other areas where l excelled in the National Assembly include National Population, power generation, Niger Delta, Environment, Water Resources and Defence among many others. I have never deviated from the norms of personal grace and human capacity building and I will not begin to deviate from such norms in a higher office such as the Office of Governor of Cross River State.

   This declaration should therefore be taken as a challenge to everyone who cares about the future of our dear state. My support and acceptability cut across party lines and across the length and breadth of the state. This grand declaration therefore puts paid to the rumours and concern in certain quarters about whether or not I will contest. I stand before you as a bridge between now and your future prosperity and be rest assured that you will not be let down as I stand always with the people.
   As I declare before you all today to run for the Office of Governor of Cross River State, I pledge wholeheartedly to tackle 13 thematic areas which require urgent attention and these include but not limited to agriculture which is capable of engaging thousands of hands, education, health, youth empowerment, gender issues, poverty reduction and our human capital development indices, transform the many industries begging for attention and massively tackle agriculture in all ramifications to engage our teeming employable but unemployed youths. We will equally transform our tourism sector and take it to its most desired level. All these will help in significantly decoupling our finances from external interferences and reducing our dependence on federal allocations.

   Cross River State needs a man who can interface and has considerable interconnectivity with the grassroots, who has very strong national and international appeal and connections, statewide acceptability and a thorough understanding of the intricacies of governance. I had in my quiet time thoroughly surveyed the state and carefully segmented our challenges into definite areas of concentration and arrived at a unique method of salvaging the state. All the key issues bedevilling our state level of development which I shall confront with all vigour can be summed up into The 3 Es which are Employment, Empowerment and Emancipation. 
   The 18 Local Government Areas in the state are all blessed with their different areas of comparative advantage which we intend to harness for optimal results. 
   Painfully enough, Cross River State cannot be compared with other states that were created at the same time with it, as we have had more than our fair share of both state and national maladies. We lost everything and everywhere. Even our natural endowments were seized from us. We lost Bakassi and the oil wells therefrom and even the little left were handed over to Akwa Ibom State. What a string of misfortune! We will therefore revisit the disturbing issue of Bakassi with a view to making amends and recovering back our 76 oil wells that churn out millions of naira today for Akwa Ibom State. Even the people of Bakassi have never fared better neither have they received their due treatment from the federal government since Bakassi was ceded to Cameroon. All these will change under my administration and I call on you all to be a part of the struggle to regain what we have lost all these painful years of neglect. Today, a foreign country, France makes millions of dollars from the Bakassi peninsular. Our very unfortunate and painful loss is therefore France' joyful gain. 
   Professor Ben Ayade has endeavoured to lay a solid foundation for our dear state, let's build on that legacy and propel the state to greater heights. We shall continue to interface regularly with the people and with your support, good will and prayers, we shall fulfill our ambitions to the glory of God and the benefit of all Cross Riverians.
 Thank you for finding time to be here at this declaration and God bless you all.