BY: Vitalis Ugoh, Calabar
The Chairman of Bakassi Local Government Area, Hon Chief Iyadim Amboni Iyadim , has urged the Cross River state gubernatorial candidate of APC, Senator Bassey Edet Otu to address the various problems effecting the area when elected as the governor of the state.
According to him, all issues attached to the Green Tree Agreement which culminated to ceding of the area has not not been addressed as those who decided to follow their kith in Nigeria have become homeless and jobless and he therefore called on Senator Otu to ensure all unresolved issues enshrined in the Agreement are implemented
He lauded Governor Ben Ayade’s effort in building a housing estate to accommodate some of the displaced persons , adding that the good intention of the governor was , however, thwarted in the 2020 endSars riots as the estate was vandalized
The Chairman who disclosed that the people of Bakassi are solidly behind Otu, called on him to take the area as his priority and establish government presence because of its strategic location as an international border town with an expanse of an arable land to attract investments.
He further appe aled that Otu should not abandon the deep seaport project located in the area because of its numerous potentials including job and wealth creation.
Other indigenes of Bakassi who spoke on behalf of the people on different topical issues at the reception included Senator Florence Ita-Giwa _ Mama Bakassi, Hon Saviour Nyong _ member state executive council, Hon Dr Ekpo Ekpo Bassey _ member state house of assembly and Mr Benjamin Ena – SA to the governor on Marine Security.
The northern and central senatorial districts through their respective spokesman, Dr Julius Okpotu and Senator Victor Ndoma- Egba emphasised their positions on Back To South agenda and said it is non-negotiable because it is based on justice, equity and fair play.
According to them , the rotational system started in 1999 with Donald Duke as the governor and after eight years Senator Liyel Imoke took over for another eight years before handing over to the incumbent, Senator Ben Ayade whose tenure will expire next year to enable another person from the southern senatorial district to take over, adding that Senator Otu remains the most qualified person from the south to become the governor of Cross River in 2023.
The Chairman of Prince Otu Campaign Team, HE Amb Sony Abang described the reception as a continuation of a thank you tour to enable Senator Otu appreciate those who supported him during the party primaries as well as afford him the opportunity to hear from the people on what they want in terms of projects and programs when he assumes office as governor.
The Cross River State APC gubernatorial candidate, Senator Bassey Edet Otu, appreciated the Bakassi people for their support during the party primaries and said he owes them a big debt which he will pay , explaining that the projects he will initiate will be people oriented as demanded by the people themselves.
He acknowledged the peculiar challenges of Bakassi and assured the people that a special committee will be put in place to address all issues affecting the area because he intends to challenge all that have to be challenged.
Highlights of the reception included the reading of Senator Otu’s biography by Hon Joe Etene, welcoming of defectors from other political parties by the state Chairman of APC, Barr Alphonsus Eba, award of scholarship to university level for the boy who presented a paper model of the party Secretariat to the state Chairman of the party as well as presentation of crawfish and and fish, symbols of Bakassi, by Senator Florence Ita-Giwa to wife of Senator Otu, Rev Mrs Eyoanwan Otu.
Hon Eyo Bassey Edet aka Empowerment Chairman, the Bakassi APC candidate for the state house of assembly, described the turnout as a reflection of the party’s victory in 2023 as every son and daughter of Bakassi of note was present.