By: Vitalis Ugoh, Calabar
Cross River State governor, Sen. Bassey Otu has reassured Cross Riverians as well as other residents that “the Government is for Cross Riverians and non-Cross Riverians in our land”.
This was contained in acceptance speech shortly after him and his deputy were sworn-in as governor and deputy during the swearing in ceremony at the U.J Esuene Township stadium.
According to the governor “this government will bear no insignia of discrimination in belief,origin or gender. Women and men, young and old, educated and non-educated will be carried along and treated as equal before the law”.
He said “we give God all the glory and adoration for leading us successfully from the primaries through the campaigns and the elections to this inauguration. May His name be praised”
The governor said “I reiterate that I joined politics to provide service to humanity and nothing more. I have spent my gifting opportunities in the legislative and my creative convictions in advancing the course of humanity and I intend to leverage on those templates in providing the best governance to the people of Cross River State.
Therefore he said “I recognize and register our profound appreciation to their Excellencies, our former governors, administrators, other leaders and their families for their services to our dear State.Permit me at this juncture to salute a man worthy of mention, our amiable and the immediate past Digital Governor of our State, Senator Professor Sir Ben Ayade CON, for standing firmly to uphold the principle of fairness, equity and justice by doing all within his powers to ensure that we do not jettison our rotation policy as this would have eroded the bonds of our trust and love for one another”.
Otu also commended the unique roles played by his Deputy, Professor Ivara Esu, the State Party Chairman, Barr. Alphonsus Eba, the Party Executive Committee, Support Groups, Elders, Fathers of Faith, Professional Organisations, Our Royal fathers and other stakeholders from the depth of my heart, I thank you all.
“My gratitude also goes to all the committed men and great women of our party, the All Progressives’ Congress, who have worked assiduously to make today a reality.”
He extended hand of fellowship all Cross Riverians including my brothers and sisters with whom we shared the ring of the contest. The flag of partisanship is now lowered and the beautiful blue and white colours of our beloved State are hoisted.
He said “I have spent my gifting opportunities in the legislative and my creative convictions in advancing the course of humanity and I intend to leverage on those templates in providing the best governance to the people of Cross River State”.
The governor said “it is not lost on us the enormous work that must be done and the weight of built up-expectations. Therefore we shall manage time effectively to rewriting the trajectory of our corporate aspirations in line with our collective dreams in divine destiny”.
“We are ready to hit the ground running from today. Already we have designed and reviewed our strategic road map to guide our actions as we kickoff, he noted “
However, he said, “owing to the premium we attach to planning and fiscal discipline we have collaborated with credible international development institutions in formulating a medium term sustainable development plan in line with the Cross River State 30 years development strategy in order to set the path for desired outcomes for our State”.
According to him, “we are excited to be here at a time like this; for champions are made in trying moments. We are confident and determined to restructure our huge debt stock while strengthening our fiscal pasture We will engage with the Labour Union dispassionately on the feasible and sustainable paths for dealing with our depleting civil service, given that over 75% of our manpower will be retiring
before December, 2024″.
“The same worrisome narrative applies to the backlog of staff promotion with corresponding severance burden in excess of #4 billion Naira, he said”.
He said, “within our People-First agenda; Safety, peaceful co-existence and security of lives and properties are major pillars for my administration. For the few who take pride in criminality, there shall be no hiding place and only two options are on the table: turn a new leaf within our upcoming amnesty window or vacate Cross River State without delay. Our administration shall have zero tolerance for criminality in whatever form or shade.”
Among others, “we shall expand our footprint on total Healthcare and Education Spending per Capita. We will curb gender based violence and institutionalize Cross River as the cleanest,greenest and safest in our country.”
Otu further stated that “the State will be given an immediate facelift through critical infrastructural repairs, clearing of waterways, trimming of overgrown trees, repainting and refuse evacuation.Security confidence will be strengthened by greater illumination of the Streets, Monitoring crime flashpoints and creating welfare synergies with Security operatives, community leaders and hidden security watches for maximum impact.”