By: Vitalis Ugoh, Calabar
Governor Bassey Edet Otu of Cross River State has hailed the judiciary on his victory at the Election Petition Tribunal, in Calabar, dedicating the outcome to Cross Riverians and urging the opposition to sheath their swords.
The Elections Petition Tribunal led by Justice Oken Inneh dismissed all the reliefs sought by the petitioners in Suit No. EPT/CR/GOV02/2023 and affirmed the election of Senator Otu and his deputy, Rt. Hon Peter Odey, on March 18, 2023.
Reacting to the tribunal judgement, Otu said, “It is with great delight and a high sense of responsibility that I welcome the judgement of the Election Petition Tribunal, which gave us our deserved victory and has affirmed the mandate Cross Riverians freely and overwhelmingly gave to us on March 18, 2023.
“Our confidence in the judiciary has never been in doubt. And it has been reinforced by today’s dispassionate ruling on the elections. I commend the Election Petition Tribunal for proving their mettle once again by upholding the virtues of justice, fair play and responsibility.
“I call on all Cross Riverians to join hands with my administration as we continue to put in place the administrative framework needed to realize the noble objectives of our People’s First mandate.
“With this judgment, I call on members of the opposition, who are our brothers and sisters, to take the ruling in good faith, jettison any further appeals and join hands with my administration to bring the much needed dividends of democracy to our people.
“It is expedient for me to stress that if our dear state, Cross River, must be counted amongst the Comity of States with bright future and great economic potential and social security, then all hands must be on deck to make the lofty dream come true.
“Our well-thought out People First Agenda remains sacrosanct in attaining its goals. What I urge of all citizens and those who have found here as home whether for business, investment, pleasure or education, is to be patient and give us the needed support as we work to reposition the state for the better.
“Fellow Cross Riverians, the present times call for sacrifices on the path of everyone. We must remain resolute and strive to play our various roles in the development of our beloved State.
“Finally, I thank the executive and members of our great party, the APC, and all Cross Riverians for their support, loyalty and unflinching solidarity before, during and after the elections.
“As we take our destiny in our hands and resolve never to be left behind, may the Almighty God reward our efforts and remain our crowning glory.”