Governor-elect of Cross River State, Prince Bassey Otu, has expressed profound gratitude to the entire Cross Riverians for allowing fairness and justice to prevail while making their decision to choose the next helmsman of the state on March 18, 2023.
In his acceptance speech delivered after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had officially declared him as the winner of the Cross River governorship election, Prince Otu said: “This mandate is the people’s mandate. It is a reaffirmation that as a people, we have a keen sense of justice. And when the chips are down, we sacrifice our differences to reaffirm our sense of justice. I am touched by this act of greatness and I will not let you down. I will work night and day to justify the confidence you have reposed in me.
“Fellow Cross Riverians, there are no winners and losers, no victor and no vanquished. What we have is the victory of democracy. So, I reach out a hand of fellowship to my brothers who ran for this position against me from other political parties. I urge you all to join hands with me, let us build a new Cross River State. This state belongs to only one party; and that is the people of Cross River State. We share the same Obligation to work for its welfare and progress.”
The Governor-elect who dedicated his victory to God Almighty, equally acknowledged the significant role played by the outgoing governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, in the quest to ensure that power returns to Cross River South in line with the zoning arrangement that has been strictly followed in the state.
Otu stated: “In developing countries experience has shown that the struggle for power is not often a contest of ideas but a battle between right and wrong and justice and injustice. Your Excellency (Governor Ben Ayade), you stood your ground and ensured that the delicate balance that holds our beloved state in place did not trip and tumble. This singular act has set you apart as a man of deep convictions and passionate moral force. You have etched your name in history. Thank you so much.
“I bow in humility to the leadership and members of our great party (the APC) who worked night and day to give us victory. You went from door to door and from one market square to another to wake our brothers and sisters up to the incredible possibilities of a new Cross River State. This victory is a product of your commitment.
“I am infinitely grateful to the leaders of the church and the traditional institutions, student bodies and the youths, the market women and professional associations, the non-indigenes, the town unions and everyday people of Cross River State from the peaks of Obanliku hills to the lowlands of Bakassi! You came together to make this history. This Dream is your dream!
“I must thank my dear wife, my family and close friends who had to live with my long absences during the campaigns and who shared my anxieties when the votes were counted. You have the best of my loving always!”
The incoming governor vowed to run “a compassionate administration, a listening government, in which all blades of ideas shall be given a fair hearing and chance at success. We shall be fair to all but we shall insist on the minimum standards of decency in our interface with the people.
“My government will have no place for ethnic champions who interpret life from the narrow prism of their tribal worldviews. We shall run an equitable, firm and compassionate government that will work for Cross River State.
“Our policies and programmes shall touch the people where it matters the most. I reckon that it is the only way to justify your faith in me.”