By Nsan Ndoma-Neji, Calabar

The chairman of Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River State, Hon. Ofem Ebri Obeten, on Wenesday, in a valedictory session held to mark the end of his tenure in office stated that irrespective of the outbreak of violence that broke out at regular intervals during farming seasons, he and his team surmounted the problem and brought peace to the local government area.

He stressed that criticism from political opponents motivated him to achieve the strides which he recorded during his tenure as the council boss.

The eighth council chairman of Yakurr made the remarks while speaking at a valedictory session orgnanised by his administration at the Conference Hall of Yakurr Local Government Area Guest House, to mark the end of his tenure in office, to say thank for assisting his administration.

Soliciting for the projection of the good image of Yakurr nation, both at home and in the diaspora, Obeten said, “I begged that you forgive us in places that my team and I wronged you. We must have stepped on toes in the course of trying to discharge our duties.

“It couldn’t have been possible without you and the criticism that we got. Like it is often said, no one achieves success without the help of others.

“Let me extend my profound gratitude to all members of my exco and the bureaucrats, who assisted us out with some of the most fundemental questions that we had.

“We laud our friends, families and foes for their patience, support and love, through their constructive criticism, provision of one form of support or the other helped us to achieve the feat we achieved.

“And for the inspiration and motivation for us to actualize our goals, I can not gloss over the central role of our royal fathers.

“To our royal fathers you did so well to have stood solidly behind us, throughout the period of our administration. It couldn’t have been possible without you.”

The former councilor of Ijem ward, who turned out to become the local government chairman averred that despite outbreak of civil unrest between Nko and Oyedama, communities, Mkpani and Aduma internal wrangling, Idomi chieftaincy tussle, cultism, banditry that almost turned the council area to senario of war, that almost caused him emotional and psychological breakdown, he stressed that he was happy that his administration overcame those challenges.

He added, “I maintained peace and tranquility in the council area, irrespective of hostility in the area. I never allowed monev nor power to get into my brain.”

He charged appointees in his administration to create opportunities for others to benefit notwithstanding how small the privilege might be.

The chairman listed the strides that he achieved to include: erection of an ultra-modern health centre through the help of the outgone state governor, Prof Ben Ayade, at Ijem ward, construction of a bridge at hospital road by Ikom-Calabar Highway, release of starter packs to over 70 youths to kick-start their small scale enterprises, upon completion of the council’s skills acquisition programme to take them off the streets.

Other feats are: the construction of Okoi Arikpo round about to immortalize his name, renovation and furnishing of the chairman’s residential quarters and provision of solar street lights.

He enthused, “We bankrolled several medical bills, particularly of those operated with hynia, and also established an intellectual project where the council partnered with the Ojanga’s family. We also supported schools.”

In his remarks earlier the Leader of the Yakurr legislative assembly, Hon. Usang Eteng Mbang, who spoke in company of council secretary, Mr. Mbang Bassey Mbang, lauded the the council chairman for the cordial relationship that existed amongst staff of the local council, stressing that it was that cordial relationship that aided them to finish strong without losing any one to the cold hands of death.

Mango said, “The lord has blessed us. Unlike other council areas where some councilors couldn’t make it to the end due to incidents of death, that we made it is not that we are perfect human beings. It’s the Lord’s doing.”

Other dignitaries of Yakurr local council who graced the occasion include: the council vice chairman, Hon. Mrs. Maria Eyim, the Head of the Local Government Administration, HOLGA , Mr. Bassey Ekpo Edem, representative of the Yakurr Traditional Rulers Council, His Royal Highness, Ufem Ikpi Ignore, who doubles as secretary, Yakurr Clan Heads.


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