…Ndoma-Egba Calls For Collaborative Efforts Of Cross Riverians
By Michael Jegede
The newly-inaugurated governor of Cross River State, Governor Bassey Edet Otu, has assured Cross Riverians that there won’t be any form of discrimination against anyone or group, as he takes over the running of the affairs of the state from the immediate past governor, Prof. Ben Ayade.
Otu, popularly known as ‘Sweet Prince,’ made the remark on Monday in his inaugural speech, after taking the oath of office as the new governor of Cross River State.
The oath of office was administered by the Chief Judge, CJ, of the state, Hon Justice Akon Bassey Ikpeme, at the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar, where the inauguration/swearing-in ceremony was held.
Governor Otu said, “This is the government of Cross Riverians by Cross Riverians for all Cross Riverians and non-Cross Riverians in our land. This government will bear no insignia of discrimination in belief, origin or gender. Women and men, young and old, educated and non-educated would be carried along and treated as equal before the law. I reiterate that I joined politics to provide service to humanity and nothing more.
“I have spent my gifting opportunities in the legislature 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.”
Noting that he was not oblivious of the high expectations of the people, Governor Otu said, “Fellow Cross Riverians, 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 kick off.
“However, 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 Cross River State 30-Year Development Strategy, in order to set the path for desired outcomes for our state.”
The new governor who is determined to work tirelessly for the progress of Cross River declared that there would be no room for criminals in the state.
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.”
In his welcome address at the swearing-in ceremony, the Inauguration Committee chairman, distinguished Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, SAN, said “Allow me to express my heartfelt congratulations to our newly elected governor. Your journey to this position has been a testament to your dedication, hard work, and the trust that the people have placed in you. Your election is a reflection of the aspirations and hopes of our citizens for a better and more prosperous state.
“As we gather here today, we acknowledge the tremendous responsibility that rests upon the shoulders of our new governor. Your tenure will be marked by challenges and opportunities, and the decisions you make will shape the lives of millions of people. However, I have every confidence that you possess the qualities of leadership, wisdom, and integrity necessary to navigate these waters and lead our state towards progress.”
Ndoma-Egba, a former Senate Leader and former Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, added that “As we, Cross Riverians, embark on this new journey together, let us remember that progress is not achieved in isolation. It requires the collaborative efforts of government, private sectors, civil society, and every citizen. Let us foster an environment of cooperation, where partnerships are forged, and ideas are exchanged for the betterment of our state.”
The immediate past governor, Ayade, in his farewell speech, thanked the people of Cross River for the opportunity given him to govern the state for eight years, maintaining that he did his best to transform the state.
It has been celebration galore in Cross River since Governor Otu was inaugurated as the people believe that the former parliamentarian would offer them good governance and deliver the dividends of democracy to their doorsteps.