The outgoing governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade, has said that the governor-elect, Senator (Prince) Bassey Otu, was chosen as the best and not just because he hails from the Southern senatorial district of the state.

Ayade stated this when he received Prince Otu, his deputy, Hon Peter Odey, National and state Assemblies members-elect on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who visited the governor to show him their Certificates of Return, CoRs, presented to them by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

Ayade said, “The greatest sin on earth is ingratitude. As I give my gratitude to God who has made it possible for us to have a successor, not just a successor from (Cross River) South, because that is enough, but a competent successor.

“You (Bassey Otu) have to succeed to prove that the ‘back to South’ agenda was not political, but spiritual. You must show that all of us who collectively put our destinies in your hands took the right decision.”

Praying fervently for Otu to do better than him in office, the outgoing governor reportedly said, “In traditional Nigerian politics, you install your boy, a puppet so that you can control him afterwards. But, here in Cross River, we went for the best. Our governor-elect, Senator Bassey Otu, is the best. We came out victorious, even when people stood against our ‘back to South’ agenda.

“I know Bassey Otu has a good heart. I know he has a spirit of enterprise, the power of innovation, so l encourage him to be a super shining star, so that Ayade would just look like a joke where you are.

“I believe that we have got a very good man in Senator Bassey Otu. Otu is the finisher, the polisher of the solid foundation we have laid; he has the understanding of the gargantuan master plan of Cross River State. It is my wish to see you do much more than I have, while l sit back to provide any kind of support you so wish.”

In his remarks, Prince Otu said that he came along with others elected on the platform of the APC in the just concluded general election to thank Ayade for standing by them and for the significant role he played in the quest for power to return to Cross River South senatorial district, in accordance with the zoning arrangement and understanding in the state.

Otu said, “You have laid a foundation for a productive economy in Cross River State. And the export economic model, which we will build on what you have put down, is going to take this state to the next level.

“Your Excellency, the challenges are quite huge. But we are here to give you every assurance. Like I always say, that we will build on all the gains and achievements of all the past administrations, and even those projects that were not completed, we are going to complete them.”

The incoming governor, popularly known as ‘Sweet Prince,’ a sobriquet he earned as a result of his philanthropic gestures, compassionate spirit and great service to humanity, reiterated his decision to run an all-inclusive government, maintaining that “there is no victor, no vanquished.”


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