|L-R: Prince Bassey Otu and the mammoth crowd|
Kelvin Obambon|9 September 2018
CALABAR – Cross River’s capital city was yesterday locked down as Senator (Prince) Bassey Edet Otu officially declared to run for the Cross River Southern Senatorial seat in the forthcoming 2019 general elections, under the platform of the All Progressive Congress, APC.
The event which could, arguably, be regarded as the largest political gathering in the state in recent time, saw mammoth crowd, thronged into the expansive cultural centre complex to witnessed the declaration ceremony.
Prince Otu, whose second term re-election bid for the southern senatorial district seat, then under the Labour Party in 2015, was aborted, is now seeking to return back to the senate, this time wielding the Broom. He joined the APC after losing to his former political party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2015 general elections. He is currently a board member of the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS.
Declaring his desire to vie for the highest elective office in the senatorial zone, Prince Otu said, ”I have come to answer all your telephone calls and respond to your invitations. I have come to reverse the satanic slogan of ”no money” while millions of naira go into private pockets with leakages in Dubai and Swiss Hotels. I have come to reconstruct your broken hope of training your children, putting roofs over your head and living a happy and sustainable life. I have come to re-erect that beacon of hope that will lead us to a voice that cannot be silenced.”
He added: ”I have come prepared to take your counsel, your voice to the council of Nigerian voices. I have come with much bigger breasts loaded with fresh milk of compassion and abundance from where you can draw freely and become big, strong and happy again. I have come with stronger legs to run the race and fitted hands to rewrite our history. My legislative priorities remain the same, to strive for ecological balance in our environment, enhancement and empowerment of human capacity in our district, to meet with contemporary challenges, building an egalitarian society where both the rich and the poor can live in perfect harmony.
”I have come to declare my desire to contest election back to the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria through your signature of approval, support, partnership and hope. Let us arise and do it again because I know we can and we will, as we are still on the matter.”
Earlier in his opening remarks, chairman of the occasion and elder statesman, Dr Emmanuel Nsan, lauded president Muhammadu Buhari, describing him as the man whom God has chosen to lead the people into the future. He commended Buhari Youth Organization (BYO) for queuing behind Senator Bassey Otu, assuring them that they are not alone.
Also speaking, the state chairman of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Dr Matthew Achigbe, said Senator Bassey Otu performed well in his first outing at the senate and that the people have missed a lot in his absence. Dr Achigbe went on to assure that the party would provide a level playing ground for all aspirants, warning members to desist from acts capable of destroying the party. He however appealed for all to work together as a party to advance the course of governance in the state.
While presenting a letter of endorsement to Senator (Prince) Otu, the president, Buhari Youth Organization, Alhaji Yusuf Nadir, stated that Prince Otu is an insider in the Buhari camp and a patron of the organization. Alhaji Nadir therefore called on the people to ensure that Prince Bassey Otu is voted into the senate for effective representation, pledging that BYO would continue to support the Cross River Southern Senatorial aspirant.
Among several dignitaries who spoke at the ceremony were the honourable minister for Niger Delta, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, Senator John Owan-Enoh, High Chief Edem Duke and Prof. Eyo Etim Nyong.
Also present at the event were Mr Sylvester Nsa, Cross River commissioner in NDDC, Dr Dominic Aqua Edem, Dr Julius Okputu, Chief Alex Egbuna, Hon. Bassey Akiba, Hon. Nkpanam Obo, Chief Wilfred Inah, among others.
Obambon is a Guest Blogger with NegroidHaven