Cross River State
The governor of Cross River State in southern Nigeria, Senator Bassey Otu has been sworn into office to pilot the affairs of the state for the next four years.
Senator Otu took the oaths of office and allegiance administered by the Chief Judge of Cross River State, Justice Akon Ikpeme amid pomp and pageantry with the people of the southern senatorial district taking centre stage in colourful cultural display.
On display at the stadium were the regal Ekpe masquerades, At mbembe, Ōbōn, Tinkoriko, Agaba also known as Ogele as well as Nnabo, Eyabom including an Efik language rendition of a Ballard in honour of the governor, Senator Otu.
In a brief remark after the oath taking, Governor Bassey Otu stated that his entrance into the governorship race was to provide service to humanity and best governance to the people.
“This government will bear no insignia of discrimination in belief, origin or gender. Women and men, young and old, educated and non-educated will 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 legislative 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,” he said.
The governor, who acknowledged that the work to rebuild Cross River State was enormous, said “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 kickoff.”
The governor noted that to ensure fiscal discipline, his administration was going to partner with international organisations to evolve a medium term plan in line with the State’s 30 years development strategy.
He said, “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 the Cross River State 30 years development strategy in order to set the path for desire outcomes for our State.”
On restructuring the civil service, Otu said that the new administration would “engage with the labour unions dispassionately on the feasible and sustainable paths for dealing with our depleting civil service, given that over 75 percent of our manpower will be retiring before December, 2024. The same worrisome narrative applies to backlog of staff promotion with corresponding severance burden in excess of 54 billion.”
He gave the assurance that his administration would uphold the three major pillars of safety, peaceful co-existence and security of lives and properties.
The governor warned that his government would have zero tolerance for criminality, staying “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.”
Earlier in a valedictory speech, the outgone governor, Professor Ben Ayade urged residents of the state to give Governor Otu the needed to succeed.
Ayade stated that the emergence of Prince Otu as state governor where other contenders suffered defeat during the polls indicated that money and power can collapsed.
In an earlier address, the Chairman of the Inauguration Committee, and former senate leader, Senator Victor Ndoma–Egba, while wishing the outgoing state governor and his deputy, Professor Ivara Esu well in thier future endeavors.
During an exaltation made to usher in activities for the swearing in ceremony, clergyman and General Overseer Christian Central Chapel International, Bishop Emmah Isong called for attitudinal change especially on the manner people tackle leaders.