By Magnus Effiong, Calabar
Prominent Cross Riverians, including the Obong of Calabar, His Eminence Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu V, Prof Eyo Etim Nyong, Senator Victor Ndoma Egba and many others have lent their support to the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the State, Senator Bassey Edet Otu.
They restated their support at the palace of the Obong of Calabar during Senator Otu’s thank you visit to the Monarch, Monday.
Speaking, the grand Patriarch of the Efik Kingdom, Edidem Abasi-Otu V said he was endorsing Otu for the Peregrino Governor’s House because it is the turn of the southern senatorial district of the State, where Otu hails from, to produce the next governor.
He insisted that after the incumbent, Gov Ben Ayade, power should ordinarily return to the South in the spirit of equity, fairness and justice.
“It is the turn of the southern senatorial district to produce the next governor for fairness and equity. The South had supported other two zones so it is the turn of the South.
“And I am happy that you made the right choice in the person of Sen. Bassey Otu who is my beloved son. And that is why I am saying that come 2023, it is back to south and I am confident that Sen. Otu will emerge governor,” the Obong stated.
In his remarks, Prof Eyo Etim Nyong, who led a socio-cultural group, Greater Calabar Forum, to the event, called on Cross Riverians to support the return of power to the South in the spirit of equity, fairplay and unity.
Prof Nyong noted the outstanding performance of Prince Otu when he was in the National Assembly, adding that the Sate requires a governor like Prince Otu to take it to a greater height.
He lauded the people of the north and the central Senatorial districts for their support and therefore sued for sustenance of that support till victory is achieved.
Speaking earlier, Senator Otu told the Obong of Calabar that his visit to the palace was simply to thank the Monarch and the Etuboms Traditional Council for their prayers and support.
“Your Eminence, we have only come to say thank you for standing with us, for your spiritual backing all through the process up to my nomination as the gubernatorial candidate of my party, the APC. I wish to say thank you.
“I’m tested, trusted and proven, ” Otu stated, and added that with his exposure in the private and public sectors, he has acquired enough experience and capacity to prudently manage the State’s scarce resources.
“Let me also inform you that from tomorrow, I will be embarking on a thank you tour of the entire southern senatorial district to appreciate all those who stood by us,” the APC guber candidate said.
Others who accompanied the APC candidate to the palace were his wife, Rev. Mrs. Eyoanwan Bassey Otu, the deputy governorship candidate, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey, Director General of his campaign organisation, H.E. Amb. Soni Abang.
In the train also were Sen. Victor Ndoma Egba, Chief Mrs. Winifred Oyoita, Sen. Princess Florence Ita Giwa, High Chief Edem Duke, Chief Peter Ojie, Dr. Julius Okputu, Chief Barr. Utum Eteng, Hon. Gabe Edi, Hon. Bishop Alex Ukam and Bishop Prof. Micheal Okom.
Among the dignataries who were also present include Prof. John Inyang, Prof. Godwin Igile, Prof. Franca Bassey, Chief Odey Ochicha, Dr. Genevieve Ephraim, Dr. Mrs. Theresa Essien, Ntufam Emmanuel Anom, Rt. Hon. Lugana Okpata, Rt. Hon. Chris Eta as well as Senatorial/House of Rep/House of Assembly candidates of the Southern Senatorial District, Commissioners, House of Assembly members, Local Government Chairmen and their Vice, chapter chairmen.
PillarToday reports that while Sen Otu of the APC hails from the Southern Senatorial district, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, is from the central senatorial district which produced the immediate past governor, Liyel Imoke, who in 2015, handed over power to the current governor who hails from the northern zone.