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Why Governor Otu is Extolled, Celebrated at 64

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By Joseph Kingston

William Shakespeare once said that ‘the heavens themselves blaze forth the birth of kings.’ This postulation emphasizes that each time an extra-ordinary personality is born into the earth planet, even the planetary system react in a special way to announce the entry of that child into the sphere of human.

The Holy Book, the Bible, may have lent credence to this postulation too, and records that a special star appeared in the sky to announce the Birth of Jesus, The Christ. The wise men from the east followed that star to trace where the Lord Jesus was born. It is therefore clear that the births of great men are not accidental but predetermined.

Today, Cross Riverians agree that when Governor Bassey Edet Otu was born 64 years ago, heaven may have declared in its customary mysterious language, understood only by gifted, that the man is properly packaged and sent forth to reposition Cross River in its lowest state.

It is this destiny mission that explains vividly the dramatic way in which Gov Otu emerged candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and scaled through all hurdles to become Governor against all predictions.

 Apart from endowing him with special passion for humanity which has caused him to put smiles on faces of many Cross Riverians, God also gave him creative spirit and grace to lead by example especially concerning the matters of the Kingdom of God.

His attitude to governance, especially in the management of men and resources is applauded by even his critics. The Governor is passionate about his ‘Peoples First’ mantra and is doing everything to ensure he leaves the State better than he met it.

Those who have asked whether there is anything special about being 64 years old should realize that while the age of 64 may be insignificant, it is significant for Cross River State because of the impactful leadership that the 64 years old Odukpani-born Governor is offering.

Suffice it to say here that it is the mettle of the man that is 64 that makes 64 a special number. This write-up does not seek to itemize the Governor’s achievements but to establish that at 64, Governor Bassey Otu may have etched his name in gold already. Those waiting for him to fail should better have a rethink.

Time there was where there was no hope for any retiree in Cross River to get his/her gratuity as at when due. Today, the story has changed.  

Swearing in the new Head of Service, Dr Innocent Ebri Eteng, last week, the Governor told the enthusiastic Cross Riverians: “We will not want such a situation to continue again in this state. Such a situation where those who worked for 35 years would die without their entitlements, will not continue henceforth.

“I want to assure Cross River people that before the year 2023 ends, my government will offset outstanding gratuities.”

Critics and naysayers agree that Otu is carrying out a silent revolution in Cross River and creating hope where there was none.

In a not too distant past, businesses and companies had relocated from Cross River due to high handedness of the previous administration. To address this bleak phenomenon, Governor Otu organized a well attended investment summit and brought in business demagogues to channel a new course for the State thereby creating jobs to the unemployed. New businesses are sprouting up and those which relocated are gradually returning.

Various analysts have described Gov Otu’s vision for the State as outstanding. The 1.2km Nyong Edem Street concrete-paved street in Calabar South, which experts say has a lifespan of more than fifty years, is a testament of the quality of his vision.

The ‘Peoples First’ Governor, has also, within four month, rehabilitated Edet Ansa Farm Access Road and Etap Ayip Road, in Calabar Municipality; 3km Bebuasuan Rural Access Road in Obudu LGA; 3km Ketting Community Road in Obanliku and re-modeled/renovated the Governor’s Office Complex which is ongoing. Governor Otu is celebrated in Yala for the construction of 39km Ukelle Road which is ongoing.

The academic world is also singing praises to God for Otu as he effortlessly awarded contract for the renovation/equipping of the State ultra-modern library complex, Calabar. The beauty of the millennium park recreational Garden in Calabar has also been restored even as the new government has reconstructed the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and Rural Access Mobility Project (RAMP) warehouses.

The government has also put its best legs forward in agriculture sector by attracting $15million private sector investment into the Ayip Eku Oil Palm Estate, with multiple effects on employment and growth of the State GDP.

Gov Otu’s government has also developed a-6-years N30bn agricultural credit guarantee fund for rice, maize, fisheries and livestock farmers, and has commenced the State-wide Digital Soil Fertility Mapping to ascertain, with precision, the soil texture for specific crops in the different zones of the State for agricultural purposes.

In partnership with the Oil Palm Growers Association of Nigeria (ORGAN), the Governor initiated the planting of 3.5million hybrid oil palm seedlings in 13 identified locations across the State and is sponsoring indigenes of the State to participate in cassava-bio value chain conference in Asaba-Delta State for subsequent establishment of cassava-bio fuel factory.

Furthermore, Governor Bassey Otu’s government has given free rice seedlings, fertilizer and pesticides to50 starter-rice growers while 30 starter-livestock farmers have been assisted  with day old chicks, feeds etc.

Verifiable reports indicated that the State Government has attracted an Irish Aviation Company to build and run an Aviation Training School in Bebi, Obanliku even as the sum of N3.7bn has been made available for the completion of the Obudu Cargo and Passenger Airport.

The Destiny-helper Governor also looked into the suffering his people were passing through as a result of the fuel subsidy removal. In order to cushion the effect of this unpleasant situation, the Governor reduced working days for civil servants on GL.13 and below from 5-3 days per week, and added a monthly stipend of N10,000 across board.

Last week, the Governor kicked off the distribution of palliatives to Cross Riverians in the nooks and crannies of the State, and made available additional N500 million to the Palliatives distribution Committee. Pregnant women across the State are now enjoying free antenatal care.

The thunderous ovation that rankles throughout the land for Governor Bassey Edet Otu at 64 is evidence that wherever good leadership is given, it is rewarded with gratitude and corporate appreciation.

As Governor Bassey Otu crosses into his 65th year on earth, it is expected that the accolades of Cross River State and its people will propel him to greater achievements.

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