Godwin AJOM, Calabar
A former Senator who represented Cross River Southern Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Prince Bassey Otu, has regretted the financial burden suffered by Cross River state as a result of the decision to cede Bakassi peninsula to Cameroun, the loss of oil wells to Akwa Ibom State as well as the high debt profile inherited by the present government.
Addressing youths and leaders of the National Youth Council Of Nigeria, NYCN, Cross River state, the senator said the state got where it was at the moment due to lackadaisical attitude and bad approach.
“Dear youths of Cross River state, we have come to that moment again which the core transitions and power must change hands, it is a period of sober reflection; which on many occasions, because of the period, the culture and the way we are, we lose sight of so many serious and important things.
“Gone are the days when people sleep with other people’s eyes, or scraped people’s heads in their absence. Where we find ourselves today is as a result of being lackadaisical and bad approach. I have been a youth friendly leader right from the word go. Having come to this gathering and the call is also for me to run, I won’t shake from this responsibility. I will take the mantle.
“Over the years, we have lost so much as a state. It started with the negotiations for oil wells; if you check the way the oil wells have been shared between Cross River state and our neighbours, we have been cheated and taken out of equation completely.
“The second loss was when the 77 oil wells were taken; one of the biggest losses is the loss of Bakassi. Today, the French government makes not less than $ 2 billion US Dollars from that Bakassi. We have lost all our assets and we have a very big burden of debts hanging on our shoulders. Dear youths, it is time for deep thinking; it is time to think out of the box,” he said.
Earlier, the NYCN state chairman, Daniel Obo in urging Otu to run, had also expressed the desire to have a governor who would be friendly with the youths.
“The present day government has not been very fair to us, we are only remaining firm believing that the future is bright, and we cannot because of one apple, spoil everything. But I need you to know that the present day administration headed by your party is not fair to the youth council. In fact, it is the commissioner for youths that is holding our actions, if you look at Cross River state, we expect more from His Excellency.”