Cross Riverians and Otu’s 100 days in office

Bassey Otu

Governor Bassey Otu

By Michael Jegede

On May 29, 2023, Senator (Prince) Bassey Edet Otu, took oath of office, as the 4th Executive Governor of Cross River State in the current democratic dispensation, and vowed to run a robust administration that would see the state moving forward to the next level in terms of development.

After 100 days of taking over the mantle of leadership and being in the helms of affairs of Cross River State, can it be said that Governor Otu is making significant progress in his determination to transform and lift the state to greater heights?

Though believed not to be enough to assess performance, the idea of first 100 days in office has over time been used to describe the incipient stage of a new leadership role and measure the success or otherwise of a new administration based on the strategies, action plans, programmes and policies put in place within the period.

Former American President, the late Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), who came into office on March 4, 1933 amidst the Great Depression pioneered the concept. In his first 100 days, FDR successfully rolled out a series of programmes, financial and regulatory reforms as well as pieces of legislation that instituted the New Deal which led the United States (US) to the path of recovery from the Great Depression.

The founder/CEO of First100 Ltd, a UK-based leadership and performance acceleration consultancy outfit, Niamh O’Keeffe, once stated that “The primary task for the executive targeting first 100 days success is to set out the right strategic priorities and stay focused on them.”

While some feel Otu may not have been proactive enough, many observers think the Governor is progressing steadily in his determined spirit to lay a proper foundation for the total transformation and overall development of Cross River in the interest of the people. The belief of most Cross Riverians in the ability of Otu to deliver appears to remain unwavering.

A perfect gentleman fondly referred to as Sweet Prince, he is known to be a promise keeper with an excellent record of performance in the previous opportunities he had to serve the people. He is seen as a patriotic leader always committed to the fulfilment of his campaign promises and promotion of good governance.

Cross Riverians, not minding his record after 100 days in the saddle as governor, are persuaded that the ex-parliamentarian of note will not disappoint them, considering the reforms he is quietly carrying out to establish a workable system that will open the doors for economic growth and development in the state. For them, the man whose coming signalled the season of sweetness is providing the needed leadership to positively turn around the fortunes of Cross River.

A highly respected Cross Riverian, Distinguished Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, SAN, said much repairs have to be done to pave the way for obvious achievements. The former Senate Leader assured that Otu will surely deliver on the mandate willingly and gladly given to him by the people.

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His words: “A lot has to be repaired before any achievement can be obvious. The important thing is that he (Otu) keeps his hands on the plough and remains focused. There is nothing magical about one hundred days. Every day is important. I believe that he will deliver on the people’s expectations.”

The lawmaker representing Ikom/Boki Federal Constituency of Cross River State in the House of Representatives, Hon. Victor Abang, averred that the governor has worked assiduously in the last 100 days to set the wheels in motion for positive changes in the system’s operational framework to allow for progress resulting from the smooth and effective running of government businesses.

Abang, who has shown early signs of valuable representation in the Green Chamber, urged Cross Riverians to continue to give maximum support to Otu as he seemed to be deeply passionate about making a difference in the governance of the state with his ‘People-First’ agenda.

Hear him: “Governor Otu has taken very commendable steps to reposition the Ship of State in Cross River for better performance and efficiency in the system. He has made laudable moves to stabilize the system and correct certain things that were not seen to have been properly done. Sweet Prince has hit the ground running well and I am confident that he will not let Cross Riverians down.”

On his part, the Spiritual Leader of God’s Heritage Global Nation, Bishop Josef Bassey, according to a report by the Southern Examiner, enjoined Cross Riverians not to use the 100 days in office benchmark to gauge the performance of the governor.

While asking for continued support for Otu’s administration, the clergyman who doubles as the Convener of Cross River State Christian Leaders Forum gave the assurance that the governor’s efforts at rectifying the anomalies he met on ground would yield fruitful results for the state. He opined that with the immensity of the challenges he inherited from the past administration, Otu’s meticulous approach in addressing the sundry issues was in order.

Bishop Bassey was quoted as saying that “The expectations of the people had been high but the governor may not be moving with the speed expected by some persons because of the enormity of things he inherited.

“It is common knowledge that Governor Otu inherited very weak institutions of State such as the State Public Service. He is taking proper steps at addressing them. He inherited so much dilapidation in all institutions in the State but he is not complaining, rather he is finding solutions.”

Convinced that Cross River is in for better days under the purposeful leadership of Sweet Prince, the man of God said: “It is commendable that the Governor sworn in Commissioners to head various ministries and he issued each of them a template of responsibilities with timelines. So every commissioner understands what is expected of him or her.”

Michael Jegede, a journalist writes from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja

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