Bassey Inyang in Calabar
A body of youths operating under the aegis of Southern Cross River state Students (SOCRISS) are demanding the return to the senate of their grand patron, Senator Prince Bassey Otu in 2019.
Otu represented the Cross River South Senatorial District from 2011 to 2015 before he was replaced by the incumbent, Senator Gershom Bassey.
The Forum, which is an amalgam of studentsâ€™ union representatives from the seven Local Government Areas of the southern senatorial district that make up the senatorial district made the call at the end of their meeting which ended weekend.
In a five-point communiquÃ© at the end of the meeting which held in Akamkpa, about 40 kilometres from Calabar, the youths said Otu would best represent their interest as senator as was demonstrated when he was in the National Assembly.
The communiquÃ© jointly endorsed by President of SOCRISS Worldwide, Ntui Hilary Ntui, President-General, Ajah E. Ajah, and their Secretary-General, Tete Ekpo Okon, read in part: â€œWe hereby send a passionate appeal, SOS and a clarion call to Senator Prince Bassey Edet Otu to shake off his present lethargy, which may be misconstrued to suggest premature retirement from politics, and get ready to benefit from our massive support during the 2019 election for the seat of Cross River Senatorial District.
â€œWe have also observed with dismay that the affairs of our senatorial district have not been given the relevant legislative muscle, and the numerous youths which you groomed during your truncated tenure are now without positive future due to glaring misrepresentation.
â€œThey contended that the positive response of the senator shall be their command, as they vowed to swim and sink with him in the struggle for effective representation, for which it is noted.â€
The Forum also urged the federal government to focus its attention on the Southern Senatorial district with a view to providing the area with socio-economic infrastructure.
â€œThere are several of such negligence in our Senatorial District such as the unilateral ceding of the Bakassi Peninsular in breach of the constitution of the Country devoid of due ratification by the National Assembly, irregular loss of 76 Oil Wells, and the accruable revenue, moribund Tinapa Resort, fraudulent and failed dredging of the Calabar Port Channel, proposed Privatisation of the Cross River National Park, as well as dwindling educational infrastructure.
â€œOthers include the acute rate of unemployment, lack of empowerment for the youths, and the loss of lives and property due to non permanent demarcation of inter-state boundary as is affects Odukpani and Biase, between Akwa Ibom, Abia and Ebonyi states, and incessant molestation of fishermen and Sea-farers by Cameroon Gendarmes,â€ the Forum said.
The youths also stated that they were in support of the governorship position remaining in the northern senatorial district of the state until 2023 when it will be the turn of the southern senatorial district to produce a governor for the state.
“We also sustain the proviso of the 1980 Accord of the founding fathers regarding the rotation and zoning of the governorship position to the component parts which have been in vogue since the return of democratic rule in 1999 and support the Northern Senatorial District to complete its two-terms such that the South shall return in 2023 for purposes of continuity, justice, equity and fair playâ€, they said.