The Executive Governor of Cross River State, His Excellency, Senator Prince Bassey Otu, has received the good people of Yache Nation on a courtesy visit on Wednesday, in his Temporary Office at Dan Achibong Lodge, Calabar.
Senator Stephen Odey Ph D, Cross River State Commissioner for Education, on behalf of the Chiefs, Elders and the good people of Yache Nation, Congratulated His Excellency, Governor Otu over his victory during the election, his victory at the tribunal and the recent victory at the Court of Appeal in Lagos State.
In an address to His Excellency, Governor Otu, on behalf of the good people of Yache Community, Odey stated:
“We want to first of all, use this singular opportunity to congratulate you on your resounding victory at the polls and your subsequent successive triumph at the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and the Appeal Court, respectively. These flamboyant victories are clear testaments to the fact that the overwhelming mandate given to you by the good people of Cross RiverState is emphatically legitimate.”
Continuing, Senator Odey said:
“Your Excellency, please permit us to once more appreciate you for your
magnanimity in appointing a Yache son into the State Executive Council,
also availing him of a plump portfolio of Commissioner for Education. We are indeed grateful and we want to implicitly assure you that your trust in him is not misplaced, judging from his track record of performance in a similar Public office a little while ago. It is necessary to point out to Your Excellency, that the Yache people have tremendous and unflinching respect for you, for defiling all odds and traversing the rough terrain to attend the burial of the late father of Senator Stephen Odey, (your Commissioner for
Education). Your action was unprecedented as never in the history of Yache Nation, has a Governor honoured our people in that manner. This gesture will perpetually remain indelible in the hearts of Yache people.
Your Excellency, please be aware that our visit is essentially to show solidarity with you and your Administration, and to place on record that the Yache people
are your dependable allies at all times, permit us also to digress a little andmention one or two things affecting the Yache Nation. The Yache integral Community is made up of 6 clans, namely:
(i) Ewor Clan
(ii) Uchu Clan
(iii) Maa Clan
(iv) Wonye Clan
(v) Aji/Endichwi Clan and
(vi) Okani Clan
All the clans are contiguous with the same language and culture and a
common ancestral history. Politically, the Yache Community plays host to
the largest Political Ward in Yala Local Government Area in terms of land mass and population. There are a total of 33 polling units, with all the major political actors highly inclined to a common political patronage. This is clearly the reason why the Yache ward usually turns out block votes in favour of their political interest as exemplified in Your Excellency’s election.
“Your Excellency, the road to Yache is a complete nightmare. As important as the road is, being the only access route to the largely agrarian
Community and the food basket of Yala Local Government Area, there is little or no attention given to the road to complement its value. More so, the road is the shortest link from Okuku to Abuja through some Communities in Benue State. Being a Federal road, a combined effort of the State and Federal Government will certainly provide an enduring solution to this perennial problem. It is necessary to mention that through the instrumentality of Senator Odey during his short stay in the Senate, he wasable to liaise with the Minister of Works, to rehabilitate a portion of the road spanning some kilometers. If such efforts were to be sustained, this challenge would have been a fait accompli.
“Also very worrisome, is the Okpoku/Akreha Bridge that has been in a
terrible state of disrepair. The improvised structure presently in use is impassable when it rains heavily. The calamity faced by the people as a result of this bridge cannot be recounted. A case in point is when membersof the community were traveling home with a corpse for burial, but were stuck because the flood could not allow them to access the bridge and the corpse was returned to the mortuary, and another burial date was fixed.
This has never happened in the history of Yache Nation. The situation was pathetic as there was no alternative route. Aware of this situation, the immediate past Governor of the State, His Excellency, Senator Professor Sir Benedict Ayade CON, moved to intervene by embarking on the construction of a new bridge. Reasonable work has been undertaken, but it was discovered that the bridge needed expansion to contain the flooding element. Your Excellency, the Yache people will remain indebted to you, if you use your good offices to expand and complete the bridge to reduce our predicaments.It is not an exaggeration to state that there is virtually no Government presence in the whole of Yache. Apart from school infrastructure and a recently established Comprehensive Primary Healthcare Centre by the Administration of His Excellency, Senator Professor Ben Ayade, there is nothing to show for an amorphous political ward that brings out the chunk of votes that decides election in Yala. It is our sincere hope that Your Excellency will use this season of sweetness to put smiles on the faces of Yache people. It may surprise Your Excellency to also know that, in the entire Yache enclave, there is no Community that has electricity power supply, whether renewable energy or electric power supply from the National grid.This situation has kept development of the Communities at its lowest ebb,
as Yache Community has never seen electric light. Your Excellency, it is
unthinkable and pathetic.
“Your Excellency, another challenge confronting the Yache people borderson insecurity, occasioned by inter-state communal crisis between the Tiv settlers of Benue State and the Ijiegu-Yache people of Yala, Cross River State. This crisis has claimed so many lives of Yache people and destruction of invaluable properties. We highly appreciate and thank Your Excellency for your timely intervention that has led to a temporary ceasefire, although the matter is yet to be completely resolved. We also thank your Deputy Governor, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey, and that of Benue State, His Excellency, Barr. Sam Odeh, who were in Ijiegu-Yache to intervene on the matter on your instruction and your colleague of Benue State, respectively. We passionately appeal to Your Excellency, to cause the
relevant Agencies to embark on proper negotiations between Cross River and Benue States with a view to proffering a lasting solution to the crisis; as Ijiegu people are now refugees in Okuku and Ogoja.
“Your Excellency, concerned of the character of the ward and the need to maintain the cohesiveness of the political actors, there is need for more lucrative appointments to be located in Yache ward. This will go a long way in keeping the confidence and loyalty of the people intact in all political engagements.As a Community that has faced deprivation over the years, we have acatalogue of other numerous challenges that we would not want to bore youwith. We are confident that with the ones highlighted above, Your Excellency will use your ingenuity to address them according to your God-given ability.
We want to thank you immensely for creating time out of your very busy
schedule to attend to us. We will leave you with one assurance that as aCommunity, we will stand by you at all times in your avowed determination to usher in a season of sweetness to Yache people in
particular and to the entire Cross Riverians in general,” the Commissioner concluded while thanking the Governor.
Senator Prince Bassey Otu, Cross River State Governor responded by appreciating the good people of Yache Nation for coming all the way from Yache to visit shows the love and affinity we share together:
“Let me thank you for the support we got from Yache during the last election, it is what we will never forget, we appreciate, I say thank you and God bless,, I am very happy to be with you today,” the Governor stated.
His Excellency, Governor Otu, further said, he appreciates Yache people for being hardworking people and for having leaders that are very very proactive as he lamented about the crisis between Tiv settlers and Ijiegu-Yache community, he appreciated the current level of peace and tranquility in the community while assuring the people of a permanent solution. “Going forward you have placed a lot of challenges before the government; you said there is almost no government presence in Yache, not too long there will be government presence in Yache Nation. Your leader Senator Stephen Odey, is dear to my heart, I give you the assurance that the state will give particular attention to the Akreha-Okpoku bridge, you worked so hard, to deliver the votes you will hear from us soon, as more appointments will come,” the Governor informed the good people of Yache Nation in his office during the courtesy engagement, as he also extended his greetings to all Yache people including those who could not make it down to Calabar.
High points of the event was the presentation of a plaque Congratulating Governor Otu, and same by His Excellency, thanking the Chairman, Yache Traditional Rulers Council, HRH. Mohie, Damian Ododo.