An Overview of the People’s First Manifesto

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By Bassey Edet Otu


People-First Mantra will deepen investments in people. Our State is composed of several ethnic groups, with great beauty in our ethnic diversities, which will be unified, harmonized, and strengthened through genuine love, mutual respect and equal opportunities, spread from Bakassi to Obanliku. As a home to about 4 million people, Cross River State is known for Peace and Order, Love and Hospitality, Amazing Cultural Heritage and Great History, Abundance of Food and the home of Nigeria’s most renowned delicacies. We have resolved to sustain these gains and create new frontiers.

Cross River State is the People’s Paradise, and our Greatness awaits us as we unfold our agenda for a better Cross River where everyone will live in peace and harmony with man and nature, pursuing legitimate businesses moderated by good Governance. In order to achieve this, I seek to be the next Governor of Cross River State, and I invite you to join Rt. Hon. Peter Odey (Deputy Governorship Candidate) and I on this mission.

We need to change the narrative that our State is a purely civil service State, by repositioning our People to take advantage of our peculiarities in carving a niche for ourselves in a competitive world driven by modern technologies and practices. We will create a niche for our farmers, young entrepreneurs, our children as well as the elderly to work smart and achieve their set goals seamlessly. We will create an enabling environment for everyone to have the chance to excel in their areas of endeavour.

We have gone to every part of our dear State, and have listened to the concerns of our people. Based on these concerns, we know that our people want an enabling environment for businesses to thrive on, our people want value for our agricultural produce, our people want access to markets, our people want qualitative education and healthcare systems, our people want a State where our commerce and industries have a chance to boom, our people want to have the glory and beauty of our State restored, our people want to live a life of dignity and honour, our people want a State where they can move about without harassment by criminal elements, our people want a State where the Government takes security as a serious business and top priority, our people want a safe State where there will be no instances of kidnapping and threats to lives and properties.

Our people want to live in peace, pursuing their legitimate businesses, and have access to needed infrastructure and social services. Our people want a true, innovative and smart Government.

I am contesting on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC), and I see our people in Cross River State as being entitled to the benefits that only progressive good governance can procure.

When I was in the National Assembly as member, representing Calabar Municipality and Odukpani Federal Constituency, and subsequently as Senator, representing Cross River Southern Senatorial District, I ensured the initiation of pro-People bills, I was one of the Representatives who raised the bar and popularized empowerment programs for our people. Based on my love and strong desire to see every Cross Riverian live to their full potential, we will run a People-First Government, where all programmes, Projects and Initiatives will be to the benefit of the people and to the Glory of God.

While recognizing the efforts of the administrations of their Excellencies Udoakaha J. Esuene, Paul Omu, Tunde Elegbede, Clement Isong, Donald Etiebet, Daniel Archibong, Ibim Princewill, Ernest Atta, Clement Ebri, Ibrahim Kefas, Gregory Agboneni, Umar Faoruk Ahmed, Christopher Osondu, Donald Duke, Liyel lmoke and Benedict Ayade, we shall:

1. Scale up the Agro-revolution of previous administrations, and we shall ensure Agriculture becomes maximally profitable to our people. Our Government will aggressively push for and support mechanization of farming in Cross River State, while creating an enabling environment for Investments in Agricultural Businesses.

2. See that all previously built industries work maximally for the benefit of our people. We shall implement an efficient model of management, to ensure these industries run sustainably and profitably. We plan to expand the existing Industries, while building new ones for the economic well-being of our people.

3. We shall expand access to free and compulsory qualitative education in Cross River State. Our Government will review our school curriculum to meet modern day requirements. We shall implement an automated school management system for an efficient and effective management of our educational system. Skill based Education driven by modern technologies will be our top priority. We shall create a strong linkage between our educational strategies with our proposed Cross River Tourism strategy, to ensure Education Tourism drives traffic to Cross River for Education.

4. We shalt build and run World-Class Medical Facilities that will pull Medical Tourists from across Africa to Cross River State, while ensuring the efficient functionality of our Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Health Facilities across the State. We shall scale-up the Cross River State Health Insurance Scheme, while making sure that healthcare is accessible to every Cross Riverian.

We shall develop our existing and new tourists’ sites and diversify our tourism sector to accommodate Medical, Education, Religious and Archeological Tourism.

5. We shall deploy a world-class security architecture that will help us in achieving a near zero crime status with the aid of modern technologies, information and reorientation. Working with the relevant agencies, our Government will leave no stone unturned in our effort to Prevent Crime and make Cross River State a safe haven for all law abiding citizens.

6. Our robust economic plan seeks to lift every Cross Riverian out of poverty. We shall create enabling environment for businesses to grow and make Cross River State an Economic hub. Our Government will consciously support Business incubation and mentorship. We shall ensure every other sector contributes positively to the development of our Economy.

7. We shall put in place modern Road and Street Infrastructure, our Government will build Trunk B roads to link all communities, and we shall ensure there are access roads within all towns and villages. We will provide 2 more main channels of drainage in Calabar, while ensuring a full coverage of 60km of street lightings in our major towns with backup Power to ensure optimal performance. We shall install automated traffic control devices and systems across the State. We shall reposition all Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) with Infrastructure Development and Maintenance mandate to operate and discharge their duties efficiently, while creating avenues for Public Private Partnerships in Infrastructure management.

8. We shall provide adequate platforms and facilities for our sportsmen and women across the State, preparing and supporting them for National and International tournaments, while laying good foundation for home grown talents through partnerships with International Sports investors and promoters.

9. We shall seek to ensure a sustainable, economic and efficient management of our mineral resources. We shall seek political solutions to the relisting of our State as an oil producing State, we shall follow all legal procedures in pursuing and ensuring the return of our 76 oil wells, as well as the review of the exclusive list and derivative sharing formula for the benefit of our State

10. We shall make Cross River State fully digital by investing heavily and creating enabling environments for the deployment and implementation of modern technologies, as a backbone for our developmental framework. We shall deploy modern technologies and best practices in the setup and management of our State Infrastructures. We plan to make Cross River State the ICT hub of West Africa, in collaboration with our partners for the betterment of our people. We shall create Digital Skills Development Centres across the State for our Youths, making them Global Hi-Tech Entrepreneurs. We shall automate Government’s bureaucratic processes for high efficiency, transparency and effectiveness.

11. We shall preserve our physical environment through conservation and promotion of environmentally friendly practices in development and our lifestyle. We shall make Cross River the Leading Nigerian State in Environmental protection and management. Protecting and showcasing our rich fauna and flora across the length and breadth of the State.

12. We shall centralize and coordinate the bookkeeping and registration of public revenues and expenditure, while issuing and socializing financial administrative instructions on the financial management of public funds, promoting their constant perfecting with a pedagogic action. We shall coordinate, update and normalize the system for classifying public expenses and socialize the criteria that shall rule that classification.

13. Our Government shalt remain committed to completing all of the projects inherited and or initiated by past Administrations in an open and transparent manner. We shall scale up the achievements of past administrations and aggressively drive developments to every nook and cranny of Cross River State, with special attention to our Sea Ports, Tinapa, Obudu Ranch Resort, Ayade Industrial Park, and all other Government Projects and Programs.

The Governorship of Cross River State is not a child’s play, it is a call to sincere service, and I do not take it lightly, I shall give my best with utmost integrity, humility and sincerity. I call upon everyone, beyond party lines and ethnicity, to join my running mate and I in our pursuit of this dream of ‘People-First’ which will provide enabling environment, access to markets and opportunities, better life and prosperity for our people through the initiatives we have outlined. We welcome your contributions and critiques as we get ready to reposition our dear State.

Let us think of People First!


APC Governorship Candidate Cross River State, Nigeria

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