Cross River Governor Tasks Traditional Leaders on Peace Keeping

Cross River State Governor, Senator Bassey Otu has called on traditional and other leaders in the state to be at the forefront in taking initiatives to foster healthier ties in communities that would engender peaceful coexistence and good neighborliness.

The governor who was speaking specifically to the leaders in Yala Local Government Area when he received a delegation from the Yala speaking people, led by their Paramount Ruler, Ogamode Clement Onah Ipuole, in Calabar said his administration is seeking to explore the area’s huge agriculture potentials as well as reposition it to its once reputed place as a food basket of the state and the country.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Nsa Gill, Governor Otu reiterated his administration’s commitment to return the renowned Okuku market in Yala local government area to a thriving local commodity hub of international standard, assuring the delegation that the roads will be opened up for ease of transportation of goods from the interior communities to the urban areas and markets.

“We want the cooperation of our traditional authorities to nib the avoidable records of communal clashes and other disputes in the bud,” the Governor said.

He noted that the state was carrying out proper reforms to make sure that agriculture is well positioned as the mainstay of Cross River State’s economy.

He maintained that security and other structures that would entrench sanity in the area are being put in place.

The Governor promised to carefully look at requests made by the delegation with the view of uplifting the living standard of the Yala people, and expressed optimism that in the near future when the envisioned Okuku commodity market becomes a reality, the state government would definitely make areas like Okpoma and Okuku urban towns as the agricultural potentials of the area have all the trappings to make Yala an urban and commercial nerve center in the northern part of the state.

In his remarks, the Paramount Ruler, Ogamode Clement Onah Ipuole, said the Yala speaking people in Yala local government area were in the governor’s office to identify with him and show solidarity in his leadership.

Ogamode Ipuole, who was represented by Ogamode Odaji Ipuole, stated that “we have come here to assure him that we will continue work with him, stand by him at all times and support him all through his tenure as the governor of Cross River state.”

The Royal Father drew the attention of the governor to teething challenges bothering the area, some of which he mentioned to include: access roads linking the various communities, lack of portable drinking water, upgrade of the Okuku local food commodity market to international standard.

He also appealed for the creation of an irrigation dam in Yala to boost food production; exploration of the huge salt deposits in the area and establishment of a salt industry; expansion of the Okuku campus of the University of Cross River State to a full-fledged university, among others.

The monarch, who described the governor as “a beacon of hope, unity and peace,” concluded his speech with a passionate plea for proper delineation of boundaries between communities, which he said, when done, would provide a lasting solution to crises plaguing the area and avert further destruction of lives and property.

Also speaking, a major stakeholder in Yala and towering politician in the state, Chief Higgins Peters, expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the meeting and the governor’s assurances to address issues they presented before him.

“Governor Otu’s response was exactly what the people of Yala have been waiting for and itching to hear. We are very happy that we met the governor today,” he concluded.

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