By Jonathan Ugbal
The Southern Cross River State Students Association (SOCRISS) took to the streets of Calabar recently to express their support for the Senator representing Cross River Southern Senatorial District, Prince Bassey Otu in a rally tagged ”SOCRISS one million man match for Prince Bassey Otu”.
The Students drawn up from the seven local governments that make up the senatorial district danced to tunes from audio sets blaring lyrics of praises and support for the serving Senator.
The rally which began at about 11 O’clock in the morning took the students round some streets in Calabar starting from the Constituency office of the Senator to the Ernest Etim Press center where they dropped a communiqué drawn up by the association’s Exco, Board of Trustees and Council of Presidents, stating reasons why they unanimously support the Senator to seek a second term in office in the forthcoming general elections in 2015.
They students then moved down to the State Secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party where they were received by the party’s State Publicity Secretary, Joe Obi Bisong to whom they presented a copy of the communique.
Speaking to CrossRiverWatch, the SOCRISS WorldWide Chief, Comrade Godwin Effiom described the Senator as a fatherly figure and messiah, ”He is our father and political messiah sent to salvage political issues in Cross River State” he said.
He added that ”The future of the youths lay in their hands and that is the reason why Socrites have unanimously agreed to vote for Bassey Otu in the forthcoming elections because the students and youths are top of his priority”.
Mr. Ekpenyong Akiba, the media assistant to the Senator, described the rally as a success ”I am happy we have gotten the real mandate as we have been endorsed through the students platform. The rally was a huge success because he(Bassey Otu) is a symbol of success.”
A coordinator in the Senator’s campaign team, Mr. Caleb Awatt described the timing of the rally as apt, ”It is timely and momentous as students constitute a great percentage of voters in elections and this show of solidarity is based on facts and not sentiments”.
The spirit of the students was however almost dampened when the PDP State Publicity Secretary said they will be no consensus candidate but a level playing field for all aspirants.
However to some who participated in the rally, the individual is what matters not the party; ”We have seen a matchless individual” said Comrade Kelvin Joe while to Comrade Ekeng Inyang, the students will stand with Senator Otu regardless of his political party. ”In Imo state, people slept on the streets because of a gubernatorial aspirant, can we do same for him (Bassey Otu)? Yes of course, we will follow him to any party”.
They also expressed their support for the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan as President and the zoning of the position of Governor to the Northern Senatorial District of Cross River State.
Senator Otu is reportedly in talks with the opposition parties in the state in preparation for decamping owing to alleged plans by the state governor to stop him from returning to the senate for a second term in favor of Gershom Bassey.
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