BY BODE GBADEBO |
A stalwart and a national delegate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), High Chief Higgins Oko Peter, has said that the senator representing the Cross River North in the 9th National Assembly, Senator Stephen Odey, will deliver effectively with his intellectual capacity and experience.
This is just as he noted that in 2023, the people of Cross River North will play a major role in determining who gets what in Cross River State because of its population and incumbency.
High Chief Higgins, who is also the founder and CEO of Opal Group, stated this in a chat with journalists during his courtesy visit as a Yala leader on Senator Odey at the National Assembly in Abuja.
While appreciating the doggedness of Senator Odey following his legal struggles, he assured him of his continual support and urged all party faithful as well as key stakeholders to drop political differences and join hands with the lawmaker with a view to give him the much needed support as he settles down to legislative business in the interest of the people of Cross River North, Cross River State and Nigeria at large.
He said he was already impressed with the performance of Odey in view of Bills and Motions he has sponsored as well as the empowerment programmes he has facilitated to his constituents so far.
Higgins stressed that he was confident that Odey will be in the Senate till June 2023.
According to him, “I think everyone in Yala and Cross River State knows how much I have supported Dr Stephen Odey from day one. And today I came here to pay him a solidarity visit and to appreciate his struggle that he was confronted with during the process and secondly to commend him for his first motion on security, knowing that today, Nigeria is going through a perilous time.
“Nigeria is actually on its knees and on its way to the grave and well meaning Nigerians are expected to stand up and speak and equally support their legislators to see how they could mount pressure on the presidency and the federal government to look for a way to bring the insecurity situation to an end. That is why I came, to pay the Senator a solidarity visit, to tell him that we the people of Yala as a whole and Cross River North are solidly behind him.”
He noted further, “I have said something before now and I still repeated it before the Distinguished Senator. I had told him that no matter how people would think that politics of PDP in Cross River North and the state at large is fractionalised or factionalised, you know we are going to regroup, restrategise and bounce back and I said this without apology to anybody, that anybody that has been celebrating that Cross River North is in political turmoil or not, they are just once again operating within the realm of ignorance because I can assure you the State Cross River where we all come from, Cross River North will determine who becomes what in 2023.
“The governor, the speaker and all the others will be decided by Cross River North. One, because of our population. Two, because of our incumbency.
“Let me tell myself for once, I supported Dr Stephen Odey because I feel he has capacity, the intellectual capacity, presence of heart and again experience. Because he was here as a legislative aide to the present governor. So, aside the educational capacity, he has practical hands-on experience of the dealing of legislation before he became senator himself. So, I trust and believe that Dr Stephen Odey is going to deliver effectively because he has both physical and practical experience and intellectual experience and capacity.”
Speaking to party stakeholders, the PDP chieftain charged everyone to stand up, speak up and let all come together as a united Cross River under one big umbrella as it used to to be, adding that there has never been a time that politics has divided Cross River.
“We may have political differences but we have unity in our oneness as a people and I think we should go back to that. I can assure you that we are already seeing that there is stability in the system because Dr Stephen Odey is sitting properly now in the chair of the Senator representing Cross River North and he will sit there until 2023,” he emphasised.
On the rested legal battle, he said, “The legal battle is just a misconception because it is over. People outside there, you know, operate within the realm of ignorance. And when I came, Senator Stephen Odey has taken time, even I know, because I am part of the process, he has taken his time again to educate me and give me more information that I needed to know about the legal battle.
“You see like I always say, the legal battle is more like a legal ambush that has always been going on because it has nothing to do directly with Dr Stephen Odey. I was there from the primaries to the end, so I know much. And thankfully I am here today to see Dr Stephen Odey as a sitting Senator representing the good people of Cross River North and I am very confident that he will seat there until June 2023,” he added.