From Judex Okoro, Calabar
Cross River state governor, Prof. Ben Ayade has described the sudden death of Calabar South local government chairperson, Mrs Esther Bassey, as painful and devastating.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Bar. Christian Ita, the governor bemoaned Mrs Bassey’s death, saying her demise was shocking.
The statement read in part: “It was with a rude shock and disbelief that I received news of Mrs Bassey’s sudden demise. Her death is a tragic and monumental loss to Cross River State. It is a painful loss.
“As a government, we are hurt by Mrs Bassey’s passing because she was not only a strong partner in building the Cross River state of our dream but an astute administrator, a servant-leader, who led from the front. Her giant strides as Calabar South as local government chairperson bear testament to this.”
Ayade further noted that , “Esther was indeed the ‘Queen of the South’ as her admirers fondly called her. Her genial mien, her openness, her friendliness, her forthrightness and her integrity were the unassailable virtues that endeared her to all.”
The governor lamented that “her death has robbed our great party, the All Progressive Congress, APC of a pillar, our government a loyal, dependable ally and Cross River state a hardworking and diligent daughter. Indeed, our dear sister was a rare gem.
“Though the state is saddened by Mrs Bassey’s death, as a people of faith, we cannot question God. We can only pray for the peaceful repose of her soul.
“On behalf of the people and government of Cross River state, I condole with the Bassey family, her immediate community and the people of Calabar South.
“I assure the family that our prayer and thoughts are with them at this trying moment. We pray God to grant all us the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.”
He chairperson died at th early hours of Friday.