Time over time, the saying that “there is time for everything under the sun as stated in the bible has consistently proven to be infallible and immutable in all spheres of human existence and human endeavors.
Throughout the bible, evidences abound that points to the veracity of powers, authority and leadership (both secular and spiritual) does not emanate from north, south, east or west but from God who lift men to positions of authority and also brings them down.
Evidently also is that God give men positions of authority not necessarily because they are super righteous persons now and will always be, rather he places men in authority to show his supremacy and sovereignty and to achieve his purpose, secondly to ensure the realization of the destiny of the leader concerned and others and bring to pass the manifestations He had purported to bring to pass under a particular leader, thirdly, to achieve God’s purpose for the people.
The purpose and intent of God raising Senator Ben Ayade in 2015 to become the governor of Cross River State at this time is certainly not different from the aforementioned reasons for the Almighty God placing men in authority. Not many actually believe that Senator Ben Ayade was going to become the next governor of Cross River after Senator Liyel Imoke; not even Ayade himself from the initial stage held such hope, as he was rather committed to return to upper chambers of the National Assembly where he had just completed a term.
However, destiny had different assignment for him, and that assignment was to come and lead Cross River at such a time that global and national recession rendered the economy of many nations and states useless and the people hopeless, especially for state like Cross River state that had already been brought to its kneels with the ceding of Bakassi to Cameroon and the subsequent transfer of 76 oil wells to Akwa Ibom State.
Again, God raise a particular leader at a particular era/time to fulfill certain assignments, to bring to pass work which only the leader concerned has been destined to accomplish as well as create relationship between and among certain persons and authorities which only him has been chosen from before the foundation of the world to carry out at a certain period of the universe and earth existence and then take glory for attaining such feat.
Historical evidences abound of such leaders that were raised by God to achieve certain purposes. Under the era of the judges in Israel when God led them through the judges, Othniel was raised to save Israel from the Arameans, Gideon to battle the troublesome Midianites, Ehud to be a thorn on the flesh of the familiar enemy, Moab, Shamgar and Samson against a formidable enemy, the Philistines, a woman of valor, Deborah against the Canaanites and Jephthah to fight the Ammonites, among others.
King Saul was raised at such a time that the Israelites demanded for a king that will lead them in wars against hostile neighbors like other nations, and when his reign was short-lived because he failed to realized that “Obedient is better than sacrifice” he was replaced by an equally man of valor/war, King David who fought and gave Israel a national territory and identity.
King David was a man of war raised to complete the work of King Saul, he was not cut out to be a temple builder because he had shed so much blood, rather it was to his son who was to be a man of peace, King Solomon who was to build the Temple of the Lord, and reign in righteousness and wisdom.
Before now God raised an unnamed Pharaoh which Eugene H. Merrill, according to Wikipedia, suggested to be Pharaoh Senusret 11 who reigned from 1897 to 1878 BC, the fourth Pharaoh of the Twelfth Dynasty, in advance to provide shelter and a home for Joseph, his father Israel and family that they may grow to become a nation.
King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and some kings of Assyria such as Kings Tiglathpileser, Shalmaneser V were raised to fulfil God plan of punishing both the Kingdom of Judah (Southern Kingdom) and Israel (Northern Kingdom for forsaking God, and also to show his supremacy over nations and their leaders.
Harry Lee Kuan Yew, first Prime Minister of Singapore was raised up by God to lead that country from penury and lack of natural resources to prosperity, becoming one of Asian Tigers, while Julius Caesar was equally raised to save Rome from decay and monumental graft, got himself unprecedented glory, advance territories of Rome in extent and time, gave Greco-Roman civilization additional four hundred years power in the west and six hundred more years in the East as he and his six thousand soldiers moved beyond the Northern Italy, Cisalpine Gaul, an enormous Province he controlled and crossed the Rubicon river which crossing it was a declaration of war on Pompey and the Senate.
Back home and in our own dear state, Cross River, in 1999, Mr. Donald Duke, a leader with an unmatched courage and determination was raised by God to bring an abysmally backward state regarded as a civil service –oriented from obscurity to national and global lamp-light with aggressive transformation through tourism, and today, the state is noted for that globally.
Duke successor, Senator Liyel Imoke, a man of few words, deep thought and enormous compassion was brought by God to liberal the rural dwellers with his aggressive rural transformation agenda and policies with the construction of many rural roads across the state to create a balance between rural and urban dwellers. One striking similarity between Duke and Imoke is that both leaders were at the helm of affairs in the state when the same party, “The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) was in charge both at the national and state levels, unlike Senator Ayade’s time where All Progressive Congress (APC) holds sway at the centre and PDP at the state.
Like all leaders earlier mentioned and the two immediate leaders in the state before him, Governor Ben Ayade was equally raised by God at this period to carry out some assignments and fulfill some roles which only him was destined to fulfilled, irrespective of whether he was/is my choice, your choice and anybody’s choice or not.
Governor Ayade has been placed in the helm of affairs in Cross River by God, as man with the unyielding capacity to gallop through the excruciating and biting recession and to carry out a total and frontal and fearless battle that will lead to the industrialization of Cross River and transform the state into Nigeria’s industrial hub to complement Duke’s tourism approach and Imoke’s rural transformation initiative, making the state economy a complete tripod of tourism, rural development and total industrialization.
Realizing that the 2015 General Elections was going to produce surprises and upsets where the central will be control by a party different from PDP, God raised up Ayade, a man with the destiny and drive to work seamlessly with the ruling APC at the centre to drive development and appointments to cross River irrespective of the fact that the state is being rule by the opposition PDP, as well as the energy to go round the world for investors and the power of speech to convince.
Though not an APC governor, Ayade has been able to establish a robust relationship with the ruling centre and Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari as well as the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, culminating in the number of appointments giving to the state by the Federal government.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Chief Judge of Nigeria (CJN), Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen, the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas, The Minister of Niger Delta Development, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita The Chairman of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) are all Cross Riverians.
Other appointees from Cross River include, Anthony Ayine, the Auditor General of the Federation, The United nations (UN) Civil-Military Coordinator for North-East and UN Civil-Military Adviser, Abuja, Maj. Gen. Moses Bisong Obi (Rtd), Chief Obono Obla, Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution, Two Ambassadorial candidates, Etubom Asuquo and Odeka Janet Bisong, Odey Ochicha, Chairman, Board of Federal Polytechnic, Ile-Oluji and Bassey Usang Bassey, Head, Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, Director General, National Women Abuja, Barrister Mary Ekpere.
The plethora of appointments that have come the way of Cross River from the Federal Government controlled by APC is a clear indication that Governor Ben Ayade radiate a positive aura that attracts favor and good will from the central, just as he has what it takes to think out of the box employing the power of the brain to bring about development that will eventually pull the state out of the woods and the burden of depending on the Federation account for development, and lay a solid foundation for the people of the state and future administrations that will come after him.
Cross River as a state before the emergence of Governor Ayade was driven to the middle of the ocean and left there to sink to the bottom of poverty and oblivion. But with the coming of Ayade, the tides of haplessness are gradually but steadily changing as Ayade breaks new grounds to reverse the fortunes of the state.
Till the coming of Ayade, it was commonly held that with the transfer of the 76 oil wells to Akwa Ibom, Cross River is eternally doomed to the league of non-oil producing states in Nigeria, but with the ingenuity of Ayade, it is now an open secret that the land of Cross River State hold sufficient crude oil and gas resources in its belly that will last for more than 100 years.
Already, a coordinate report valued at 11, 000 Dollar per square kilometer covering the more than 20,000 square kilometers of the state landmass that shows a huge gas and hydrocarbon deposits untouched, unexploited in Cross River. All that is needed now is for the Federal Government to grant Cross River the license to carry out hydrocarbon and gas exploration and production.
Ayade has been chosen by God at this time to lead Cross River State. We all have the burden placed on each of us shoulder to support the government realize fully the purpose for which God raised up Ayade at this time and the mandate which Cross Riverians gave to him in 2015. It does not matter whether you, I or anybody loves Ayade’s face as a person or not. What matters now is the collective support for the overall interest of Cross River as a state.
After all, Cross River is no longer a push over state that anybody can ride on its citizen or on the collective interest of the state and go free without anybody or government raising an eyebrow. Today, the gruesome murder of late Joy Odama by an evil Alhaji in Abuja has not only received a serious attention from Governor Ben Ayade but has received national interest and attention.
Remember, it is God who raises men to power for his own purpose and for the leader to fulfill a certain assignment.
God bless Cross River State!
Solomon Asha, is the Special Assistant on Mediaand Publicity to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River.