As the Governor-Elect, Senator Ben Ayade prepares to take over the mantle of leadership from Senator Liyel Imoke, a lot is expected of him from Cross Riverians who believe he is a man guided by ethics and principles.
Especially as Cross River State will now be in opposition to the government at the center. It may not be easy for him to run the affairs of the State in the opposition but that is why the people voted for him because of their believe in him and his principles of “politics with ethics”.
Cross River State has amassed a huge debt profile and is presently ranked the third most indebted state in the country. And as a result, the State is crippled by unpaid salaries, slow rate of development and many other challenges.
The enormous task ahead of Prof. Ayade can only be managed if he brings in capable hands who are willing and ready to work and not pursuing their pockets or stomachs.
The first step for him to prove that he is capable of managing the affairs of the State is the caliber of persons that will make up his transition committee (if there will be any transition committee).
It will determine the kind of government he plans and intends to run. Let’s he forget, he must understand that the level of political consciousness and awareness of Cross Riverians has considerably improved and they are now very interested in how the state is being governed.
Those days are gone when people kept silent and kept a distance from politics. It is no longer so. With the APC and the sky rocketted awareness of Cross Riverians, he may not have it easy any more like his predecessors.
It will not be like in the last decade or dispensation where the people of Cross River had no alternative platform; now they have a platform which they can run into. Prof. Ayade must be conscious of the fact that it is no longer business as usual. He must work for the holistic growth and development of the State.
For the Ayade/Esu government to succeed in delivering the true dividends of democracy which they were voted for, Prof. Ayade must look for capable men and women to form his cabinet. Men and women of integrity. People who love the State and see the State as their own and not individuals fueled by greed and ambition . He must sound a strong warning to those who will help him in his government that he is poised to work for those who gave him their votes. The PDP must give him an enabling environment to chose the right individuals who will work with him.
The era of godfatherism and nepotism are over. It is now time for big and bold ideas that will spur and transform the State from a civil service State to an industrialized State, to a state that our young men and women will be proud of, a state that our youths will be carried along in governance, a state of our dream, a state that the hope of the common man will be rekindled and the lost glory of our state will be brought back. That is the government I expect to see in the shortest possible time in the State.
This is the time for Ayade to display his politics with ethics. It is the moment our State and people have long waited for. The PDP and the People of the State choose Prof. Ayade because of their believe and trust in him as a scholar and intelligent man.
Cross Riverians expect to see our schools ranking among the best in the country. From our primary schools to our higher institutions, our people expect to see a transformation in the educational sector. Ayade/Esu, are academics and it is on this light that the people of the State hope that they will transform the system.
Prof. Ayade, Cross Riverians are waiting to see your performance in the first 100 days of your administration. Your first 100 days will be a starting point. It will give the people a sense of direction about where you intend to take the state in the next four years of your administration.
We hope and believe in you. We hope and trust in what you can do because you have always said if “you can make it, then Cross Riverians can make it”.
Prof, those who voted you expect to see transformation. They expect to see the State consolidating and not deconsolidating. They expect to see a rapid and steady growth in all sectors of the State under your watch.
Our People believe you can stop graft, waste, impunity and order forms of misconduct that have plunged our State into this very critical position in our national development. Many Cross Riverians are worried and concerned that you have not announced your transition committee.
This is the time to remain focused and pick the best hands that can help you achieve a smooth transition into office. Cross Riverians expect to see men of integrity making the list. People of unquestionable character who are open minded and can fight for a just cause. We expect to see the best in you in the coming days.
As a youth, you are the hope of many Cross Riverians. The youths are waiting anxiously to be carried along in governance. The youths of the State believe in you and what you have to offer. The youths of the State are vibrant and very intelligent and can contribute their own quarter towards the growth and development of the State.
We expect and pray that you will pick very smart, vibrant, intelligent, articulate and people oriented young men and women into your government. Remember the greatest sustainability of wealth is the empowerment of the younger generation.
Our State can not move forward without engaging youths who are very idealistic and technologically savvy in your government. It is our hope and prayer that you will carry our youths who have distinguished themselves as being able to perform in your government. Men and women of content and character as your aides.
One major problem we also have in the State is the issue of lack of recognition. Many of our people are aggrieved. Our State is blessed with technocrats who are specialists in their various fields and are willing to contribute towards the growth of the State.
Any State that refuses to recognize her best brains is heading no where. These professionals will help you in policy making and strategies. If they are not carried along, it will cause rancor and dissuade interest and participation. I appeal that a place be set aside for such people in your government.
It is true that no individual or government can satisfy its’ people. But Cross Riverians are expecting to see remarkable changes in all areas of our state as you assume office. We are confident that you will not let us down in the coming months as our governor and shepherd.
Thomas Abi writes from Abuja, Nigeria
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