A Promise Made, A Promise Kept By A Man of Honor BY SOLOMON ASHANG

In Breaking News, Columnists, National News, Opinion, Politics
Governor Ben Ayade
Governor Ben Ayade

Right from the time of yore to our digital and high-tech age, time honoured truth remained immutable and untainted to the reality that men and women became great to a point of being worship by their fellow humans not so much as to the fact that they were/are raised in palaces of kings and castles and forts of famous war lords, the quantum of gold they possess, but to the glaring old facts which points to the ability of these personalities to lead a consistent positive life centered around ethical/moral virtues which stirs men up to honor them based on the truth that they too had honored the words they had uttered, upholding fidelity, their integrity.

Many are they who had and some are still passing through this sphere of existence on the planet earth called mortality, reputed for exploits in the battle fields, masterful experts in intrigues and maneuvering. Yet some had and are authority in the art of chivalry, working against both friends and foes once they considered that their personal interest or whatever was not going to be better served under the condition, there would certainly be no qualms to cause a stir, let heads roll. Speaking from both ends of the mouth at the same time does not constitute an offence; in fact it is a way of life, and a smarter way for that matter as far as they are concerned.

Smooth talkers who uses that gift of the power of speech to undermine the integrity of others and not for good, the masterful expert on the art of chivalry, the harmless looking person skilled in speaking from both sides of the mouth at a go are remembered not for any other reasons outside their exploit and exhibition of actions and characters offensive to God, gods and men, and it would have been better if they were not remembered at all.

Benefactors armed robbers such as the late Lawrence Anini and Monday and co. who robbed their victims only to spread the monies in the streets or markets for other people are only thought about negatively. The fame war General who fought and won many battles for his country, kill without mercy, make lies his second name and de-robed himself of all attributes that have to do with fidelity and integrity, can only be remembered for those actions that are socially offensive.

Men who strive to be like their creator in their own small way by making sure that their yes is yes and no is no are those whom mankind have always looked upon to salvage them in times of difficulties, irrespective of the estate/social strata of such individuals, they are held in high esteem by others. One of the noticeable quality of such great men and women is that they are used to speaking from only one end of the mouth at a time, and when it is time to speak from the other end, they do so judiciously only to bring to pass what they had earlier aired out. They also are undeviating on standing for what is just and right irrespective of who is involved. They are the very tap root for moral rectitude upon which every society anchors its hope and a stabilizing factor for a robust society with all the cohesive ingredients because they will not see white and call it black and black, white.

These persons are found in all professions. We see some of them as professional lawyers, philosophers/thinkers, religious leaders, media practitioners, medical doctors, teachers/lecturers, engineers/scientists of all fields, bankers, business men and women etc.

We equally see them among politicians most often regarded by most citizens as crop of persons not to be trusted because it is a belief widely held that they are eternally condemned to be economical with the truth at all times and in all places; and that when a politician greets you good morning, you should take such greetings with a pinch of salt, even when the clock clearly shows the time to still be within the morning hours.

Sincerely, this writer is of the strong view that in the midst of thousands of condemned murderers serving prison terms, they could still be the genuinely innocent ones who got convicted by the technicalities of the law, conspiracy of the prosecutors or other factors, yet they will all be seen by the public as condemned hardened criminals collectively.

That is what politicians, even those with a sharpened conscience suffers innocently most often, especially from persons who will never see anything glorious about other persons and whose stock in trade is to pull down others in a most malicious and despicable manner, fainting grievous issues where there are none.

Members of the public view every member of the condemned murderers in the same mould because the law has pronounced them so, the truth remains that some were only roped in maliciously, it remains a fact that something will happen one day including the possibility of an appeal to a superior court of competent jurisdiction which will most likely exonerate them.

In the case of a politician grouped in the same negative public mirroring of the people called politicians, he/she will always be exonerated by his/her practical actions and utterances, which undoubtedly are self-evident. Many in all countries of the world, presently and in the past stand out by their words and actions and the services they rendered to their fellow country men and women, a service centred on patriotism and love for the progress of mankind as a whole.

This author however is not so concerned with what great men and women in the other parts of the world had and are still doing for their societies but our own society, what it should be and those who carry with them sufficient reservoir of strength of character to fan the embers of development to the desired expectations and fruition.

The Governor of Cross River, Senator Ben Ayade, has by my rating proven both by words and actions that he is a man not cut out to seek power, obtain it and walk through it, picking up vanities, frivolities to satisfy the animal passion and emboldened the ego as had been the signature tune of some in the past and shall continue to be the path and lot of many in the future, but that he was divinely prepared, sent to lead Cross Riverians and other Nigerians in our midst at this time to put in place a solid economic base that will soon allow the state to realize its divine destiny.

He is brought at this time to clean the tears of many, cloth the naked, feed the hungry and the poor, provide shelter to the homeless, justice to those who have been denied such and provide the labourer, his wages, his other benefits and incentives as at when due, because he who is capable of laying bare every thought of man, knows the inner nature of every man has weighed him in a balance and found him worthy to bear this honour; after all, this terrain of service is not unfamiliar to him.

Again, Ayade came with firm and undeviating promises and utterances that in about one month in the saddle so far so good, he has faithfully observed to passionate details. Senator Ayade shortly after being sworn-in as the third democratically elected governor from 1999 to date promised that he was going to pay the salaries of the state workers not necessarily from the Federation Account, but that he will generate enough internal revenue that will enable him to do so. He boldly went ahead to declare that he was going to start paying salaries of the state workers on or before 25th day of each month and at most, 27th.

It is true that not so many believed that Ayade was going to fulfil that promise but regarded it as one of those empty promises which politicians make and deny at any time, which makes members of the public to be sceptical about every utterance aired by them, hence they are viewed as notorious liars. The salary of June which is the first month after the promise was uttered was paid exactly on 25th of the month.

Within one month, Ayade has procured equipment/machines for the take off of the Garment factory, a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement targeted to employ not less than 1000 persons, mostly widows and youths. Within the period under review, the pragmatic and young governor of Cross River has gone to Germany and Spain and other places to conclude arrangements for the smooth take off of the Signature Projects (a super carriage highway) from Calabar through Ikom, Ogoja, and Obudu to Obudu Ranch Resort, and the Calabar Deep Seaport which the Federal Government has given assurance to partner with the state because these projects are held in high esteem as viable projects, and the ground breaking ceremony is planned to be carried out by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Equally, the indiscriminate parking of tankers and trailers along the Murtala Muhammed Highway, Calabar received quick attention from the governor and today that menace has been checkmated; so is the irritating monstrous activities of thugs in the name of revenue collectors has been appreciably ameliorated in less than 30 days of Ayade in the office.

Courageous progressive policy statement in line with the fight against the increasingly unpredictable current global weather associated with global warming has been pronounced to arrest the indiscriminate building along wetlands, streams and water channels which contribute in no small measure to causing erosion, flooding and landslides etc. The collective cry of the people of the state against the activities of the Anti-forestation Task force has also reached the ears of the people’s friendly governor, who has moved swiftly to disband the task force, ordered the arrest of the principal actors, if investigations carpets them as culpable.

I know that many will be quick to point out that it is too early to conclude that Ayade is a success by citing the normal saying that it is not the beginning that matters but the end (the end justify the means¬). My simple answer to such persons is that there will never be any end without the beginning, and that a man started poorly but achieved some progress toward the end of his tenure is not different from the one who performed wonderfully well but could not end in a very good note; head or tail, they are the same.

You will not be just to condemn a man who has started wonderfully well, on the simple reason that he is yet to get to the end of his achievements. Again, here we are not talking about phantom or mirage achievements but achievements and pronouncements that are verifiable and empirical.

This writer is therefore of a strong view that within 30 days in the saddle, Senator Ben Ayade, governor of Cross River has proven true and perfectly aligned himself with the immortal words penned by the British war time Prime Minister, Winston Churchill that “we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”.

I want to add that by his utterances and actions so far as the number one citizen of Cross River, Ayade, a man who rose from grass to grace by tint of hard work , tact, and sheer determination to succeed and be what he had dreamed to become clearly showed that he is more than a politician, as most politicians look solely to next elections; but that he is a statesman because a statesman look to the next generation.

All we need is to give him the necessary support. I think it is the rational thing to do by a sane people. God bless Cross River and Cross Riverians!

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