The Enigmatic Ayade Benedict BY NOEL UGBONG

In Breaking News, Columnists, National News, Opinion, Politics
Noel Ugbong
Noel Ugbong

His history runs like a Horatio Alger story. The story of that dude around the block who despite holes in his knickers, deliberately chose to dream big, aim high and with enigmatic strides, dedicated focus and painstaking hard work rose from obscurity to deafening popularity.

Many, especially those unbeknownst to his history will find it almost difficult to believe that this same man we celebrate today was once the son of an ordinary man with an ordinary history, who ate ordinary meals at ordinary times , slept on ordinary bed, but refused emphatically to dream ordinary dreams.

His poise to shun impossibilities, couple with the unstaggering enthusiasm to break new frontiers led many to a hasty and illogical conclusion that he was pompous, overambitious and voracious.

It is no news that Ayade Benedict boasted while in Secondary School that he will be Governor of Cross River State one day. In fact, prior to Youth Service, whereas it was the tradition in his time for Corps members to serve as teachers, Ben Ayade boasted to his friend, Inno-kwaz Ugbong that he will not be posted to a school. He went further to bet that while in service, before anyone will visit him to the office, a form will be filled.

It turned out magically that while others were posted to schools, Ayade Benedict was posted to a brewery. To bring to full fulfilment of his prophesy, the head of his department moved out and Ben was made head of the Quality Assurance Department, despite been a mere Corper.

Consequently, by virtue of that office, visitors were handed forms to fill before seeing him. After hearing the story from a mutual friend, Inno-Kwaz decided to experience it in person. To a satisfactory amazement, he filled a form before seeing him.

Some years later, they met again in University of Ibadan. Ben complained bitterly to Inno-Kwaz, what he was made to pass through in a quest to see Professor Damachi. There again, he boasted to Inno-Kwaz that little did those people know that they were dealing with a future multimillionaire, who will even lend money to Damachi (who was one of the richest men in Cross River State then) in future.

Inno-Kwaz almost rebuked him for making such seemingly unrealistic supposition. Where will the money come from? The norm then was to go into lecturing after Ph.D. So, how was he going to make such money to the degree of lending to a multimillionaire?

Confidently, Ben Ayade told him that after his PhD, he was going to work with an oil company. That taking a lecturing job will only be for the ostensible reason of sharing knowledge and for the purpose of becoming a Professor.

Inno-Kwaz argued with him because his area of specialisation wasn’t centred on oil, but Micro Biology. In fact, he outrightly told him that he was fond of saying things that were bigger than him.

That same year, while watching NTA, Inno-Kwaz Ugbong watched awestruck how Ayade Benedict was displaying his Purification Technology alongside some expatriates. Later on that year he met Mr. Placidus Ogar, Ben Ayade’s elder brother who disclosed to him that Ben wrote him a historic letter. In the letter, Ben Ayade told his elder brother that hardship was now a thing of the past in the family. He clearly stated that he, Benedict Ayade has become a millionaire.

That his brother should send him a list of all his problems. Inno-Kwaz was dumbfounded. To bring to complete fulfilment of his prophesy, Inno-Kwaz was surprised when Ben Ayade rescued Obudu Community Bank, which was deep in debt and seemingly insolvent. The Bank was a product of Professor Damachi.

Since then, Inno-Kwaz told anyone that cared to listen that should Ben Ayade say he’s going to be President of the United States of America, don’t doubt him. Five years ago, together with Professor Isika (of blessed memory) and Mr. Mike Oko, I listened to them recounting their Ibadan days; recalling several things Ben Ayade had boasted about, of which they saw as impossibilities but came to fulfilment. History has proven that whatever target Sen. Benedict Ayade sets, he will surpass.

When success becomes a lifestyle, all natural laws and forces will begin to work in your favour. In fact, in later years he could point at some of his peers whom he caused to pursue further education on account of what they considered as his pomposity. He was to laugh and joke about it with the same people as time went on.

The banks supported Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Spaceflight because he has a success story. The reason banks sometimes break rules to support Dangote’s projects is because he has a success story. Consequently, the reason most corporations’ shares are most sought after is because of their success story. That’s the definite reason all of Ayade’s signature projects will have support from the federal government and investors.

Good governance doesn’t happen by chance. The driver must be someone with a saleable name and a track record of inestimable value. Similarly, the driver has to be someone with the interest of the common man at heart. Prof. Benedict Ayade’s generosity is borne largely from the fact that he saw it all as a growing child. He experienced firsthand, the pangs and rigours of poverty and the antecedent scorn it brought. Therefore, he vowed to God that he will do his best to salvage at all times the needy, the vulnerable and the oppressed of the society at every given opportunity.

As an entrepreneur with proven integrity, an inventor who treats errors with zero tolerance, His Excellency Sen. Ayade Benedict has evolved with surgical precision, stellaric interwoven tripartite projects aimed at transforming the lucid fortunes of Cross River State. The model he’s employing is not just tested, but it’s as definite as the rules of mathematics. A new Seaport, a Super Highway and a refinery.

These are the signature projects, even though several other industrial drivers are in the offing. Experts have enthused that unarguably, Ayade is the best thing to happen to Cross River, especially at this point in time. It will be recalled that Professor Ivara Esu heard him delivering his manifesto prior to the Party Primaries and screamed “Stop the search! We’ve found our governor. “Little did Prof. Ivara Esu know he will turn out his Deputy. Dangote listened to Ayade analysing the focal points of his administration. He couldn’t hide his amazement. He tapped Donald Duke and told him “This man truly is a Professor!”

The good news however is that all these projects doesn’t require state funds. Pastor Effizzy of Winners Chapel once said you don’t necessarily require money to own a car or home. According to Brian Tracy, a leader’s job is to stir emotions and set audacious, grandiose goals that shake the status quo. Why did Ayade hit the ground running? Because he came prepared. Because he’d set the machinery in motion long before swearing-in.

It’s not strange that these laudable projects don’t seem to go down well with career cynics and traditional doubters. Nevertheless, it should be expected. When people are used to average projects, it becomes difficult to welcome novel ideas. Alvin Toffler reiterated that the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn. These projects have come under severe attacks by those who complain about the status quo, yet scared of a change from the status quo.

Margaret Chase Smith (1st woman elected to both the US House of Reps and the Senate) said one of the basic causes for all the trouble in the world today is that people talk too much and think too little. They criticise impulsively without thinking. Jim Taylor added that do not badmouth a good idea simply because it is from your opponent. If you don’t have any good thing to say about it, keep quiet.

Now isn’t time to fight ourselves, but to fight backwardness which is our common enemy. The governor is open to all and ready to work with all irrespective of political inclination. So long as there’s something to offer.

Most good leaders turn bad halfway on account of their wives, while others become better on account of their wives. Senator Benedict Ayade is one of the luckiest husbands on earth. He is blessed with a level headed, supportive, unassuming, selfless and endearing wife.

Dr. Linda Ayade on her own part is warming up with her pet projects targeted at ameliorating the material and physical wellbeing of mothers and children. She’s no doubt that wife that brings out the best in a husband.

The choice of Professor Ivara Esu as Deputy was well thought out. Having distinguished himself in various endeavours of human pursuits, it’s expected that Esu will bring his grey hairs to function. Senator Ayade basically needed someone with a fatherly influence.

Based on his antecedents, and for other considerations, let’s join hands and support Senator Benedict Ayade and build our state because we don’t have another. Fighting will only take us backward, not forward.

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