I was simply flummoxed when the news broke out yesterday that the Cross River State House of Assembly approved the request of the Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State for approval to appoint 35 Special Advisers! For goodness sake what is Governor Ben Ayade doing with 35 special advisers in a poverty stricken and debt ridden state like Cross River State that cannot pay civil servants salary?
I submit that the approval of the House of Assembly for Governor Ayade to appoint 35 Special Advisers is totally scandalous and indeed thoughtless. This has once again proven beyond a shadow that the Cross River State House of Assembly is pliant, compromised, and dependent and a lackey of the executive branch of government.
I urge the Cross River State House of Assembly to be alive to its constitutional functions and responsibilities and stop behaving like an appendage of the office of Governor Ayade.
One of the responsibilities of the Cross River State House of Assembly as spelt out in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) is to be a watch dog and curtailer of the excesses of the executive branch of government.
It is total madness for the Cross River State House of Assembly to blindly approve such a large army of Special Advisers for a small bureaucracy like the one we have in Cross River State in this austere time! Again I asked what the heck Governor Ayade is going to do with 35 special advisers.
One would have expected that with dwindling revenue from the Federation Accounts Governor Ayade would run a small and lean government alas the approval of 35 advisers by the House of Assembly has put pay to that expectation.
In States such as Oyo, Kaduna etc where there is resemblance of seriousness in governance their Governors have cut down or trimmed the number of commissioners, special advisers and other paraphernalia of the large and needless bureaucracies they paraded over the years because of the prevailing financial glut these States are experiencing. Why is Cross River not taking the cue from these States?
Recall President Muhammadu Buhari requested the National Assembly to approve the appointment of only 15 special advisers. So if the Federal Government with such a bloated and large bureaucracy can make do with 15 advisers; what is Governor Ayade doing with almost three dozen advisers? Governor Ayade ought to have taken a cue from President Buhari.
I make bold to submit that the request of Governor Ayade that the House approve unwieldy crowd of 35 advisers once again accentuates the frivolity of the present dispensation.
Undeniably having a crowd of 35 advisers and a cabinet of many Commissioners would definitely take a serious toll on the stressed and strained State economy. This is madness in another form.
Sincerely, I do not think that Governor Ayade needs more than six special advisers.
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