Recently I did an article elaborately on whether Governor Ayade can prove to be a man of his own or a surrogate imposed on the people by the conservative cabal in Cross River politics.
However, as events keeps unfolding, his administrative policies have sparked the urgent need of advisers not necessarily as his cabinet members or from party members but dedicated individuals who want him to succeed as well as to see the state develop.
From the approval of his request to appoint 35 Special Advisers by the Cross River House of Assembly, things have not been the same.
The momentum his administration started with has since dropped as many political watchers have thought that with the lean financial position of the state, Governor Ayade would cut down the cost of governance by reducing the retinue of appointments made by his predecessor.
There are even insinuations that the Governor who has unexpectedly insisted that expanding government would be one of his approaches to curbing the menace of unemployment in the state is rooting towards running a sympathy government to accommodate some of his allies who had hope that there would be given federal appointments under the second tenure (which never came to be) of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The anticipated appointments have had negative effects on several government agencies as everything has been placed on hold because either those who are supposed to head the agencies are in serious lobbying for appointment or are sponsoring their loyalists. The former Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke confirmed this while speaking in the one-day seminar organized by The Bridge Leadership Foundation recently to mark this year’s career day.
Imoke lamented that, since he returned to the state, politicians have been hovering around him for political appointments when they have not demonstrated the commitment to serve.
However, Cross Riverian who belong to this school of thought (cutting down cost of governance) eschewed their bitterness when the Assembly Speaker, Rt. Hon. John Gaul Lebo explained that the Governor has promised to adopt a Chinese method of governance where only conservatives who would appreciate less than half of the salary and imprest received by the former SAs would be given appointment.
This explanation has reduced the tension and fear generated by the pronouncement of the approval of the 35 SAs by the Assembly.
Having settled that, what is likely or already brewing a cold war between the Cross River State government and it citizenry is the rumoured change in the operations of the Cross River State Refuse Management Agency.
The alleged imposition of refuse cabinet or whatever name it is called on the public, is the height of impunity and autocracy demonstrated by the government.
If Ayade sustain this policy where it is alleged that every compound in Calabar will pay over twenty thousand naira (20, 000) for the so called refuse cabinet and five hundred (500) each time the refuse agency come to dispose of it, he would not have only succeeded in creating war among landlords and tenants on how to raise the money but has indirectly given area boys access to people’s compound when at work.
With the upsurge of crime rate in Calabar in recent times, we cannot trust consistent flow of strange faces in our compounds because there is a great possibility that people can even disguise themselves to be from a government agency just to have access to rob.
Cross River as a matter of fact is greatly a civil service state, therefore rather than increase the financial burden on these civil servants whose meager salaries cannot be compared to the enormity of challenges confronting them, the government should peter out ways on how to make policies that would serve their interest.
For instance, the high taxation rate in the state should be reduced to minimal where even small-scale enterprises can operate freely with the hope of maximizing profit and not working for government.
Like the bible says, “the end is greater than the beginning”, having started like a man who understands exactly the problems of his subjects, rather than drop the standard, Governor Ayade should build on his positive beginning to ensure he writes his name in gold in the history of a great Cross River State.
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