By Solomon Asha/Emmanuel Ulayi
The main idea of government is not just to run an organized society with civilized laws to guide human conduct and man’s relationship with his fellow man but also to ensure the provision of the right environment for the expression of the full potentials of the citizenry and services that will bring happiness at least at the basic level to all in such a state.
To ensure the realization of the above objectives, every society or modern state must as a matter of necessity have their citizens train in all fields of human endeavours at least at the basic level while those with the financial and requisite intelligent quotient obtain such training that will take them to the peak of their areas of specialization and become specialists in such areas.
It was based on the imperative of people specializing in different fields/areas, be experts to be able to provide the best of services for the good of the state and its people that one of the most prolific philosopher in the ancient whose writings equally wielded enormous influence in the intellectual world, Plato, a student of Socrates in his wisdom divided the state into three class of the Philosopher-King, the Guardians or Soldiers and the Artisans or professionals of all fields of human endeavours. Plato said that no society will be complete without the aforementioned.
The beauty of Plato philosophical and ideological postulations clearly solidifies the very germane saying that square pegs should be put in a square holes, meaning that the right persons with the right professional training and knowledge should be placed to take charge of areas commensurate to their professional competence.
In the other words, a man who study Accounting should not be put in a position to head medical practitioners or become Chief Medical Director and vice versa, meaning that a round peg should not be put in a square hole.
Following the philosophical schooling/orientation of Plato, it will not take a clear and logical thinking individual to see that his postulations are rooted on integrity and ethical principles.
It is in line with this same philosophical and ideological orientation that the Governor of Cross River State, Senator Benedict Benyaushuye Ayade recently set up a 3-man screening Committee to evaluate all nominees for the positions of Commissioners, Chairmen and members of Boards, Agencies and Parastatals, and Special Advisers to undergo integrity and aptitude tests after which their names can now be sent to the Cross River House of Assembly (CRHA) for confirmation.
Speaking through his Special Assistant on Media and Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Christian Ita, Governor Ayade explained that the aforementioned nominees for the said positions will be subjected to ethical measurement with the intention to ascertain their preparedness or otherwise to function in the new order where accountability and transparency is not only preached but has become the norm or watchwords.
The aptitude tests screening committee is chaired by an Abuja based renowned legal luminary, Mr. Paul Erokoro with Rev. (Mrs.) Grace Ekanem and the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Martin Orim as members of the committee.
It is clear that the essence of our dear governor coming up with a screening committee for the said nominees is purely to ensure that those to be saddled with the task of heading their various ministries, boards, agencies and parastatals, contributing to the running of the state through their inputs at the State Executive Council meetings, are not only square pegs in square holes, but that they are men and women with proven integrity bolstered with solid ethical foundation that will drive them to stand for accountability and transparency in accord with the new order of things which are the watchwords of his administration.
Ayade’s pronouncements, body language and actions lucidly points towards the direction as a result of his robust ambition to change the well-known mentality of our people by preparing them ahead of time for the various opportunities that abound in the 21st century; and to succeed in doing that it has become imperative that he works with a tag team, a think tank as members of the State Executive Council and other persons who will be the heads of boards, agencies and parastatals in the state.
From his previous experience over the years both in the private and public sector, the governor is aware that competence is a particular area of specialization that is a sin-qua-non towards the provision of qualitative service delivery at whatever level such services are required; but Ayade is equally not unaware that beyond competence, there are two of the most important virtues, accountability and transparency, without which the delivery of such services whether in the public or private sector will not be successfully achieved.
It is therefore based on this reality that governor Ayade is going all out to make sure that those who will at the end of the day emerge in the already mentioned positions are men and women who fully appreciate the vision, drive and pragmatism with which he came with into leadership/statecraft.
Ayade should be commended for this bold initiative of bringing innovation of letting government appointees at the said levels realize that it is not business as usual in the new Cross River State being driven by him and for them get it clear from the onset that competence plus accountability/transparency, integrity rooted in ethical values is the driving force of his administration; hence they need to pass the said aptitude tests to shape in to the other side or remain on the this side of the line.
Indeed, by this singular act, Governor Ayade is steadily bringing the most sorts of innovation into statecraft and governance. When there is a total innovation in the way governance is being run, there will equally be a complete transformation in every compartment of the state and the people of the state will be better for it.
Solomon Asha and Emmanuel Ulayi are Media Aides to Governor Ayade.
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