In Acts 19: 6, we are told that, ‘’During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us’.’’
The same situation seems to be playing out in Cross River State in the present. The Government of Senator Ben Ayade is presently faced with a myriad of problems, which His Excellency, has for the umpteenth time, assessed as surmountable.
And he has consistently solicited for all well-meaning groups and individuals to partner with him in his quest to reposition Cross River State – economically, socially, culturally and politically, as the case may be.
His message to all those who believe they have things to offer, in my opinion, is like the situation in the Bible. He seems to say: for those of you who stand in good stead to help us, instead of being unduly and destructively critical and sanctimonious, come over to Cross River State and help us.
We must all rise above the present disruptive and distractive cacophony and start thinking as Cross Riverians, who have no other state, but this one only. This state belongs to all of us – including those who disagree with Senator Ben Ayade.
I want to underline my article with an anecdotal story about the late US President, Abraham Lincoln, as remembered by Goodier.
We are reminded that during the topsy-turvy American Civil war, a delegation of well-meaning patriots tried to impress upon the President the gravity of the war.
They implied that his administration was neither as wise nor good as it ought to be. Which alluded to his being reticent and complacent in the affairs of the state. He listened carefully, then responded with a memorable narration.
He told them that he once had a neighbour who found himself in a tight situation. He was traveling home one dark and rainy night. There were few bridges in the country and he came to a stream that he would have to ford. But because of the darkness and the rain, he couldn’t see well enough to know just where the stepping stones were, to enable him to cross.
Lightning flashed and he saw his way for the briefest moment. But the man was perplexed because there seemed to be more thunder than lightning. He was convinced that every lightning flash was followed by several loud dins of thunder.
The poor man just stood at the edge of the stream in his confusion about how to proceed. He finally prayed, “O Lord, if it is just the same to you, give me more light and less noise.” The delegation clearly got the point that the president needed more solutions and less complaining – more light and less noise.
In this world that we live in, I have discerned the following:
a) Some people are more like light and others are more like noise.
b) Some people shed light on solutions, others only make a lot of noise about the way things are.
c) Some people help us to see the situation more clearly, others just sound off about who is to blame.
d) Some people show a better way, others raise uproar about the present course of action.
e) Some people offer to help, while others wail about the problems.
We are all witnesses to how the sun rises every morning and sheds light, vanquishing the night’s darkness. But the cock also rises every morning and makes noise or clamour, which does nothing about the darkness. If we all decide to contribute to the light today and less thunder, things will be different. I have chosen to be more like the sun, than the cock.
I pray that we all should always remember that we need to mould a state that all of us and the future generations would be able to tolerate. We should choose life…’’choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live’’ – (Deutronomy 30:19).
I have chosen to be the light and not the noise. “I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and He heard me out of His holy hill…Thy blessing is upon Thy people. Selah.” – (Psalm 3: 4-8)
Orok Otu Duke is the Chairman, Cross River State Sports Commission.
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