There are always two major phases and faces to life and man’s existence on mother earth. There is the beautiful and favored and the ugly and the disfavored which goes beyond just the mere facial beauty and appearance. Each mortal passes through both phases, faces once or severally in life time.
The beautiful face may be the good things you have done and are appreciated and valued. The ugly face may be the things you couldn’t do so well, the mistakes committed along the road and the acidic and heart rendering criticisms which follows such mistakes and misfortunes by callous men and women. The two sides of life’s coin only asserts the reality that earth life is a mortal school and that nobody can afford to holistically satisfy all the people all the times, irrespective of the amount of sacrifice and sincerity put to such endeavor.
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River state is equally not spared or exempted from these mortal experiences of smooth and rugged road as shown in the past 14 months as the number one citizen of Cross River. He has received criticisms, greater part constructively, few destructively with the intent to pull down; he is still receiving both sides of criticisms now and he will for sure still receive in the future, as that is life and the fate of all men.
The Obudu born Governor of Cross River in all these months has accepted and accommodated with all equanimity of mind, the good in terms of those who accepts and appreciates all his programs and projects as well as those who constructively criticize them or his actions which indicates that he realized that he goofed and accepted such in good faith. He has been calm with the bad, those who destructively and callously criticize the government unjustifiably; and the ugly, those who see both Ayade himself and his overall policies, programs and projects as monumental evils that are not worth the people’s acceptability and trust.
In all these, Governor Ayade has never been seen or heard to have played God or boasted to be infallible, rather what the Environmental science Professor cum politician of the modern breeze has consistently stated is that we have untapped resources which with a collective determination, unquenchable drive and passion, can be harnessed to economically and politically embolden Cross Riverians and take the state to the front burner in the comity of Nigerian states and the African continent.
Ayade has not shown or proven that he is Mr. know it all. Coming up with an alternative route (a six lane super highway) and the Bakassi deep seaport that will help transform the economy of the state and Nigeria after the Federal Government has bluntly refused to the suggestion of expanding the Calabar-Ikom-Ogoja-Katsina-Ala to a four lane highway, or even to carry out a total reconstruction of the road, is certainly not part of playing God, nor does it signify that he proves to know it all, but merely a display of ingenuity, the zeal to overcome and create comfort out of despairs.
Going back patiently to work on the aspects of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as demanded by the Federal Government, receiving visits from the committee on the deep seaport set up by the Federal Government, working with them to ensure all conditions are met does not in any way portray Governor Ayade as a man with irredeemable pride.
The idea of a garment and textile factory, a pharmaceutical company, a refinery, Thai-Africa rice city, Canadian standard of education, 5000 houses for the no income and the low income, harnessing our hydro-electric power potentials, planning to harness our banana potentials for export, establishing a modern poultry farm, working to turn our wastes into wealth and harnessing our abundant solid minerals, does not in any way constitute arrogance.
Spending the state’s lean resources to intervene on highways to mitigate the impact and sufferings which motorists and other road users face daily on the Federal government highways which are completely neglected by the owner who is yet to even refund past expenditure on the roads by the state is a clear sign of humility and not arrogance.
In spite of the above facts and others not captured, as usual and as it is inherent in the nature of some men not to see anything worth praising in another person’s effort, destructive critics have continued in their hellish trade of rubbishing individuals and their works, in this instance, Ayade being the prime target.
Gladly enough, the people of Cross River State and other Nigerians with open mind have continue to express their support and absolute confidence on the policies, programs and projects of Senator Ben Ayade.
It is based on this premise that on Thursday, July 28, 2016, that Cross Riverians across all segments of the society came together and carried out a massive rally in support of the administration of the Governor of the state, Senator Ben Ayade.
The groups which includes South-South Solidarity Forum, Cross River state chapter and others walked around the major streets of Calabar and rounded up the solidarity rally/walk at the Governor’s office where they expressed their unalloyed support to Ayade’s administration and his programs and projects. The Thursday mass rally reenacts the fact that ordinary Cross Riverians and Nigerians with no political motive appreciates and sees the programs and projects of Ayade as pivotal to the envisaged development of the state.
Similarly, the previous day, being Wednesday, July 27, 2016, the Bakassi returnees at the Internally Displaced Peoples’ Camp in Ikot Effiom/Obutong, through their representative, expressed their support to the leadership of Senator Ben Ayade, asserting confidence that governor Ayade has the passion, the drive and the commitment to pilot an administration that will see to their plights within the limit of the state’s resources and provide the necessary connection that will turn both the Federal and the International community attention to the plights of the Bakassi people and their home land.
In line with these patriotic and faithful Cross Riverians, this writer passionately calls on all citizens of Cross River State to join hands together with the administration of Ayade to take the state to the next level, and that criticisms are normal, but should be done with the intent to build for the collective good of all and not to destroy or for personal aggrandizement.
Remember, the process of clearing the grass/burning, tilling/planting, weeding and harvesting goes with enormous task and labour, but the employment of the crops/food items for the feeding of hungry souls is the end produce and the satisfaction of an achievement. We are now in all the aforementioned stages except harvest and eating. Let’s give the laborer, Governor Ayade the benefit of doubt at this stage so we can enjoy the proceeds of the harvest.
Solomon Asha is the Special Assistant, Media/Publicity to Governor Ayade of Cross River State.
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