Ayade: Why The Leaders Must Speak Now BY DOMINIC KIDZU

In Breaking News, Columnists, Opinion

By CrossRiverWatch Admin

One by one, visitors from foreign lands are pouring into town to see the quiet revolution that is unveiling in Cross River State. One by one, they have left the state, bearing tales of wonder, punctuated by accolades, hyphenated by amazement and crowned with garlands. Tales that tell the story of Ben Ayade, the much doubted, much vilified Governor of Cross River State and the industrial revolution he has plotted and is executing in spite of all odds.

The other day it was retired Col. Paul Edor Obi who was aghast upon visiting the Industrial Park. Then, the enigma of Akwa Ibom state, Godswill Akpabio, Senator and former Governor came to town and wanted to see what others were discussing in whispers.

At the Industrial Park he had so many encomiums to shower on Governor Ayade for the various industries coming through. “I believe Cross Riverians are good Christians who pray for Ayade daily, because just as the Bible says, I have opened for thee the door of prosperity which no man can close. What this means is that the door of progress for Cross River, whether in recession or poor allocation from Federal Government is now opened and God will continue to multiply for the state as evident in what is on ground already.”

He went further to school our people on the morale of keeping a wining team on the field and endorsed Ayade for second term.

How can we be so blessed and yet remain so ambivalent, even allowing the rooster to take credit for sunrise. It is just a few months to Primaries, yet the salt of our corner of the earth, the high and mighty of the land, the former this and former that are still taciturn, their visage, a tabula rasa.

All one hears are tales of conspiracies in readiness to spring upon the system like a tense bow and rent the political space into bits, in vanquishment of the status quo ante. All we hear in hushed tones as the froth of beer takes ownership of the wanton moustache is: “Senator Liyel Imoke is bringing somebody to take over”. All we see is the wry smirk of the all – knowing civil servant at the canteen corner reeling out tales of how “Donald Duke is supporting someone from the South.”

And yet all these afternoon tales that are spreading like wild fire in the harmattan might yet be untrue.

The time has come for our leaders to speak up. The time has come for our leaders to close ranks and give our state a boost of hope and unity. The time has come for Senator Liyel Imoke to lift Senator Ben Ayade’s hand in front of the public gallery and say to the people: “This is the Governor I put in office, I will stand by him to the end!” That can only be the path to honor and statemanship.

Even as I humbly avail myself this writing opportunity to convey to their excellencies, sincere sentiments of their high esteem, I respectfully request them to come out and make a bold statement before the foolish passions of a misguided and infatuated population are let loose on the land in the days to come.

Every generation has its challenges and it’s choices. Between 1999 – 2007 the challenge was that Cross River as a state was unknown and unsung.

Donald Duke stepped unto the plate and gave our state an identity. He made Cross River a destination for all Nigerians to strive to visit.

Between 2007 – 2015, Liyel Imoke opened up the state to the hinterland. He created roads where no one ever contemplated that roads could be built on the state’s paltry budget. Today access to farm produce and for that matter, to markets, is no longer the challenge it was before Imoke became Governor.

Ben Ayade has chosen to industrialise the state and diversify it’s revenue base. Ayade believes that his industrial revolution will create additional funding for the state and provide employment opportunities for the people.

Where he to find the funds and support that he requires and diligently implements his agenda in this area, Cross River should be the best for it and our forlorn youths hanging around like congenital pests should find work for their hands as well.

We have entered another election season and politicians have began traveling migration routes. We have entered the season of gossip, of tales by moonlight, where the snitch is the survivor and the praise singer is the winner.

The season of betrayals, back – stabbing and disproportionate reward. It is in this same season that men of power and mettle must speak to us clearly, without ambiguity about the direction to the future.

And in doing so, these men of power must of necessity understand that the boys of yesterday, have become men today, and the toys and fripperies of yesterday may no longer suffice. They must understand that although they left us as poor as the met us, many years have come and gone, and we may no longer be willing to run the errands we used to run for them, less our growing children discover us going to fetch firewood for men who may well belong to our age grades. Every generation has its own dance, we cannot introduce a new dance now, because one former this or former that says so.

We may no longer be willing henchmen and attack dogs to be deployed at will after every elite disagreement, or disappointment.

Sigmund Freud wrote of the three revolutions which have dispersed and overturned the old visions – Copernician Darwinian and Freudian.

No one can claim to represent or speak for all epochs or to interpret the human condition of the people in its entirety all the time. That sort of assumption and old sort of nobility would be akin to the constant conflict between fathers and sons about what each considers as correct in terms of fashion, culture, lifestyle and worldview.

Our past leaders were without a doubt, geniuses, who deployed their gift of genius and hard work for the greater good of all of us.

However, a new age must unveil it’s own geniuses, who in turn must find solutions for the new and ever evolving challenges of the new times.

The great bickering over style and method, and contradistinction of what is, and what use to be, are clearly redundant. What is of profitable event are the results, and for now, the jury is still out, but should be back with a verdict in the fullness of eight years.

Dominic Kidzu is the Special Adviser to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River on International Donor.

NOTE:Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Dominic Kidzu, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.

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