One of the Governor’s in Nigeria with a nack for hugging the headlines for a multiplicity of reasons ranging from grammatical bombasticity to outright fan-fare and grandstanding is Gov. Ben Ayade.
While his swag and verbousness has drawn a lot of admiration, There is also a question mark about his leadership style and the application of theatrics in governance. His annual budget speeches; for instance, have continued to elicit a mixture of chuckles and dismay by the share grammatical opulence he displays. His 2020 ‘Budget of Olimpotic Meristemasis still reverberates.
All these may be classified as part of political gamesmanship but when human lives come into the mix it triggers a surge of goose bumps. The current COVID19 pandemic has opened a new vista especially considering the facts that it caught everyone unprepared. No one ever imagined that one day the world would shutdown in the face of an invisible enemy.
In Cross River State, Governor Ben Ayade has perfected the act of churning out one comical nollywood script after the other. From pretending to act as boarder post guard to his numerous unguarded statements to the theatrics of the face mask production; one thing Ben Ayade has failed to take into account is the risk to human lives in his state.
The 33 medical Doctors under the employ of his state; who for the fear of loosing their jobs have opted to soldier on with long faces have raised the flag at various times about the huge number of contact traces that have not been followed up in Cross River state. One of the doctors confided that a neighboring state sent a list of almost 30 contacts who are still to be tested.
No one is sure that since the COVID19 pandemic episode launched off, the Cross River State Government has published any statistics showing how many tests have been conducted so far and in which labs. One is tempted to think the Professor is playing a game of numbers as far as the COVID19 pandemic is concerned.
In spite of this obvious act seeming of abdication of his responsibilities, Gov Ben Ayade still has his hoard of admirers. But governance shouldn’t just be about fanfair but meeting the needs of the masses. COVID19 shouldn’t be politicized!
Etang Obatem, a public affairs analyst, writes from Ogoja.
This article was first published in The Cable.
NOTE: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Etang Obatem and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.
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