At the thanksgiving mass in honor of Justice Emmanuel Agim, on his elevation to the Supreme Court, at the St. Patrick Catholic Church in Calabar yesterday, Governor Ayade, after launching the 2022 harvest theme and donating N25m, reportedly told the Bishop John Ayah, who came from Uyo to Calabar that, “Before you depart for your station from Calabar, I will whisper to you.” A euphemism for “I will send money to you.”
And Bishop Ayah replied: “Kindly add the whisper to the salary of your workers and pay them, I don’t need it.” And the congregation spontaneously sprang up and gave the Bishop a standing ovation. As Governor Ayade navigates his remaining 294 days in office, there are abundant chances that many more of those kinds of situations will repeat themselves. Whether in the church or village playground or even campaign grounds, he will be booed in many places publicly and with more audacity.
Whether those who work with him tell him the truth about the reality outside the security wall around him or not, honestly speaking, a greater majority of Cross Riverians are unhappy with Governor Ayade. Even on his own verified Facebook page, they aren’t sparing him there with invectives whenever he does a new post. Even his own appointees are some of his most acerbic critics then they come out to praise sing him.
While this turn of events and trend should not be encouraged or pampered, it can also be argued that it is becoming inevitable because it is difficult to point to anything that Governor Ayade has done that is functioning effectively. The governor should rather realize now that people are tired of his big grammar and his public drama. It used to sound like music in their ears when they still thought things would change under him.
His songs and shoki dance steps used to ‘ginger’ the crowds. The town used to be grounded and emptied into the airport when he returned from his frequent trips. Now he doesn’t get up to a dozen welcomers. He should also stop thinking that people will continue to genuflect when he mentions money in those public events. They are building their hopes on the next person already. The Governor has to search for urgent results to showcase to a frustrated population. Everytime he has a public outing henceforth, he has to find and point to what he has done that is working and stop the propaganda about how he has built this and that, which have all never worked.
Until he can show functional results no matter how minimal, he should expect more public hostility even from unexpected quarters as his days in office get thinner.
Citizen Agba Jalingo is the Publisher of CrossRiverWatch and a rights activist, is a Cross Riverian and writes in from Lagos.
NB: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Agba Jalingo and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.