The Travails Of Ben Ayade BY PHYLO MODLIN ODU

The Travails Of Ben Ayade

Upon the release of the ministerial list, many Cross Riverians were ecstatic not so much at who was appointed, but at who was not appointed. The jubilation at the absence of Ben Ayade’s name on the list has not been so subtle. People are happy that Ayade did not make the list. His demagoguery only held sway in Cross River, he couldn’t cry his way to the ministerial list. Reality should have dawned on him, for a man who left office as governor just yesterday to have earned such disdain and ignominy with which he is being held today.

His administration was a catastrophic disaster, characterized by dubious incompetence and greed that will take several years of deliberate governance to recover from. It is not that people hate Ayade but if they do, he earned it like a medal in Olympics. For 8 years, he abused the sensibilities of the people. Given an opportunity to be governor virtually on a platter, he blew it in a frenzy of high grammar, ridiculous budget nomenclature, bogus and dubious projects that were never completed. They were not aligned with the immediate priorities of the people, even if completed.

He must be a sad man if he has a sense of introspection. He didn’t know that all through the 8 years he held sway and surrounded himself with cheerers and aiders of ineptitude, the real people saw through his sophistry. I hope he gets to now see clearly the condition of the State’s capital, the Ranch, Tinapa, the State’s library, the charade of an Airport in Obudu of which he snatched farm lands, demolished houses and rendered hapless villagers homeless without any means of livelihood and ended up doing nothing. He should introspect on these and all others that he brought to ruin in 8 years and see for himself that, he doesn’t deserve to get any position of service in the name of the State.

Ayade only realized on the morning of his handing over that, his two wasteful terms as Governor had ended. It triggered a vibrating laughter when during his speech, he asked the sworn governor to escort him for commissioning of projects the next day, what he never did in 8 years. Completely hilarious!. Ayade displayed reluctance in the handing over process to Prince Otu; he seemed to have been hustled out of office in the end. If Prince Otu wasn’t pauciloquent, he would have said plenty by now. Even at that, there is little or nothing to be said about Ayade’s prima-donna government that the people of Cross River State do not already know.

To Ayade’s ardent supporters who may want to contest the extent of his decadence, let me help you. Ayade himself set the yardstick or indices for the evaluation of his administration when, in his first inaugural speech, he announced the Super Highway and Deep Sea Port as his signature projects which his administration wants to be remembered for; the flagship achievement. Eight years and several billions of naira after, the Super Highway remained a fictitious project used for jokes, and the Deep Seaport swallowed all the billions allegedly poured into the Bakassi swamps without a sign of any difference from the swamp it has always been. It became tempting to commend his food on the table initiative but barely 3 months after his government and with Prince Otu’s resolve to stem the tide of adorning just anyone, the title of government official, an entitled army of people accustomed to receiving salaries for no work done have started grumbling.

Prince Otu is taking too much time to kickstart a people-centered administration and time is of the essence considering that, it is a misfortune for anyone to have taken over from Ayade. Otu needs to show some enthusiasm in these early days. It is expected that he expeditiously sweetens the State with the common services the people have missed these past years.
1) Waterboard should have been effectively restored and already supplying portable water to residents even if it’s within a stipulated timeframe.
2) People should no longer have to grumble about Waste evacuation. Calabar should return to the days where it is a way of life for residents to awake to a neat environment.
3) House of Assembly should have been sent proposals for road Reconstruction/Rehabilitation in Calabar metropolis so that this raining season can be used to evaluate and consider the proposals and by the short dry season period of Calabar, work can commence.

If Otu prioritizes these key areas for now, the State will be bubbling with the euphoria of a new government and Cross Riverians will support the administration, not the 5 billion naira loan for the renovation of government house I heard he has submitted to House of Assembly for approval.

I am sharing my thoughts not to castigate Ayade as I have done many times while he was still Governor; it’s not necessary, the harm’s already done. But to draw the attention of those in power now; as governor or National Assembly members to learn from Ayade’s present travails so that they understand that, four or eight years is not enough time for incompetence, this opportunity they have should not be abused. The lesson is to act now, intentionally and consistently to the end, in the interest of the people so that at a time you have an interest, the people will stand by you too.

PHYLO MODLIN ODU, is a Cross River journalist. She also sells all kinds of foodstuffs.


Development Consultant, Writer, Editor-In-Chief/Publisher, Public/ Motivational Speaker, Public Affairs Analyst/Commentator, Social Mobilizer of high repute.

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