Before he constitutes the Cross River State Executive Council, Ben Ayade, governor of the state made it clear that those to be appointed commissioners and special advisers must pass through the rigours of an aptitude test. Cross Riverians who have eyes set on heading government boards and members of such boards, it was further revealed, will have to also cross the aptitude test hurdle.
For the uninitiated, an aptitude test is used to like they say; determine an individual’s propensity to succeed in an activity given. I hear it assumes that inherent in the individual are weaknesses and strengths naturally inclined to success or failure and seeks to test, not your knowledge, but your work related perceptions, judgment and reasoning. Painfully, most aptitude tests are designed so that around 1-5% of those who participate in the test will not pass. This latter circumstance is best expressed in the time constraints tacitly put in place to eliminate participants who may lack the ability to think, reason and solve problems, fast enough.
I am sure not many of us saw it coming; even those who saw it coming must have thought it impracticable that ‘mathematical formulas’ will be deployed to solve political equations. But then, this novel reality is Ayade’s; confounding many, intriguing some and annoying others.
People like me in the intrigued category believe POLITICS is too dynamic for anyone to attempt to confine or even reduce it to a classroom experiment? My thinking is that what adds up in a classroom environment hardly makes any sense within the complex processes that are any political setting.
But then, we cannot begrudge any exercise that seeks to put in place people with an in-built ability to think, reason and solve problems FAST ENOUGH because our state presently crawls on all fours. Realistically too and as governor of the state, working on recruiting a crack team, he may be excused for deploying his professorial acumen in this selection process. But then, how do you and I, the common Cross Riverian know what approaches are employed in this novel activity? Are we afforded the opportunity of careless reasoning, the kind that lets us walk away with the believe that those with shrewd political DNAs used to scoop up heated victories for the ruling PDP in the state but lacking classroom articulation are about to take a back seat? In 2019, how will they campaign for Ayade, if he decides to run again? Will these grassrooters be put through an aptitude test to prove the efficacy of their underhand tactics in the field when the elections are around?
Like his sirens, our governor’s actions effortlessly blare and throw up for or against arguments, just like a few enthusiastic mistakes are threatening to take away the lush goodwill his ‘shoki’ steps long cornered for him. I may draw blanks with this submission but I can swear that I have walked into several offices in the state and loads of civil servants are resigned to doing nothing because there is absolutely nothing to do in offices where cables run without electricity. The deafening argument may be that these civil servants get paid their salaries on or before the 25th of every month, but offices still don’t get paid imprests, leaving them unable to fully perform their statutory functions. Can we work out the loss co-efficient to our civil service economy?
One of the post-five months era question on the lips of our people is simple; the people want to know what our dear governor plans to do…FAST ENOUGH…about the bold potholes all over the streets of Calabar. I hear too that those who live in nearby Akpabuyo see a successful trip from there to Calabar as a miracle because their road is in the past. We need help and urgently too so that our super old roads will not threaten Ayade’s super highway, mud in hand.
Dylan William’s six secrets of a happy classroom explicitly tell us that those sitting in the front row in class demonstrate the hands-up habit, “excitedly waving their hands, hoping to answer the question while a greater majority (at the back of the class) will opt out and switch off”. Those eager for appointments have hurried to the front row of the Cross River classroom and are sheepishly waving their hands hoping to be asked a question. Seriously, a great number of Cross Riverians are opting out and switching to wherever. We may only be able to know their destination when Usani Uguru Usani returns to the state with a ministerial portfolio. If our governor crystallizes this information, he will then know if work is to be done.
I advise; governance should not be self-centred, but be all inclusive. Those who voted in our governor are not all of one house, tribe, or colour. The votes came in from Bakassi to Obanliku and boldly imply that we all have a stake in this Cross River. Those who seek the alienation of some work at making our governor unpopular.
Those close to him who have suddenly become overnight Ogas, too busy to listen to the piercing cry of hunger in the land do themselves one favour, they wrestle a community as an individual and if I read Chinua Achebe’s “Arrow Of God” very well, in all the reverence he enjoyed in the village, the mercurial Ezeulu’s story became tragic when he took on the entire village, refusing to eat the sacred yams that should usher in the new yam festival. Ofcourse, a new religion came on and took his invincibility away. Tales are not only for the moonlight, if we must know.
Perhaps it is too short a time to say too much but the hearts of Cross Riverians are becoming heavy, afraid that hope could suddenly turn to despair if Ayade’s science fails… God forbid!
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