Your Excellency, today is a very special day in your life and I’m glad to join all Cross Riverians at different stations and strata of life at home and abroad to celebrate this day with you.
Sir, I’ve refused to be in the vanguard of those who are still reeling in the contention in view of the specific year you were born. Even though that issue is still agitating the minds of so many of our people. The serial “mistakes” that were made in filling those forms at different levels of your milestones gave credence to these agitations.
In my considered opinion you were born between 1966 and 1968, judging from your own records. For me, my beloved Governor was born on a certain date and that reality is incontrovertible irrespective of the disputed, disjointed and incoherent records in his kitty.
Your Excellency, you have been on the saddle for almost two years now and it is obvious that I’ve not been at one with your style of governance and economic development paradigm. That does not make you my enemy in any way. I’ve got no human enemy anywhere in the world. I love you and my respect for you is absolute.
However, some of your aides and members of your very bogus and expansive government think there is something sinister about my disposition to your government. I believe that if a leader separates truth from loyalty, what he gets is a cruel combination of sycophancy and hypocrisy. You maybe getting this combination in full measure as you steer the ship of our dear state at the moment.
To make great strides as a leader, particularly political leadership, loyalty and truth must be seen as Siamese twins. For some of us, we have chosen to speak truth to power no matter whose ox is gored. A leader is as good as his lieutenant. “The buck”, they say. “stops on the desk of the leader”. Reflect on this!
Your Excellency, a critical look at the crowd you are working with shows that you were lucky to have made two excellent picks in the duo of my very good friend and brother, the cerebral and highly intelligent Prof Austine Angba and the beautiful, young and hardworking Dr Betta Edu.
Austine Angba on assumption of office as Rector of Institute of Technology and Management (ITM), Ugep met that citadel of learning in almost irredeemable tatters. By dint of hard work, prudential management of very scarce and almost non availability of financial resources combined with a rigorous discipline of the academia is turning now the tide for good, all to your credit, Your Excellency. This Yala-born Professor of Agricultural Economics has shown that there is a stock of unsung heroes in our midst.
Betta Edu on her part has shown good drive and passion with youthful energy in delivering the goods with respect to primary healthcare services across the state. As the D.G Primary Heath in the state, Dr Edu is making us very proud. Betta inherited a comatose primary health sector in the state but her deliverables are very visible even to the blind. Dr Betta Edu is fast carving a niche for herself as the young lady with the Midas touch in Cross River health sector, very much to your credit,Sir.
Your Excellency, if you would take out time on this auspicious occasion of your birthday to reflect on the crowd you are working with and do the needful pruning to a sizable team, I’m sure you will achieve unbelievable result. No leader succeeds with the crowd. Think about this!
Sir, it is believed in some quarters that your inordinate desire to maintain the occupancy of the Peregrino House in 2019 is taking a toll on your deliverables to the people. Remember that you were given a four year mandate and until you deliver stellar performance at this time, it is unlikely that our people will renew the mandate in 2019.
Your Excellency, don’t be deceive by your party structure that you have in your palms, there is a massive build up of APC as a formidable opposition to give you a run for your cash. You must appreciate the fact that there is a different party at the center with a new Sheriff in town. Historically, our people have always had the penchant to align with the government at the center with regards to political party affiliation. Reflect on this!
Your Excellency, it is believed that there is no governor in our recent history who parades a bag of failed promises like you. In fact, your status as a governor with unfulfilled promises is now legendary. Unarguably, you are the most traveled governor compared to your predecessors within the short stint of less than two years.
Sir, our people have seen clearly that what they have in return in all your global escapade is more than a lorry load of MOUs with absolutely nothing tangible to show. You have been nicknamed, “The MOU Governor”. Reflect on this and do a thorough introspection.
Your Excellency, the bang of your siren blaring is up to the skies and the nuisance value is almost unbearable for our people. As a professor of environmental sciences, you know the adverse effect of excessive noise pollution. Again, your academic laurels and standing as a former university don with a professorial attainment in environmental sciences has become an issue of serious controversy and debate among our people. This controversy is not farfetched owing to your vision of constructing the magnitude of a project like the superhighway without an acceptable EIA and the dirty nature of Calabar today under your watch. Take a deep reflection here, Sir.
Sir, our people are getting increasingly persuaded that you are on a voyage of a wild goose chase on the pretext of your much vaunted and touted, “Signature Projects”. Take a deep reflection here, Your Excellency.
Your Excellency, there is so much to reflect on as our people are yearning with great expectation for the delivery of the much desired dividends of democracy. Please take a deep reflection on the aforesaid issues.
Once again, I join your family, government and the people of Cross River State to wish Your Excellency a happy birthday with a profound desire to see a better you in the years ahead.
Happy Birthday Sen.(Prof) Benedict Ayade, Executive Governor of Cross River State.
Missang Oyama, an Economist and a Social Commentator, writes from Lagos, Nigeria.
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