By Goddie Akpama

Congratulation Mr Governor for your efforts towards ensuring Cross River State is COVID 19 free as declared by  NCDC. Well done sir.

In the first for years of his administration, the Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, had as
many as 6,000 appointees, with most of them venturing into the corridors of power for the first time.

For about four years, some of them served as Special Advisers, Senior Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants, Special Assistants, Board Members, Task Force Members, Special Committee Members etc.
This appointments were in addition to thousands of others employed into  various units of the state  service.

The appointments which from every ramification is an audacious expansion of government has been explained by the Governor as a " Food On The Table " policy of his administration.

As far as Sir Ben Ayade's administration is concerned, that policy has not changed. In a few day's time, Governor Ayade would be marking the first one year of his second term in office, and everything about the appointments made so far indicates that he has not abandoned his food on the table policy. As was the case during his first term, the Governor has been steadily bringing in a large number of people on board to support him in piloting the affairs of the state.

Yes, Governor Ayade's style of bringing so many people into government appears strange and has been criticised mainly by his opponents who are in the minority.

Since this minority group of mainly failed politicians, who have become arm chair critics, have easy access to the social media they go about telling blatant lies, and peddling dangerous rumours about the appointments made by Governor Ayade's administration.
Some of them have even described the appointments of large number of persons, especially youths, into the state government as capital flight.
This is ridiculous! When did giving people employment and paying them salary and allowances become capital flight? Honestly, this is all we hear from them.
These armchair critics, some of whom will easily jump at any appointment offered them by Ayade.

But the silent majority whose views I am expressing would tell you that the current administration in the state is one that has touched the ordinary man the most since 1999.
The silent majority will tell you that almost all, if not all the 196 wards are represented in government as per Governor Ayade's appointments. Aside from the fact that some of the appointees are husbands , wives, fathers and mothers, they are  uncles, aunties, cousins, nieces, nephews, and in-laws in their respective capacities.
So on your own, you can imagine  the number of people, dependant of these appointees, that the Ayade administration has touched positively courtesy of the salaries and allowances paid to these thousands of appointees.

For a compassionate man as Sir Ben Ayade, that is one of his numerous ways of putting food on the table of Cross Riverians. Add to that the industrialization policy of his administration, and his deliberate policy of creating employment by expanding government.

If appointing at least 6,000 people and more nto government, and paying them salaries of nothing less than a  N100,000 monthly amounts to capital flight, so be it. The fact is that the monies paid to these young men and women has not developed wings into some foreign bank accounts as witnessed before May 29, 2015.
 So, the silent majority who reside mostly in the rural areas are saying they appreciate such capital flights because most of them are direct beneficiaries.

These people who are in the majority, but not usually on the social media are of the opinion that no administration before Ayade's was this favourable to them. In their words: " we have never had it so good."
It is an undisputable fact that the Ayade administration has been able to reach out to this extent despite the fact that the Governor inherited a state that is highly indebted and financially insolvent, yet he is able to squeeze water out of stone for the teeming masses to drink.

Look at the average age bracket of the appointees; 30 years at most. Nobody has ever given young men and women the opportunity of experiencing public office more than Prof. Ayade. These youths who have been appointed in their thousands is an appreciable departure from the old order of youths being the leaders of tomorrow, but never given the opportunity to undergo tutorials in the rudiments of public administration.

 But,Governor Ayade has changed all of that and has given the youths who are leaders of tomorrow to start learning the ropes of leadership.
And don't say I told you because I know you have seen it.

The administration of Governor Ben Ayade has improved the economic fortunes of young men and women in the state. Go round, make enquiries if you are in doubts, and you will be told the owners of the new houses under construction, and most of the new investments in town.

That does not mean the elders are neglected. Our traditional rulers, community leaders, religious leaders, opinion leaders, senior citizens are all full of praises to Governor Ayade. You know this elders traditional rulers, and religious leaders have seen it all, so they call a spade by its name

If Governor Ayade has not done well, they would have said so. If Governor Ayade had neglected them, they would have shouted out at the top of their voices.
And as I sign off for now, I want to remind us that it is not just "food on the table" alone. The Governor had long ago added " hands on the plough " to his policy of ensuring every Cross River child does not go to bed hungry. This explains why all government appointees are in the field assisting Governor Ayade in this period of the Coronavirus pandemic, to battle day and night in ensuring the virus does not sneak into Cross River State. And, so far, the Governor and his team have succeeded in keeping the Coronavirus at bay.

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