One irrefutable characteristic common to leaders with an uncommon passion to serve their people and mankind in general, be it in the military, politics, religious and other areas is that they are not in any way afraid of taking action they know will be for the interests of all, they are never scar e of criticisms, they are never afraid to lead from the front, and not from the rear like cowards.
They lead by example, they give directive /command to the people like a real military commander in a battle front, they are ready to confront the enemies’ hosts frontally, employing skills, tact, intelligence and then prowess. They take the bashing on behalf of those they lead and damned the consequences.
Cross River Governor, Senator Benedict Ayade is one leader who has so far proven to possess these rare qualities as succinctly stated above. Presiding over the affairs of a state in financial wilderness due to near zero allocation from the federation account in the past 13 months plus and still able to eke out financial water out of the dry desert rocks to run the Cross River, pay salaries, carry out infrastructure/ social and industrial development is a miracle to Cross Riverians, Nigerians and even foreigners.
As a leader who is vast, multi-talented with an outstanding power of oratory, a true leader and commander, and a knowledgeable one for that instance, refuses to stay back, fold his arms and lament as some will, but rather took the bull by the horns by going to convince and attract down investors to the state to invest in some major areas industrially and educationally. Not even the acidic critics of some Cross Riverians could detract and cause him to defocus from his set developmental course, as he recently stated lucidly that “criticism is an inspirational tonic” to him, it is a motivator, hence rather than cause him sleepless night , it encourages him.
Is there any wonder that recently the former governor of Imo state, Ikedi G. Ohakim described Senator Ben Ayade as the new national reference on leadership?
A fearless commander and leader as he is, when Ayade heard about the security situation in the state while away outside the country, came back and immediately took a very radical proactive measure as a leader who leads his people from the front by calling an enlarged security meeting with the Commissioner of Police, Cross River, all the service Chiefs Army Navy and Air Force) and other paramilitary organizations in the state, and shortly after the meeting, addressed the press and sounded a clear warning to criminals and those who harbor them that the government will go after them.
A day to the enlarged security meeting, Governor Ben Ayade had received the Consul-General of France in his entourage which included some officials of Lafarge company in his private residence, State Housing, Calabar, where the talks did not only centred on business and the water project by the French government in Obubra and Okpoma, but also on security where the governor gave them a firm assurance that the state government will ensure that French companies and other companies operating in the state do so in safety.
In that meeting, Governor Ayade informed the Consul-General of France that Cross River will establish the Cross River Homeland Security Service and formally reported it in the press conference the following day. He said that the Homeland Security would be a non-arm bearing and voluntary outfit that will gather intelligence report, and share such with other security agents.
As a follow up to the security meeting and the press conference, the next day being Saturday, July 9, 2016, Governor Ben Ayade personally led all the service Chiefs, the Commissioner of Police, Cross river and other heads of paramilitary organizations in a ride/track along the streets/highways of Calabar in an operation code-named, “Operation Show of Force”, to give confident to the residents of Calabar that the government and the security agents were fully on ground to protect their lives and property, while at the same time warning the criminal elements that they were coming after them in earnest.
The same day, security personnel were dispatch to all the streets of Calabar to checkmate the activities of criminals, kidnappers, hoodlums and other undesirable elements and characters in the state and Calabar in particular just as Calabar city has been split into 11 security sections for easy coverage and administration by the security agents, and this is to be sustained until the bad guys are flush out.
To ensure that Cross Riverians live in peace and harmony and that there is intra and inter-community harmony, Governor Ayade equally called and had a meeting with traditional Rulers Council in the state and appealed to the natural rulers to ensure that peaceful co-existence and harmony prevails in their various domains, while warning that the state government will decertified traditional rulers who would not maintain peace in their various communities.
Efforts of Governor Ayade especially in the area of ensuring that there is a conducive environment for both local and foreign investors and their investments in Cross River has not gone unnoticed even by the international community as recently the United States through its outgone ambassador to Nigeria emphatically stated that Cross River state remains a favourite state in Nigeria to do business and for investors.
Again, as a leader with the interest of his people rooted deeply in his heart, after ensuring that security personnel were dispatched to Calabar streets to maintain firm security in the metropolis, Ayade also directed the commencement of a radio programme in the Cross River Broadcasting Corporation anchored by Beatrice Akpala, Solomon Asha and Emmanuel Ulayi, to give Cross Riverians and other Nigerians the opportunity to directly seek for accountability and explanation on government policies and programme from agents of government in the various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in Cross River, including the very sensitive issue of security.
Within this short period, five public officers, the Speaker of Cross River House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. John Gaul Lebo, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Joe Oshie Abang, the commissioner for Women Affairs, Hon. Stella Odey, the State Security adviser, Mr. Jude Ngaji and the Commissioner of Police, Cross River, Mr. Jimoh O. Ozi-Obeh have in two radio programmes of one hour each featured and gave explanation/answers to questions from the presenters and the text messages from members of the public to Cross Riverians, other Nigerians and foreigners residing and carrying out legitimate businesses in the state.
In the two programmes, the five official guests from the Cross River government speaking on the topics, “Building the Cross River State of our Dream” and “Security in Cross River State” succinctly and sincerely provided information and answers bordering on what the state government is doing to realize our dream Cross River as well as provide adequate security for lives and property in the state and the responsibility of citizens in that direction.
Cross Riverians and other Nigerians were also given detailed information on the numbers of Bills so far before the CRHA and those already passed into law, the government efforts aimed at ensuring the institutionalization of the culture of quick dispensation of justice, promoting alternative dispute settlement mostly on matters between government and a private citizen or a corporate organization, and the prime place given to women in the present political dispensation as well as effort to ensure that they benefit from the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and other banks incentives/soft loans and grants.
The people are also strongly advised to as from henceforth be more interested on what goes on around them, the activities of their neighbours, and the need for parents to monitor very closely their children activities and friends and that there was also need to return back to hose old time but cherished values and virtues where we were our brothers and sisters keepers. They people were also advised to report any suspicious person or persons and movement to the government and the law enforcement agents for prompt intervention as the Commissioner of Police a d State Security Adviser’s numbers are in public domain including the numbers form the 11 security sections of Calabar.
Investigations by these writers and some of the information received from the public during the two lived radio programmes so far indicates that Cross Riverians and other Nigerians in cross River are happy with the security measures so far taken by the state government, indicating that the administration of Senator Ayade is on track.
Ayade has indeed so far so good proven that he is a leader and commander that can be trusted, and he has shown that by words and action as he has increased allocation to security sector to ensure the adequate protection of lies and property of the people he loves so much.
Indeed, Governor Ayade is a true leader who leads from the front.
Emmanuel Ulayi and Solomon Asha Are Special Assistants to Governor Ayade On Media/Publicity
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