Beyond the daily propaganda you read on newspapers and social media, put forward by governor Ayade’s minions to launder his image and mislead Cross Riverians and indeed Nigerians into believing how “wonderfully well” their master is performing, the truth remains that every move of the government is targeted at creating an opportunity to plunder the state’s scarce resources. The governor has proved time and again to not miss any opportunity to make money for himself out of the worst situation, even if that means further impoverishing the good people of the state. Just two weeks ago, the government requested each LGA to donate to the state the sum of N50 million as their contributions to the fight against COVID-19, at this time when governments all over the world are looking for ways of getting monies across to the smallest units of governance. We didn’t hear the federal government of Nigeria ask states to contribute any money to fight COVID-19, neither did the governors of other states make any such directives to their local governments, only Senator Ayade. Only the governor who is yet to conduct local government elections is already placing financial demands on them. What height of greed!
Also, within the last two weeks, despite the cronic financial lack that COVID-19 has occasioned across the globe, Cross Riverians have a cloak of N300,000 fine hanging over their heads should they not put on a nose mask the government did not provide. In all these, we are not aware of any palliative that the government of Senator Ben Ayade has given to Cross Riverians (we would be glad to learn of any). Ayade is more of a tax collector leader than a charismatic one.
Cross Riverians may also be aware that in September of 2019, the government of Senator Ben Ayade delisted at leat 3000 workers from the state’s payroll, among whom are 500 Science and Mathematics Teachers (an action that is rightly being challenged in court presently), on the ridiculous excuse that the state’s wage bill was too high, yet thousands of political appointees have been brought into the same payroll by the governor, some of them with no real offices or job specifications.
Governor Ben Ayade prefers to pay N150,000 to each of the thousands of his appointees to flock around him chanting ‘the digital governor’ even when his policies are analogue, to paying N50,000 to a science teacher in whose hands lie the task to mold younger Cross Riverians to fit into the future they have dreamt for themselves. Does this not contradict the man who is a professor of science? Or would Ayade rather that he’s the last professor of science in Cross River state?
To further his administrative confusion, the government of Ayade is proposing to employ another 8000 staff into the service “in order to reduce public anxiety, youth restiveness and lower social tension”, according to the SSG, Barr. Tina Banku Agbor. In actual sense, it’s not about reducing public anxiety, youth restiveness or lowering public tension, it’s about how much Ayade and his cronies will be able to fritter away. At the end of the day, whether we like it or not, only about 40% of the employees will be real, the remaining 60%, ghost workers. This way, 60% of the N240 million that should have gone to the 8000 staff as monthly pay will go into the cabal’s pockets. That is, Ayade and his cronies will fleece the state of at least N144 million each month using the conduit called “Covid-19 Sustainable Livelihood Palliative “.
If it was about reducing public anxiety, youth restiveness and to lower social tension, the thousands of civil servants including 500 science and Mathematics teachers that have not been paid for seven months now would have been paid, especially at such a critical time as this. These are all youths 30 years on average. Who then are the youths Governor Ayade is talking about? If there is anyone that is anxious, restive and tensed, it is a genuinely employed and confirmed youthful civil servant whose wages have been denied for seven months. It costs only about N25 million monthly to pay science and Mathematics teachers per month, much less than the N240 million for 8000 staff proposed by Ayade. Clearly, this rubbishes his claim that he delisted Science and Mathematics teachers as well as other staff from the payroll due to lack of funds to pay them. In reality, the government prefers to employ new staff to paying existing ones because employing new staff provides them an opportunity to insert ghost workers and take the money for themselves.
Ayade should quit deceiving himself because the majority of Cross Riverians can very well see how shambolic his handling of state affairs have been from beginning, and we know fraud when we see it.