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Cross River State: A Government or Family Business? By Egbara Emmanuel

From R-L, Governor Ben Ayade with younger brother, Frank Ayade on tour 
Robert Harris, the great Anglo-German novelist (in his Fatherland) noted that “from the pictures sent in for exhibition, it is clear that the eye of some men shows them things other than as they are- That there really are men who on principle feel meadows to be blue, the heavens green, the clouds sulphur- Yellow…”

These visionary impediments and deceits are not only from the eyes of the beholding appreciators’ of arts but also from the eyes of the art-creator- The artist.

And for this reason, Harris added “either these ‘artists’ do really see things in this way and believe in that which they represent- Then one has but to ask how the defect in vision arose, and if it is hereditary the Minister of the Interior will have to see to it that so ghastly a defect shall not be allowed to perpetuate itself- Or, if they do not believe in the reality of such impressions but seek on other grounds to impose them upon the nation, then it is a matter for criminal court.”

The problems that Robert Harris portrays here are akin to what are obtainable in Cross river today. The style of governance, the effectual and emergent realities from the governance, the hidden personal-qualities, intentions and activities of the Governor and his make-belief shows displayed like an artwork, all call for urgent evaluation and criticism, in order to have an ameliorated society in Cross river State.

According to Harris, either the eye of the artists (Ayade and Co Ltd) has a visionary defect and decides to present the deceiving images to the public or the artist’s eye sees nothing but imposes the implied visions on the State.

Two things are at stake here- The visionary erring of the art-creator (Gov Ayade and his lieutenants), and the visual blunders of the art-appreciator (Cross riverians).


In whichever angle it comes, one certainty stands obvious: That what we see, is different from either what it is, or that what we do not see is the protégé-cache of the art-creator (Ayade), concealed in order to make himself the Michael Angelo of our epoch while a mere countryside cartoonist is more professional than him.

Christ, one of the greatest earth-teachers once told his disciples that whoever wants to remove a grain of sand from the eyes of the other should first be sure that there are no logs of woods in his own eyes. I remember the immediate past Governor of Cross river State, Senator Liyel Imoke, the Ogabor that some people today says is better than Ochuole, was pilloried for having put his relatives in government. He was bitterly burlesqued and lampooned because his artistic intentions were portrayed bare in the artefacts presented to the public.

Today, what type of societal leadership do we have in Cross river State? Is it a government or Family business? If it is a government, what type of government do we have in Cross river State? Is it democracy or wolecracy? No! It is but womacracy, Obuducracy, , familiocracy, name them.

A discovery and realisation of the actual operational leadership-typology in the State makes the proposed Cross riverians’ artistic contemplation on the governance-pictures and images portrayed on canvas (infrastructural development) and sculptures (administrative images) possible.

Because as Robert Harris said, “from the pictures sent in for exhibition, it is clear that the eye of some men shows them things other than as they are- That there really are men who on principle feel meadows to be blue, the heavens green, the clouds sulphur- Yellow.”

In Ayade’s government today, how many of his family members are in charge bearing in mind the extended-family ideology prevalent in Cross river?

How many cousin-brothers and sisters are manning what in various commissions, boards, agencies, and contracts, etc?

How many concubines and concupinage-in-laws are his SSAs and PAs, TC Chairmen and Women, etc?

The garment factory that has replaced the position of the conscience of a common man, who honestly owns and manages it?

Certainly, it is one of the members of the Ayade-Family Ltd, the assistant Governor Frank Ayade”.

Is it academically conceivable that while entering a State’s classical citadel of comfort, the first building to behold is a campus shantees, while in other places the first sights are the admin-blocks, libraries, lecture halls, artistry and relaxation courts? It this government or family business in which one scavenges areas where markets will flow fast and enrich the establisher, and thus sees a University as one?

Why didn’t he site a Campus Clinic or use the grandiose fund allocated there to equip the various departmental and faculties’ libraries that will make accreditation this year an easy feat for the lecturers and students in the University, and thus redeem lost accreditations in CRUTECH?

Who owns the garment factory? Is it Cross river State Government or the Ayade-Family Ltd? Why is it very functional today as the Governor’s private-government venture, while the public-government hotel- Tinapa has collapsed? What was the pre-existing perimeter square of the vacant land there to accommodate the edifice? Who ab initio owns the acquired land-Cross river State Government or Ayade and his formers? Is it good governance to acquire government land with Executive acquisition fiat and then turn it to personal usage? Because we no longer know what is own by the state nor those in government Is this stride for government affairs or family business?

If it is not, then as a dependant and protégé of the Ayade-Family Ltd, it is either a self-known or unaware family-business partner.

Sometime past, the reveller than rescuer of Cross river, Ayade attempted in his usual instinctive fantasies to relocate everything to Calabar.

Bail out funds were also expended. When he was lampooned for such, he shrank like the wise land-tortoise. Today, is the erected factory still a State-owned land and property or his personal property?

The Pharmaceutical company under construction who will own it at the end ? Is it the State or the Ayade& Co Family Ltd, perhaps, his most nearest propitious family members or a newer in-law to be acquired over time, will be best for the business?

There is a play in semantics here between the concept of the STATE GOVERNOR and STATE GOVERNMENT. The nuances in the duo make the pictures displayed and exhibited to the public (Cross riverians) a difficult artefact to appreciate, and as such, our eyes as Robert Harris said begin to “feel meadows to be blue, the heavens green, the clouds sulphur- Yellow.” Is the State Governor as an individual person same as the State Government as legal personhood? Can every business established by the State Governor become government’s by virtue of his being the head of the Government?

Can he turn every State Government’s affairs into private family business- That is, can he (being the State Governor) turn that which hitherto used to be government’s to his own as he is the head of the State Government?

These call for decisive rumination, cogitation and ratiocination since they are at the basis of the Ayade-Family Ltd than Government in Cross river today.

Without being biased, we have to rethink on the numerous governance and self-righteous images Governor Ayade display continuously to Cross riverians. Because as Robert Harris said, “from the pictures sent in to cross riverians for exhibition, it is clear that the eye of some men shows them things other than as they are- That there really are men who on principle feel meadows to be blue, the heavens green, the clouds sulphur- Yellow.”

Why this rethink is urgent is as P.D. James puts it (in his Unnatural Causes) that “the words [from Gov Ayade’s mouth], as sometimes happened, came simply and easily.

He wrote them down without pausing to think too much or even to wonder whether he was being sincere.”

We have to revolt as Harris suggests because “either these ‘artists’ [Ayade & Co Family Ltd] do really see things in this way and believe in that which they represent… Or, they do not believe in the reality of such impressions but seek on other grounds to impose them upon the nation [Cross River].

If it is the first, Ayade is a grand deceiver. If it is the second, then it is a matter for criminal court. But whichever it is, it implies visual deceit and obvious concealment of actual intentions from activities displayed for appreciation.

Ayade should sit up before Banana will fall on him in 2019.

Culled from Calabar Reporters
Politics 7609718239708198681

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  1. Hahahahaha... He's beginning to learn. Now, you'd know who's who. When they use and dump them, that's when it appears to them...

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