Anybody can admire anyone. It is a free world. Some residents of Cross River State and citizens of Nigeria would openly announce their love for Governor Ben Ayade as he has announced his love for President Muhammadu Buhari. Equally, others would openly announce their dislike of Governor Ben Ayade as Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State announces his dislike of President Buhari. Yet both Governors belong to the opposition party – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). That is the beauty of democracy.
It is against this background that LinCornellah’s blog notes the courage of Governor Ben Ayade for reportedly stating that he loves the style and ability of President Buhari as leader of Nigerians. Governor Ayade reportedly praised the President for streamlining Nigeria’s resources and tackling corruption. According to the online report (Nigerianeye, Saturday August 27, 2016), Governor Ayade added that his membership of the PDP has not stopped the President from showing him love.
Many Nigerians have remained ardent admirers of President Muhammadu Buhari. However, times are tough in this country and Buhari’s name is almost getting synonymous with hardship. Nowadays, it isn’t uncommon for people to say “na Buhari cause am”, whenever they cannot meet their financial obligations, debatable as it may be.
Moreover, times are tough in Cross River State, where Professor Ayade governs. This is being worsened by the deplorable conditions of major roads and highways in this state. Also, electricity and water supplies have become more epileptic in most parts of the state. Although the Governor deserves commendation for living up to his promise on prompt payment of salaries to civil servants, government’s entire workforce has not been carried along in this respect. Staff of Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) and the Local Government Service still suffer the burden of delayed and irregular payment of salaries.
Therefore, this may not be the best time to announce one’s admiration of any of Nigeria’s political leaders, especially the President. LinCornellah’s blog wonders what Governor Ayo Fayose and members of the PDP would make of Governor Ben Ayade’s comments on President Buhari, as reported. Governor Fayose and most members of PDP regard President Buhari as a dictator. They have consistently urged Nigerians to rise in condemnation of the President’s “emerging dictatorship”. Governor Fayose particularly, castigates the ruling party’s crusade against corruption and blames the President for being responsible for the former British Prime Minister’s perception of Nigeria as a “fantastically corrupt” country.
It takes courage for Governor Fayose to say the things he says about President Buhari. Also, it takes boldness for Governor Ayade to announce his admiration of the President, as he has reportedly done. The point here is that people’s perceptions of individuals would always differ.
Nonetheless, our leaders should keep doing their unselfish best, despite widespread criticisms. They should be tolerant of such criticisms. Posterity would judge them by their actions, not by people’s perceptions of such actions.
- Cornel Ellah