By Christian Ita
„If I have seen farther than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.“
The above quote by the great 17th century scientist, Isaac Newton, aptly captures the charismatic and leadership style of Governor Benedict Ayade.
This explains why his dreams, aspirations and visions always appear ideal to his peers, until he starts his magic wand of translating dreams to reality.
Without a flint of a doubt, the Cross River State governor is a man ahead of his time.
Where others are thinking today, he is thinking transgenerational, a mindset that has remained the guiding philosophy of his government.
As the enigmatic and charismatic leader turns 53, it is expedient to x-ray what made the journey of the last 53 year eventful and impactful.
The underlying measure of good leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. This has continued to define Governor Ayade‘s political and leadership engagements. He has continued to demonstrate that he is not another usual leader but one with unparalleled milk of human kindness. Needless to elucidate on the landmark and transgenerational projects that dots the landscape of the People‘s Paradise.
However, it will please Governor Ayade more if what he is doing to enhance the people‘s physical well-being is amplified because that matters to him above every other consideration.
Divinity gives to people according to the purity of their motives. Little wonder that since Ayade ventured into politics when he ran for a seat in the Senate in 2011, it has been from one level of unflinching support to the other. Not only has he always triumphed but he is always recording a landslide margin of votes.
At 53, life affords no greater pleasure than nursing new ambition and seeing them come to pass. From the Red Chamber, Ayade continued the political journey to the Cross River State Government House. Due to unparalleled performance, his people renewed his mandate in 2019. It should be borne in mind that for leaders with a heart of gold like Governor Ayade, success at polls confers additional responsibility because the pressure to deliver is heightened. Where other leaders take the people for granted, Ayade camps around the people‘s burden.
The Cross River State governor has been variously described by his subordinates and associates as a mentor of men.
A wise man, Jack Welch, once noted: Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” This explains why whenever Ayade calls hundred, a thousand will answer him.
In his 53 years of life engagements and interactions, Governor Benedict Ayade merits the Toscanian compliment: tenacious and furious in the face of battles, and courageous when confronted with tough decisions. Though meek and humane, Governor Ayade is not one who turns away from ‚just‘ battles.
To ensure that the future of the youths of the State is not jeopardized, thousands have been trained in relevant skills, especially in the rice value chain, that can guarantee a better future for the state.
Governor Ayade is a strategic leader, who is deft at the art of killing two birds with one stone. He never embarks on any project without determining its spiral positive effects on different sectors in the state.
Without mincing words, the governor has turned the “Peoples Paradise” into the fastest growing industrialized state in Nigeria. A visit to Ayade’s Industrial Parks demonstrates what is possible when people of vision, purpose and power are entrusted with the mantle of leadership.
The reward for being selfless and doing what is right is appreciation. In recognition of Ayade‘s undying love for his people, and uncommon demonstration of integrity, competence, capacity and candour, Ayade has been variously recognised.
Suffice it to mention just a few: 2016 Vanguard Governor of the Year, LEADERSHIP Governor of the Year 2019 and Champion Newspaper Governor of the Year 2019 and Daily Independent Newspaper Governor of the Year Award 2019 amongst many others.
Despite the triple grace bestowed on him by divinity, Ayade has remained humble. He is well schooled to the peak and recognised internationally. Smart, brilliant and intelligent, his charm and charisma has no equal, but Governor Ayade does not let these qualities get into his head.
In 53 years, Governor Ayade has outperformed his age as he continues to enjoy respect from his peers.
Given the level of energy and dexterity he has been exuding in the discharge of his duty, 53 year may as well be the beginning of his service to God and humanity.
– Ita is Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Cross River State governor.