Isaac Newton, the great 17th century scientist was famously quoted to have said, “If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulder a giants.” This aptly captures the charismatic and leadership style of Governor Benedict Ayade.
Where others are thinking today, Ayade is thinking trans-generational, and this mindset has remained the guiding philosophy of his government. This explains why his dreams, aspirations and visions always appears utopia to his pairs, until he starts his magic wand of translating dreams to reality. Without a flint of a doubt, Senator Ayade is a man ahead of his time.
As the enigmatic and charismatic leader turns 53, it is expedient to xray what makes the journey of the last 53 year eventful and impactful. The underlining measure of good leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. This has continued to define Ayade’s political and leadership engagements.
Governor Ayade has continued to demonstrate that he is not another usual leader but one with unparalleled milk of human kindness. Needless to elucidate the landmark and trans-generational projects that dots the landscape of “The People’s Paradise”, as Cross River State is fondly called. However, it will please Governor Ayade, more, if what he is doing to tackle the People’s physical well-being is amplified because that matters to him above every other considerations.
This ascertion stands to be corrected that in the history of Nigeria, we have never before, seen a political leader broke down in tears, even on a national television because he is unable to wide off poverty from from the landscape of Cross River State.
It also stands to be contested that practical leaders like Senator Ben Ayade are very rear. Suffice it to explain that it was Governor Ben Ayade, who banned and banished farm produce tax from Cross River State. This is to make life easy for farmers and those at the lower rung of the economic ladder.
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 Nigerian 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 landslide margin of vote.
Ayade at 53, life affords no greater pleasure than nursing new ambition and seeing them come to pass. From the red chamber, Ayade hit the Cross River State Government House. Due to unparalleled performance, his people renewed his mandate in 2019. It should borne in mind that for leaders with 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 camp around the people’s burden.
Governor Ayade have been variously described by his subordinates and associates as a mentor of men. As a wiseman, Jack Welch noted long ago, “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 he calls hundred, a thousand will answer him.
In his 53 years of life engagements and interactions, Governor Benedict Ayade merited the toscanian compliment: tenacious in the face of battles, courageous, when confronted with tough decisions, furious in the face of battles. 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 that can guarantee a better future for the state. Governor Ayade is a strategic leader, who is deft in the art of killing 10 birds with one stone. He never embarked on any project without determining its spiral positive effects on different sectors in the state.
Without mincing word, Senator Ayade has turned the Peoples Paradise State to the fastest growing industrialized state in Nigeria. A visit to Ayade 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 have been variously recognised. Suffice it to mention just a few: 2016 Vanguard Governor of the Year. The 2019 Champion Newspaper Governor of the Year. 2019 Champion newspaper Governor of the year.
On 24 August 2019, Ayade was invested as the Knight of St. John (KSJ) International by the Roman Catholic Church, Sacred Heart Cathedral, the seat of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Calabar.
Despite the triple grace bestowed to him by Divinity, Ayade has remained humbled. He is well schooled to the peak and recognised internationally. He is smart, brilliant and intelligent. His charm and charisma has no equal. Governor Ayade did not let these qualities to get to his head.
In 53 years, Governor Ayade has out performed his age as he continues to enjoy respect of pairs. Too many controversies and contradiction dying around among elected public office holders but Governor Ayade has never been found wanting.
Given the level of energy and dexterity Governor Benedict Ayade have been exuding in the discharge of his duty, 53, may as well be the beginning of his service to God and humanity.