May 17, 2022

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Presidency: How Far Can Ayade Go?

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Professor Ben Ayade can be said to be an actor. Anybody who thinks this way be not be too wrong. He knows when to smile lavishly and when to cry publicly. He knows when to dance and also teach his deputy, a fellow professor, how to do same. Ayade knows when to cause confusion with jaw-breaking, high-sounding English. And he knows when to cajole people with mouth -watering promises.

When it comes to political contest, he also knows when to join the band wagon to secure a presidential nomination form for N100million(though we hear that some volunteers bought the form for him).

It may even be true that they bought the form for him. Very true, that is. Come to think of it, his allocation for last month was a paltry N300million, after all the deductions. Perhaps that is why he is finding it difficult to meet up his obligations to the people in terms of their legitimate entitlements as well as execution of projects.

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Maybe, that is also part of why he is not able to clean up Calabar, the town that used to be known for its cleanliness. The place is now competing with Aba, known to be the dirtiest city in the world.

Besides this, Ayade has not been able to commission any completed project in about seven years. When he assumed duties as governor in 2015, he promised the people that he would take them to the moon and back. The people were promised a super highway, a spaghetti flyover, a deep seaport et cetera.

But seven years after, none of the projects has been completed. The only sign of a deep seaport is the deep stream at the site of the spaghetti flyover in Odukpani, which is now a tourist attraction, especially for those who need to do a study on traffic hiccup.

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The new Calabar city, the Calas Vegas is still on the drawing board, just as the steady electricity he promised in 2015. The same reason why the signature projects have not left the drawing board may also be responsible for the likely failure of the Obudu airport project which he has promised will be ready soon. It may actually turn out that he was acting a movie when he made all the promises. The movie scenes were completed the day he cried openly in front of the cameras, admitting that he was a failure, having not been able to keep the promises he made to the people.

Now, he has indicated the interest to contest the presidential election. Is he also acting out a movie script? Maybe. Otherwise, what do you make of his comments, days after he declared for the office. For example, on the day he visited Buhari, he had said that he would support anybody the president brings out as candidate of the APC. And a few days later, when he received the minister of transportation, Ayade had said he would surrender and support Rotimi Amaechi if it turns out that the minister would be the chosen one.

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So, is he truly serious about the ambition? Or, is he just contributing N100 million to the coffers of the APC that accepted him into their fold, when the PDP was becoming too hot for him? Or can Ayade really see the drama through? Let’s watch the unfolding drama.

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