Friday, 5 April 2019

Post Election Appointments: As Gov Ben Ayade prepares a new Cabinet —by Eugene Upah

5 April 2019 

Traditionally, after the elections comes the forming of a cabinet to select a team to manage the affairs of government for another dispensation. This cabinet consists of Commissioners, Senior Special Advisers, Special Advisers, Directors General, Chairmen of Boards, Special Assistants, Personal Assistants & other heads of government parastatals. Most critical amongst them are Commissioners, Secretary to government & (occasionally) Special Advisers who make the State Executive Council (SEC).

Interestingly, one of the best quotient factors in ensuring the success of a government is the ability of the Chief Executive taking the right decision; assembling a cycle of competent hands desirous of giving their very best in service to humanity. This decision most times comes with intense lobbying, calculated risks associated with fear, pressure from friends and associates in and out of government. The tasks becomes more herculean if the man at the helm of affairs tries to pacify everyone - hence opts to satisfy everyone.

As expected, the elections have come and gone, next is for Senator Prof. Ben Ayade to consolidate his dream of a "new Cross River" by carefully selecting a cabinet with competent administrative, technical and result oriented personnel with high performance standards. In my very honest opinion l wouldn't advise the Governor to let his appointees retain same positions. There is need for a state-wide (restructural) awakening through a cabinet reshuffle. His utmost considerations should be competence/capacity, inputs, credibility, and precedence as per delivery in their current engagements. Image, pedigree and results are more critical to a state, nation or organization in determining who gets what in a system whose goal is geared at moving their brand to safer heights. Governor Ayade must not give in to pressure, he must be courageous enough to retain a few appointees on their current portfolios; promote some who have shown stellar abilities & relegate some according to their MDA's inputs in the last dispensation. The Governor must realize he needs not be pitiful in wielding the big axe. Afterall, if the system succeeds he takes the glory; likewise, if the system breaks down he becomes the fall boy. He must deploy firsthand discipline in choosing appointees into sensitive positions. He mustn't (always) avail himself to be lobbied by friends & allies. Hardwork should be rewarded with elevation. Appointees who are in the habit of absconding with monies meant for the overall interests of government shouldn't be handed key positions. His Excellency mustn't engage anyone he cannot sack when the chips turn down. The Governor is highly recommended to build a Youth Oriented System (YOS) through a bi-functional structuring of competent youthful personnel with intellect, credibility, and who have abilities to deliver a mandate within a time frame. 

Finally, to succeed in a state with diverse socio political interests like Cross River, it takes a clear vision of what you want to accomplish, laser beam focus on the mission, clear technical knowledge and expertise in administrative and political affairs and contagious passion for the growth of the state and genuine love for the youths who will further consolidate on the gains in the future.

Eugene writes from Calabar. 

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