Travelling is part of man’s daily activities. We all embark on different journeys whether from the bedroom to the bathroom or from Calabar to Italy – these are all journeys.
It was the founder of philosophical Taoism, Lao Tzu, that once averred in his book, the ‘Tao Te Ching’, that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.
Ben Ayade’s first step in office as governor of Cross River State was taken after his swearing in at the Calabar International Convention Center on May 29, 2015, which is some 1,570 days ago. Since then, he has taken so many steps across the world and each time he returns, he most times tell us why he travelled and not before he does.
There is nothing wrong with a leader embarking on a journey. But in a democratic setting such as ours where the leaders are elected by the people; where the monies expended are taxes, levies and royalties paid by the people, then it behoves on such leaders to duly inform the people where the money is going.
Sir, we have no doubt about your wealth, which you have always told us about. We are aware that N1.4bn was budgeted to cater for your local and overseas travels. But you have to tell us where you are going to, what you are going to do there, how long you will stay there and when you will return.
We saw you eating chocolate in Italy. We don’t know if you had a whip of gelato, too. It could not have taken a whole week to eat chocolate. Sir, these things are basic and the people of Cross River want to know.
In your remaining 1,352 days in office, kindly inform us where you are going. This way, we can network and share some ideas about how the trip can be even more successful. After all, democracy is a government of the people, by the people and for the people, and your aides have always said you are a “people’s governor”.
For those, who may have been advising the governor against announcing his travel plans, know that those are signs of dictatorship, despotic leadership and an attempt to cover up what may be acts inimical to the common good of the people of Cross River.
The governor has said that he has nothing to hide as he fears God. Therefore, it will be noble and knightly for Ayade to do the right thing and inform Cross River people of his trips. After all, he is an employee of the people of the state.