Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State yesterday advised governors in the country to focus on delivering dividends of democracy to the people in their first terms, instead of nursing second term ambitions.
“Second term is not my excitement”, he said. “My excitement is to serve now. I don’t have desperation for second term”.
The governor called for the re-evaluation of politics, saying primitive acquisition should not displace service delivery.
According to him, “If to make money is the reason you are in office, you have failed. If it is to serve, you are in the right path”.
Ayade, who spoke with reporters in Lagos, decried the evil of capitalism, urging those in power to cultivate socialist orientation to safeguard public welfare.
The governor also called on stakeholders to take a critical look at the presidential system, which he described as too expensive to maintain and time-consuming.
He explained that the system usually permitted the commitment of politicians to the inordinate hunt for power, instead of delivering good governance.
Ayade said: “We should take a look at the presidential system which we copied from abroad. In the first year, the governor is struggling to step down in office. The second year, he has just started working. The third year, he is preparing for elections”.
The governor said his assets were his character and credibility, adding that these virtues would not be sacrificed on the altar of politics.
Hailing his predecessor, Senator Liyel Imoke, for leaving behind a secured and buoyant state, he said his priority was to continue where the ex-governor stopped by fighting the infrastructure battle and creating opportunities for youths.
On how he has managed to keep Cross River afloat despite the prevailing cash crunch, Gov. Ayade said his administration introduced cost-saving measures, adding that he exhibited an example of sacrifice and self-denial.
He added: “Government must cut down cost. Others are suggesting downsizing. We need to cut allowances. But, downsizing is not the right thing to do. I have increased the number of ministries from 13 to 28. If we downsize, the survivalist instinct of the people will predispose them to criminality and there will be social tension. Government is being expanded to increase productivity, but the number of political appointees must be reduced”.