Cross River governor appoints 1,106 fresh advisers

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The Cross Rivers state governor, Mr Ben Ayade, has taken a literal approach to the biblical injunction – in the multitude of counselors there is safety. He appointed 1,106 advisers and assistants on Tuesday.

Governor Ayade believes the appointments which directly creates jobs for all the beneficiaries, will also help to alleviate poverty in the state.

The Punch reports that the positions being filled include categories of special advisers, special assistants, personal assistants as well as the chairmen and members of boards, commissions, departments and agencies.

The Cross River governor presently has 28 commissioners and 65 special advisers in addition to over 100 special assistants, personal assistants and community relations officers.

An overview of the latest appointment reveals that 799 of them were appointed into various boards, commissions and agencies, while the remaining 307 appointees were categorised into special advisers (6), senior special advisers (30), special assistants (75) and Personal Assistants (25).

According to Punch, some of the new aides are to be deployed as personal assistants to paramount rulers (16), representatives of each local government in the state food bank unit (90), liaison officers for the 18 local government areas and three senatorial districts (21), special assistants on religious affairs (18) and permanent secretaries (26).

In a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Chief Press Secretary, Mr Christian Ita, the governor said the appointments would take effect from November 1, 2016.

The governor’s former Special Adviser on Strategy and National Contact, Mr Ray Ugba-Morphy, is one of the earliest critics of the appointments bazaar.

Ugba-Morphy, who resigned from Ayade’s cabinet, said, “He is a governor who understands all the appointments that he is making. But considering the lean purse of the state, it is not necessary because those already appointed have not been properly settled.

The wages of political appointees are fixed by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission as stipulated by the law, but he (Ayade) has not met those requirements.

It is right if the appointments are meant to settle political scores, but economically, it is not viable. He should create opportunity for people to have skills to earn a living.”

Mr Ayade is probably a governor that keeps his promises but in fulfilling this particular promise to create jobs, in this manner, he may be limiting the use of the state’s resources in fulfilling other campaign promises that especially have to do with critical infrastructure.