Sunday, 26 August 2018

Understanding Ayadeism


| 26th August 2018 | Emmanuel Ulayi

Political history is replete with many political philosophies, ideologies and economic theories popularly refer to as isms. Africa itself has witnessed a number of them especially since the sixties with Nigeria not lagging behind. We had the likes of Nkrumahism, Nasserism and the Ujama socialism of Nyerere. Nigeria's political experiment gave birth to Zikism,  Awoism and the talakawa political ideology of Aminu Kano.  Many of these philosophies or ideologies were not clearly defined and were largely unsuccessful except, perhaps, for a few like Awoism which though was limited to the old Western Region of Nigeria as the proponent, Chief Obafemi Awolowo could not form government at the federal level, was a huge success. It still boasts of millions of adherents decades after the founder.  But those were the years of the "Big men" in politics.

Since the exit of the political Titans, Lilliputians have taken over the political landscape of Nigeria. They are characterized by lack of political understanding, and economic ignorance. They are bereft of economic policies to bring about positive changes in the lives of the people. These have led to failures of successive governments- except few- at all levels.

It is therefore, strange to some to hear of political ideology or philosophy in today's Nigeria, hence the antagonism in some pseudo-intellectual quarters when they hear of Ayadeism. It is natural for humans to fear, distrust or speak against what they do not understand. It is in this light that this piece undertakes to shed light on what Ayadeism stands for.

Ayadeism as a political ideology makes the people the focus of governance. It is a belief and knowledge that the people are the stuff that the dream of democracy is made of. It is a system that truly bears out the meaning of democracy as everything that is done under this system is geared towards bettering the lives of the people.  Ayadeism seeks the emancipation of the people politically, economically and socially. It refers to this as total freedom.

This philosophy is an active one not mere sloganeering. This is evident in the way the governor has prioritized the payment of salaries and pensions. It is a system that emphasizes service and service, first by the leaders and then by the people. According to Governor Ayade himself, the central thing is "to put food on the table of the Cross-Riverian and a hoe in the hand". Therefore in scope and practice Ayadeism puts the citizens' welfare first before demanding for service.

Stemming from this is the Ayadesian Theory of economy which is a fine blend of Adam Smith's and Keynes' theories. Ayade theory of economics is people centred. A product of innate intelligence sharpened by long years in the ivory towers, the theory advocates government intervention in economic activities to with the focus on the governed welfare at all times. In practice government intervenes to spur economic growth through policies that aids production such as favourable tax and import and export duties regimes while stimulating demand and supply in times of recession by making sure money circulates and not just concentrated in the hands of a few.

The success of Ayadeism and the Ayade theory is visible in Cross River state under Ayade. It is on record that when Nigeria went through economic recession which effects are still with us, Cross River with one of the lowest allocations and revenues and inherited debt portfolio was able to meet all its financial obligations.  Apart from this, massive developmental projects were going on at the same time which were feats states with bigger revenues and lesser debt burdens and financial obligations were not and have not been able to do.

The erudite governor ensured that money circulated by paying salaries regularly and by appointment of thousands of aides just to circulate wealth. He also exempted the poor from paying taxes even as he gave them enabling environment to do business.

Ayadeism is not prebendalism neither is it patrimonial as things are not done for political advantage. It is a sound philosophy that should be copied by other leaders. This is a good product coming from Africa.

SA, Media