Sunday, 27 October 2019

Ayade's Red Bull Beret, Industrial Revolution Enterprise symbol or another Soyinka's adventure?

If there is any governor in Nigeria that wants to succeed, it is His Excellency, Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State. If there is any governor in Nigeria that wants to be known with special things, it is my governor. I have always told those who cares to listen,  that it is rewarding to be an indigene of Cross River State at this particular time. Rewarding in the sense that,  history will either count us active or passive actors at a time when so much attempts and efforts were made to create a niche rightly or wrongly for Cross River State. Whether all  these efforts are what Cross River State currently needs is left for posterity that will surely judge.

The current red bull beret movement currently worn by our governor and his boys reminds me of our past efforts. It reminds me of how we spent time talking about budget of quabalistic densification that 80% of Cross Riverians did not know the actual meaning. It reminds me of how we have spent time calling our governor digital governor without majority of Cross Riverians knowing why he is given that title. The current red bull berret movement is another effort that should go beyond just wearing a red bull beret, it should involved deliberate explanatory efforts to tell majority of Cross Riverians why we all should start putting on red bull beret and it's benefits, because we can not leave our governor and his boys alone to wear the berret.

If we should cast our minds back, we will all recall that it was not too long ago that some foreign consultants were paid to come come up with a new logo for Cross River State. In what they thought was creative, came up with a red background and a charging bull, and we were told it represents "spirit of enterprise".  Cross Riverians cried against it and said they preferred the current logo and the  charging red bull logo was suspended. Enterprise is about taking complex bold steps just like what our governor is doing in the Superhighway, Spaghetti FLYOVER, Deep Seaport, etc, but being a successful entrepreneur goes beyond wearing just a beret with a charging bull.

I am afraid that with the way things are going and the norm within our society, the good intentions of wearing a red beret with a charging bull may be misinterpreted and misrepresented. If we can also recall, Prof. Wole Soyinka in his universities days had teamed up with some other progressive minds to form what is today regarded as cult groups. Their intentions was to fight the social ills within and outside the university campuses. But because their association metamorposed into something that was later to be known with either a particular colour of beret or other symbols, identity struggle started and the need for some to be more superior in dressing and symbols attracted elements that had no same vision with the vision bearers and cultism became the monster we now have in our campuses nationwide.

My prayers is that no other politician comes up with his own beret too and boys, because, that will signal the beginning of what we may not be able to control if care is not taken. Wearing a red beret with a charging bull on it is not bad, but will it solve our problems? Will it make us more enterprising? What is the benefit of wearing that particular beret and what should we tell our vulnerable youths who understands nothing other than that such things represents a particular fraternity? 

No matter the good intentions, serious care must be taken in wearing that red bull beret so that we don't  start another Wole Soyinka adventure in Cross River State, a wild fire that will be difficult to quench.


Isaiah Ekpenyong-Isababa
Commander, Infantry Pen Battallion