These days, we just get a list of hundreds of names weekly or bi-monthly and they call them, Senior Special Assistants, Special Assistants and Personal Assistants to the Governor of Cross River state. Some of the titles have also become so ridiculous and monotonous. Even the appointees are tired of congratulating themselves.
These SSAs, SAs and PAs, are only required to go and pay between 25k to 27k, to the Cross River state Internal Revenue Service for tax clearance and attach the clearance to their credentials and proceed to the office of the Secretary to the State Government to submit their details including account numbers and return to their homes and villages and wait every month for the stipend government pays them.
They don’t have appointment letters, no ID cards, no office, no job specification, no table, nothing is expected of the appointees. The governor does not even know these individuals nor does he even deal with them. They don’t go to work. There is nowhere to resume for work. They are not meant to do anything for the government. Just sit in your house or village and when the month ends, you get an alert from the bank.
These “appointees” go to business centers around Calabar to print plastic ID cards for themselves. Pick 10 appointees randomly and all of them will have different ID cards designed and printed privately from different sources. If you doubt me, do it.
So when next you read another long list of appointments, don’t take it too serious. It is a food-on-the-table something. A poverty alleviation kinda-thing. And in other to accommodate more participants, the governor has pro-rated the monthly take home and it’s now less than 100k. At best, the appointments are a political tranquilizer dispensed in measured doses by a maverick who is exploiting the poverty of the population.
My immediate elder brother just joined the train and I have been taunting him and asking him what his contribution is, as SA Humanitarian Affairs, I am still waiting for his answers. But he is a cool guy and he wants the monthly alert like every other ‘appointee.’
Nevertheless, I am fervently hopeful that someday in the near future, appointments into government in our State will regain their panache and elegance. We will yet return to the era when titles like SSA, SA and PA to Governor will be reserved for the few young people who genuinely have capacity to serve. That time will surely return.
This is without prejudice to the few professionals who are working with governor Ayade and genuinely contributing their quota to the development of our State. God bless their effort.
Citizen Agba Jalingo.