BY Dominic Kidzu

It is not often that the world records, leastwise remembers little acts of charity that have ultimately sustained the  continuous growth of the human family. Benedict Ayade, a professor,  lawyer, scientist, inventor and politician, on April 20, 2012, found a fitting solution to the age - long struggles of his people to commute from one part of his home state, Cross River, to the other. Most especially movement from the Northern part of the State to Calabar, the Capital city, over 300 kilometres away. With dwindling oil revenues,  exploding population in Nigeria, and available family incomes in a  free fall, the problem had become very acute and discomfitting. Benedict Ayade found  the perfect solution and commissioned a fleet of luxury buses to traverse the length and breadth of the State, moving people from one end of the State to the other at the most minimum fares. The passengers were charged only enough to purchase fuel for the trips since Ayade did not accept profit from the bus company.

Ayade Motors soon became the most popular means of transportation for people living in the state especially because it charged only a fraction of the normal fare on all routes. This program also created jobs for drivers, porters and allied support personnel and has moved millions of people in the hundreds of thousands of trips the busses have made in the last eight years.

His deepest passion has been to care for those who feel unloved and unwanted by society, people who cannot care for themselves and have been abandoned by society. Widows, children, the aged and invalid , pregnant women and the jobless have all drank from the selfless spring of his freewill. It will appear that the whole purpose for whiich creation showered  him upon the earth was in order for him to give of himself to those who do not have and to offer both help and hope to these with equanimity.

No wonder when he sought to represent his people in the Nigerian Senate and later as Governor of his home state, he was overwhelmingly elected on both occasions to carry his people's emblem. Ayade remains a leader and a philanthropist , and is one of the few young Nigerians who hold the hope of a brighter future for the country.

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