Fayemi: Ekiti is Building on Progressive Heritage

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Jul 22, 2011 No Comments ›› ACN (ji)

Perhaps, the greatest achievement of the administration is the restoration of peace and harmony. That sense of security, occasionally ruptured by flashes of armed robbery in  few towns, has its foundation in the growing legitimacy of government flowing from popular consent. Unlike the previous seven years, the blood of the people flow in the veins of Fayemi Administration.

Since the government of the people is in place, expectations are predictably high. Ekiti State is a marginalised state. The proof is the lack of federal government presence in the ‘Fountain of Knowledge’. Many people could not even distinguish those federal roads, which are death traps, from the intra-state roads, which are the concerns of the state and local government.

Ekiti is not an industrial hub. Its poverty is underscore by two factors. The federal allocation is a patience, which is hardly enough to foot bills in the civil service state. In addition, internally generated revenue is tall ambition as city and rural dwellers erroneously perceive the essential duty as modern enslavement.

Many observers therefore, believe that governance in Ekiti is an uphill task. The onus is on Kayode Fayemi, development expert and governor of the agrarian state, to take the bull by the horn. Governance in the hilly enclave is not a tea party because, in spite of the dearth of resources, indigenes are never ready to accept complaints from progressives in power. That is why the governor, who has mapped out an eight-point agenda for the state, is not relenting in bridging the loopholes. Theft and graft is becoming a thing of the past. There is also a concerted war against wasteful spending, political terrorism, wrong prioritisation and ‘business as usual’, which were the hallmarks of the sacked Peoples Democratic Party
(PDP) governments in the state between 2003 and 2010.

At the recent anniversary of Ekiti Parapo, Lagos State branch, indigenes reflected on the task of re-building the state in the post-liberation war period. At the ceremony, which held at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, were eminent sons of the soil. They included former military governor of the defunct Western State Major Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo (rtd), former Governor Niyi Adebayo, his wife, Angela, former Military Governor Kayode Olofinmoyin, Senator Femi Ojudu, House of Assembly Speaker Dr Wale Omirin, his deputy, Hon. Orisalade, frontline pharmacist, Chief Julius Adeluyi-Adewusi, Prof. Akin Oyebode, Mr Dare Ojo, Femi Orebe, and Asiwaju Bolarinde.

Former Interim Secretary for Health, Adeluyi-Adelusi, who shared the occasion, said that, Ekiti is lucky to have at the helm of affairs a young man bubbling with bright ideas and patriotic feelings. “We do have a trusted leadership in Ekiti now; a leadership people can identify as epitomised by our governor. Ekiti is the fountain of knowledge and the governor is the bacon”, he said, hailing the governor’s past scholarly pursuits as a researcher in war studies, civil-military relations, democratisation and good governance.

The former minister identified the challenges that would inevitably confront the government. All the sectors are in a state of decay. Adelusi, a native of Ado-Ekiti, pointed out that education was the pride of the state. He said the government must restore order into a state of pandemonium. In the Ekiti elder’s view, the state must return to its cherished values of brilliance, ingenuity, creativity, professionalism and integrity, adding that the core issues of infrastructural dilapidation and poverty should be tackled.

The state is necessarily polarised by politics. This is worrisome to Adelusi, who is not a partisan politician.  He called for unity in a state utterly divided by the fierce struggle for power and kinsmen’s prejudice dictated by political antagonism. Then, he suggested that Ekiti must look for the best to run its affairs, irrespective of differences.

Adelusi said: “Ekiti must immediately embark on sowing the seeds of accommodation, reconciliation, brotherhood and harmony”. His assumption is that, since no one has complete understanding and solution to the problems confronting the state, government and people must build bridges of understanding and friendship.

“Ekiti should embark on collective, collaborative strategy. In Ekiti, we all have different views. The governor is young and dynamic. He must harness the diverse opinions in the state”.

He added: “We should use oursearchlight to discover talents and nurture them, irrespective of political divides. We must work for a common destiny for our group interest. Ekiti can peculiarly become a success, if we pull ourselves together. Ekiti is not a footnote in Yoruba affairs. but we must help ourselves”.

Adelusi lamented the lack of strong financial base. But he also chided people of affluence for not doing enough for the state in terms of grooming or mentoring the youths.

Every state has its icons. Adelusi said that, in Ogun, there was Obafemi Awolowo, in Oyo, there was  Ladoke Akintola, in Osun, there was Bola Ige and Ondo produced Adekunle Ajasin. “In Ekiti, which one are we going to mention?”, he queried. “There are many good people in Ekiti. They go away unhonoured, unsung”, he fumed.

The governor does not take responsibility for this neglect. His pre-occupation now is the work of development. He told the gathering that his government is up and doing. And he tendered evidence. Fayemi said the infrastructure battle was being fought, adding that Ado-Itawure road, a federal road which used to be a death trap, was being tarred, following an appeal to FERMA and Federal Ministry of Works and substantial contribution by the state government.

The governor acknowledged that “we are indeed, at a crossroad” because there was never a time a government was facing the challenge of high expectation like this. he explained that this has been compounded by the fact that people, who are aware of the lack of resources, are eager for great results, including good education, healthcare, modernised agriculture, infrastructural development, improvement in tourism and job creation.

Fayemi said that he and members of his team were ready for the task, having had enough tutorials, stressing that the regime does not suffer from shortage of goodwill and ideas to transform Ekiti.

He agreed that peace, unity and spirit of reconciliation were also pre-conditions for development. But the governor quickly clarified that there is possibility of existence of natural opposition bent on undermining patriotic intentions and progressive programmes of the government.
Fayemi said the collective rescue mission, which was his campaign slogan, has not been discarded. He said: “We need the commitment of all and collective compassion for Ekiti progress. Our government is building on progressive heritage”.

The governor did not claim to have answers for all the problems. He was humble enough to also appreciate the need to tap experience, knowledge and expertise of indigenes at home and abroad to fuel development. Thus, he recalled that, when he visited the United Kingdom, he met with Ekiti people to solicit their cooperation.

But Fayemi identified an obstacle on the way. Waxing philosophical, he said: “we are still in chains; psychological chains, imaginary chains holding us down”. He pleaded that  “we should believe in the possibility of a prosperous journey into the future”.

The governor hailed the dedication of the members of House of Assembly and federal legislators from the state who share the same passion for development of the communities and state.

On job creation, he said his administration has trained numerous youths to acquire skills and become gainfully employed, assuring that this would have multiplier effects. “They will have a sense of engagement and actualisation”, he stressed.

Fayemi peeped into the future, saying that in this civil service state, “we must diversify our economy so that other players can secure interest”.


The Nation

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