The second coming of Dr Kayode Fayemi as governor of Ekiti State is divine. Even before he made public his intention to contest for the governorship, he had been inundated with pleas and calls from Ekiti indigenes, both at home and in the Diaspora, pleading with him to come and liberate the state from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, being piloted by Mr Ayodele Fayose.
It is therefore no surprise that Fayemi coasted home not in turbulent political water, but in a well-deserved and reserved victory befitting a dogged fighter and a friend of the oppressed.
With his four cardinal objectives, all of which border on restoration of the tenets that Ekiti people are known for and making life meaningful for the populace, it is no surprise that he hit the ground running immediately he was sworn in as the duly elected governor of the state.
Ekiti parents will not forget easily the immediate executive order, which abolished payment of any form of fees in government owned primary and secondary schools. His predecessor had imposed levies even on pupils in private schools in the state for four years.
The state Universal Basic Education Board, which has been in comatose for four years due to the refusal of the immediate past government to tread on same pedestal with the Federal Government is now fully back, after Fayemi approved the payment of counterpart funds which qualified the state to assess the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, grants. Experienced hands have been put in charge of the day-to-day running of state SUBEB.
The elderly persons in the state can now feel the impact of the administration, even as they await what it has in stock for them. Fayemi had promised them the reintroduction of the social benefits for them as he did during the first term.
Each of them under the social security was collecting N5, 000 monthly. Under the scheme, unemployed youths are empowered with some of them, about 20,000, engaged as Peace Corps.
To ensure an all-embracing government that carries along all, no matter their disposition, Dr Fayemi ensures that supporters of his opponent during last year’s primary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, are being accommodated with appointments. He has also extended the call to members of the opposition parties in the state to team up with him to move the state forward.
The outgoing members of the state House of Assembly will not easily forget the magnanimity of Fayemi, as immediately he came in, he ordered the immediate payment of backlog of salaries owed them by the Fayose administration, which treated them as his sidekicks for four years.
Not only that, for the four years of Fayose, the lawmakers travelled only once to Ikogosi and got N6,000 each for their trouble. They just returned from South Africa few days ago, a journey facilitated and supported by Fayemi, who never treats them as opposition members.
The senior retired citizens of the state are happier now with the monthly alert for their pensions and government’s gesture to set aside the sum of N100m monthly to offset arrears of their gratuities, which the last administration politicized for four years.
In the area of provision of infrastructure, Fayemi knows where the shoe pinches. The new Iyin road construction is the first to receive his blessing. The contractor has been mobilized to site, while the World Bank assisted water and sanitation project, which will see parts of the state capital and other towns in the state enjoy uninterrupted water supply has been flagged off.
Agriculture too is one of the focal points of the administration. And this he has kick-started with the appointment of aides to assist him in addressing needy areas in agriculture and to ensure that grants and equipment get to real farmers in the state.
By law and extension, Fayemi’s administration has the power to check the books of his predecessor as the practice in most states, but in order not to be derailed from his set targets, the administration has hired an experienced firm of auditors to carry out forensic analysis of the finance of the state, to put the records in perspective, while moving on with his people-oriented projects.
With his administration is putting in place experienced hands to assist in achieving the set goals, Fayemi has put his hand on the plough and he is not looking back.
This shows the determination of Dr Fayemi to banish poverty from the lives of Ekiti people whom he cherishes so much. No wonder, majority of his fellow governors from both leading political parties prefer and lobby him to lead them as the chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF.
– Oluwalana is the Senior Special Assistant, Media (Party Matters) to Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi.
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