Recently, whenever Ekiti State is mentioned, it is mainly about politics. Of course, Governor Ayodele Fayose has continued to dominate his immediate environment with aplomb and a fierce determination to stir the paddle of governance to the promise land even as the main but badly fractious opposition party, the APC continues to keep a tepid face in the face of looming defeat in the forth coming elections in Ekiti.
Nothing re-affirms the divisiveness in the party than two distinct but related events in the past three weeks or so. The first was the visit of the equally embattled chairman of the APC, John Odigie Oyegun to the state and the recent probing visit to the party secretariat by former first lady of the state, Bisi Fayemi to inform the party stalwarts of her husband’s resolve to contest the forth-coming party primaries. Shortly afterwards, the former governor informed party faithful that he has reconciled himself to the desire to run for the office of the governor again in 2018.
All of these events and even ones not mentioned is understandable. In the heat of politicking, such are not un-welcomed, matter fact, it is the kernel of politics itself. However, as things stand, it is safe to assume that the main opposition party, (APC), is just like in 2014 not ready for a real contest. A party given to assumptions and not really on ground in the state, it would readily resort to contrived media visibility to make for its inability to connect with the people. Since governor Fayose’s thrashing of the party in 2014, the party went to sleep with occasional jerking from its slumber. It is on record that only a handful of their supporters remained in the state to voice their concern on governance issues and even when they do; it is one complaint to another without bearing in mind the fact(s) of the issues. Let me take two critical issues at hand.
The first is about the urban renewal projects of the current administration and on the issue of education. As we write the physical infrastructure of the state has in recent times undergone a most radical transformation, an indisputable fact that stands for all to see. Rather, the main opposition party, (APC), has continued to dismiss this gigantic strides of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), to the chagrin of observers. This has left a sour taste in the mouth of the people who have not easily forgotten the lackadaisical record of Governor kayode Fayemi, whose stewardship has been subjected to a public inquest with sordid revelations. I am not sure if the people of the State can easily forget in a hurry how a man who rode on the waves of popular acclaim can so thoroughly abuse the people of the state.
Nothing was spared, just nothing except the art of propaganda to cover for the lack of achievement in office. So thoroughly shocked and embarrassed, as he was roundly rejected in the entire length and breadth of the state, the governor and his party resorted to concocted theories to explain their glaring rejection by the people of the state. Governor Kayode Fayemi couldn’t even win a single local government not even where he hails from. It is even good that he has announced his desire to contest for the same office again-while I wish him well in his voyage to nowhere, it is only good for people to watch if the referendum which the people of Ekiti passed on him just 4 years ago was a farce or not.
Perhaps, I need to re-affirm the right of Dr. Kayode Fayemi and any other for that matter to aspire for whatever office, but what is certain and imperative is the demand of the people of Ekiti for continued visionary governance. Since the creation of the state, the verifiable fact is that the level of physical infrastructural development witnessed in recent times, especially in the twilight of the Fayose era is unprecedented. Since 1999, the state has had 5 elected governors but it is safe to assert that the man on the saddle has set a standard which appears too difficult to torpedo. Here, I am talking of his massive development in the physical infrastructure of the state. It would be recalled that when the state was created by the late former Head of State, General Sanni Abacha and even with the dawn of participatory democracy in 1999, the state was evidently the most backward state in the South-West. This trend has been put in reverse gear by the PDP led Fayose’s administration and it is expected that his successor must increase the pace and not undermine it.
Fayemi attempt to uplift and modernize the state of infrastructure was tepid and there are verifiable account of how the then former Governor in collusion with some members of his party and friends divert funds meant for the much touted legacy projects. We recall with shame how the administration squandered two billion naira on planting flowers across the state capital, flowers that have since withered. That unfortunate incidence leaves much to be desired. I personally was of the thought that the former governor would have taken the opportunity of coming forward to clear his name when the Ekiti State House of Assembly invited him. Rather, he opted for some legal cover. The damaging perception by a large section of the peoples of Ekiti is less than favourable to him and before long, he shall be held to give account.
However, as the clock ticks towards the Election Day in July, one fact which is inescapable is that the people want good governance to continue. Fayose has commenced a revolution and it is in the strategic benefit of all for the revolution to continue impeded. That brings us to the issue of whom and what party to vote for in the 2018 election. A simple evaluation will make such a decision easy to make for the people who are domiciled in the state. Nothing is as offensive as attempts by the main opposition party in the state to want to obviate fayose’s achievements in this regard-these are all legacy projects. The bridge and dualization of major roads across the state with particular attention to the state capital, Ado-Ekiti is a welcome development and a factor in the election. The APC can continue to dismiss this fact with a wave of their arrogance but before long, they shall wake up to reality.
The task before the in-coming governor is clear. It is for the successor of Fayose to ensure that a mainly civil service state is turned into an oasis of economic entity where sound and practicable health care, education, agricultural, job creation and infrastructural development are fostered within the relative short term of a first term in office. From the array of politicians wanting to take-over from the incumbent, in my opinion, only the current deputy governor has shown remarkable promise. He is prepared and gifted with a rare humility to tackle the multifarious challenges assailing us as a people.
Read Also: Open Letter To Dr. Kayode Fayemi
Since he assumed office about three years ago, he has demonstrated capacity to deliver on the tasks assigned to him. The remarkable achievement to bring back the state from a state of doldrums in the education sector is a clear indication of a man who is able to revamp an ailing state. He has returned the state to its academic pride of place with less noise. Sometimes, perhaps more often, his not given to noise making has made lots of his achievements under this current dispensation not given the necessary traction such efforts deserve.
His pivotal role in the current dispensation leaves him with the necessary experience and maturity which many in the race lack-it is why we are inclined towards a continuity of the performing team. This reality is a component factor needed to pilot the affairs of our state at a most critical stage. Professor Olushola Eleka has the necessary experience to drive the state in the right direction.