By Bisi Olominu
The 12,000 capacity Ekiti-Parapo Pavilion, venue of the inauguration of Dr. John Kayode Fayemi was filled to the brim. Outside the pavilion, it was joy galore as political associates across the divide, guests and well–wishers exchanged banters, expressing their joy of a new Ekiti.
Men of the Nigeria Police in their ceremonial attires, party men and women, school children, market women and men, artisans added glamour and colour to the inauguration.
Fayemi in white ‘agbada’ and his wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi who dressed in a creamy lace attire arrived the venue in glamour at 10:45am, with the Deputy Governor, Bisi Egbeyemi who also wore a white attire joined them later.
Top class traditional rulers led by the Oni of Ife, Oba Ogunwusi Adeyeye, the Ojaja II, the Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom, Oba Victor Kiladejo, Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade and several other Obas graced the occasion.
Governor Kayode Fayemi in his inaugural speech promised to promote and ensure sustainable development and review the commercial advantage of abandoned projects in the state with a view to reviving them.
Fayemi thanked the people of Ekiti for giving him the mandate to govern again, saying, “let us do this again, let us build Ekiti again“.
He said his inauguration marked the beginning of an era of great achievements and development, and an administration that would also speak out the truth and lay it before the people.
The Governor maintained that his coming back to office was not a revenge mission, but to heal and ensure true development in the state in the interest of the people.
He added that his administration would take full responsibility of the challenges ahead, stressing that he would not rest until every challenge facing the state including non payment of workers’ salaries was addressed.
He further said that his administration would promote and ensure sustainable development and make the state a safe haven for both foreign and local investors.
His words: “This is the day that the Lord has made and we will reclaim our land from those that have held us captive, “ he said.
Fayemi is a cat with nine lives. A democrat, activist and a man with immense character. When he was manipulated out of power in a bizarre and guerilla manner in 2014, he never envisaged that four years later, he would be given another mandate by Ekiti people to man the state again. Before losing the seat four years ago, the party and the government at the centre humiliated him and of course, every paraphernalia of office was taken away from him.
The then Commissioner of Police disobeyed his order, tear-gassed him and his supporters. It was indeed a watershed in the political history of the state.
No doubt, in that period of madness when impunity was reigning rough shod over all that was decent and desirable, there was every inkling that what beset the mind of Fayemi was the hopelessness and helplessness of the situation that permitted such atrocious brigandage to happen which swept him out of power.
The facts of what happened in Ekiti in 2014 were all too clear for all Nigerians to take note of the widespread anger and condemnation the Ekiti charade drew stands as eternal damnation to the crudity of the erstwhile Jonathan government and the PDP.
The leaders of Fayemi’s party, the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), coming to give him moral support were not spared as Armoured Tanks were stationed to turn them back at Iju/Itaogbolu in Akure North local government area of Ondo State. The peaceful town was turned into a battle ground as soldiers on ground were many.
That President Muhammadu Buhari should allow a free, fair and credible election that never required the idiosyncratic oddities that were launched in Ekiti four years ago, showed how much mileage we have made in four years of our democracy.
Four years ago what was going on in the mind of Kayode Fayemi were hopelessness and despair. He would have been thinking of the good works he had done in Ekiti, road constructions across the state, promises fulfilled, schools renovated, industries revamped and several other things he had done for his people.
Quite a pity that the system was brazenly arm-twisted and guided to pervert the democratic wills of the people of Ekiti and implant a governor that stood out for his rebuke to all what Ekiti State stands for. It was certain that what happened to Fayemi was enough to buckle the mind of a less-endowed person, his supporters and friends to give up.
What happened in Ekiti four years ago was enough to make apolitical any straw mind. But with Kayode Fayemi, it was the other way round.
Here is a sound intellectual, with enough residual strength to last unimaginable distance. Here is a person imbued with tremendous inner strength to shake off any disappointment and trudge on where others would have easily broken down.
Today, Fayemi again is the governor of Ekiti State for the next four years. The time for action is now, Ekiti must regain its lost glory of being the Land of Knowledge and state of ” Ule uyi, Ule eye”.
The euphoria of victory should be quickly dispensed with and the governor should settle down to reclaim the virtues of the people of the state. The process whereby Ekiti Kete have been turned to be beggars is not Ekiti like in nature. The people of Ekiti are industrious, enterprising, cultured and noted for hard work, these values should be restored by your government.
‘Ekiti Kete’ have not been noted for begging, but in the last four years, they have been begging for crumbs that fell from the tables, they must be restored and lost dignity regained.
In addition, Fayemi should hit the ground running, all hands must be on deck to bring back all companies and people sent packing by the draconic policies and programmes of the outgone government.
The governor should use his wealth of experience to serve the state like he did between 2010 and 2014.
Nelson Mandela said: “There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to helping others without expecting anything in return.” Governor Fayemi should use the next four years to serve his people without thinking of getting anything in return.
The Governor should allow these words from Martin Luther King to be his watchword: “Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
In addition to this, the moribund industries that can promote good governance and employment for Ekiti people should be revamped. It is quite a pity that Ikogosi Warm Spring and Ire Bricks have been left to rot, both should be brought back upstream to add to the revenue generation of the state.
Education which is the main industry of Ekiti people is in a sorry state. The position of the state in external examinations does not reflect Ekiti being called ” Fountain of Knowledge” state. The governor should focus on the education sector to bring back the lost glory.
He should harnex the knowledge and experiences of the founding fathers of Ekiti and tap from their wisdom to make the state a cynosure of all eyes to other states. The work for the future starts now.
Fayemi had said during his visit to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola that “Your Ministry is going to be very crucial to the success of our administration, particularly in the area of infrastructural development”.
Therefore, Fayemi should synergise with the Minister of on the infrastructural development of Ekiti. Electricity has been the bane of the state for long, the symbotic relationship should be tapped to improve on electricity.
Again, the ongoing Federal Secretariat, transmission project and others embarked upon by the Federal Government for the development of Ekiti State should be completed in time.
Nelson Mandela also said, ‘Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice for the freedom of their people”. The work for the future starts now.
Ekiti State has been in darkness for long, Fayemi, the work for the future starts now.
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