The second coming of Dr Kayode Fayemi as governor in 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 at home and in diaspora, pleading with him to come and liberate the state from ruins it has been plunged into due to maladministration of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP piloted by Mr Ayodele Fayose…..
It is no surprise that Dr Fayemi coasted home not in a 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 bother 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.
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, (SUBEB) which had been 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 Dr Fayemi approved the payment of counterpart funds which qualified the state to access 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. Dr Fayemi had promised them the reintroduction of social benefits 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 all along, no matter their disposition, Dr Fayemi ensures that supporters of his opponent during last year’s primary of the APC are being accommodated with appointments. He has also extended the call to members of opposition parties 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 Dr Fayemi. Immediately he came in, he ordered the immediate payment of backlog of salaries owed them by Fayose administration which treated them as his side kicks 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 Dr Fayemi who never treated them as opposition members.
The senior citizens in the state are happier now with monthly alert for their pensions and government gesture to set aside the sum of N100 million monthly to offset arrears of their gratuities, which the last administration politicized for four years.
In the area of provision of infrastructure, Dr Fayemi knows where the shoe pinches. 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 enjoying uninterrupted water supply has been flagged off.
Agriculture too is one of the focal point of the administration. With the appointment of aides to assist him in addressing needy areas in agriculture and to ensure that grants and equipments get to real farmers in the state.
By law and extension, Dr Fayemi’s administration has the power to check the books of his predecessor as the practice in 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 putting in place experienced hands to assist in achieving the set goals, Dr Fayemi has put his hand on the truck and he is not looking back. In his words during a recent retreat tagged “Restoring Ekiti Values: From Promise to Reality,” enjoined his appointees to be creative. The governor declared that “the government needs a lot of resources for the plethora of responsibilities on its shoulders and we must thrive outside the box and come up with creative ways set goals.”
This shows the determination of Dr Fayemi to banish poverty from the life of the 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.
Sam Oluwalana is the Senior Special Assistant on Media (party matters) to Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State