APC, PDP trade words over Ekiti cargo airport project
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State yesterday engaged each other in war of words over the planned construction of an agro-allied cargo airport in the state.
Governor Kayode Fayemi had last Friday laid the foundation for the airport, which he said, was aimed at boosting the state’s agricultural, tourism and educational endowment.
However, in its official reaction to the commencement of the project, PDP said the airport project was a “silly approach” to transform the state’s economy, adding: Governor Fayemi is not just insensitive but cruelly demonstrating incurable ignorance of the reality of the yearnings of Ekiti people.”
The PDP State Chairman, Chief Gboyega Oguntuase, who spoke with journalists, said that such insensitive idea amid excruciating economic hardship was outrightly ill-conceived and anti-people.
Oguntuase said the airport project is not the immediate need of the state, but rather a fundamental transformation of Ekiti economic life that would address the prevailing vicious poverty in the state.
The opposition party said that instead of Fayemi investing the meagre federal allocation available to the state on ‘utopian airport’, he should look inward and initiate people-oriented project that could have multiplier effects on the economic life of the masses.
Oguntuase, who said that the airport was a fraudulent ploy by Fayemi to milk-dry the state, stated: “It is a silly approach to economic restructuring. It is crystal clear that Governor Fayemi doesn’t understand the yearnings and plight of the people.
“I wonder when people are suffering and all roads in Ekiti State are in deplorable condition and Fayemi-led government is embarking on white elephant project. This absolutely showed that the APC was insensitive to the plight and yearnings of the people.
“Airport is not the immediate need of the primitive economic realities in Ekiti State where young girls are now venturing into prostitution to make ends meet.”
But in a response, the ruling APC said the criticism was a “display of viciousness and ignorance,” noting that the opposition party was allergic to the growth of the state.
The APC’s Publicity Secretary, Ade Ajayi, in a telephone chat with journalists, said the opposition party should bury its heads in shame for ruining the state through the “obnoxious policies” of the immediate past Governor Ayodele Fayose.
Ajayi said Fayemi-led administration would not be distracted by the ranting of a group of confused and mischievous persons but rather concentrate his nerve on how to positively change the economic fortune of the state.
“It is high time PDP faces reality and co-operates with Fayemi in moving Ekiti forward rather than playing politics of bitterness at the detriment of the state.
“In the first attempt of Governor Fayemi, we made every attempt to ensure that the construction of airport was a reality but we could not go ahead because we lost that election in 2014. But we expected PDP under Fayose to take the issue of airport seriously but instead embark on it with the notion of siphoning Ekiti money.
“Ekiti people rejected the project because the idea lacked transparency.
“If the project is a ploy to siphon Ekiti money, the Federal Government, African Development Bank (AfDB) and World Bank would not have supported the project. I believe what PDP did in government is what they are alleging.”
“I challenge them to come out and tell Ekiti people how Fayose-led administration spent the N10 billion earmarked for the project,” he said.
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