Kudos, knocks as Fayemi celebrates achievements in Ekiti
Despite scathing criticisms from the Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), there seems to be a consensus among vast majority of people that the second coming of Governor Kayode Fayemi has redefined governance and brought smiles to the residents’ faces.
This was evident in the presence of thousands of people that converged on the newly refurbished Ekiti Parapo Pavilion in Ado Ekiti to celebrate his first year in office, tagged “JKF 2.1.”
Ekiti politics is unique in several ways. The people seem to measure a leader’s achievement by his ability to win their hearts, as they cherish interpersonal relationship and identifying with the culture, language and their ways of doing things. Perhaps, the lack of this was responsible for Fayemi’s defeat in 2014.
Although, Fayemi was not accused of non-performance, he was “rejected” for allegedly “losing contact with the people.” So, Fayose, known for his peculiar type of politics and believed to be street-wise, was considered a better alternative to the “academic and bookish” Fayemi.
Indeed, Fayemi must have learnt some lessons, which no school of politics could teach. From his campaign to emerging victorious in the last election, he spoke not only the Yoruba language, but also Ekiti dialects to the people and danced “Legbe-Legbe,” a local music that involved twisting his waist to the people’s admiration.
His second coming has enabled him continue with some of his projects and programmes jettisoned by the last administration. The re-launching of the social security scheme for the elderly, also known as Owo Arugbo during celebration of his first year in office elicited tears of joy from many elderly people, probably because the programme was cancelled during the last administration.
Fayemi had launched the scheme in 2011 with about 20,000 elderly paid N5, 000 monthly. It was a scheme that initially looked impossible, but he kept faith throughout his first term in office.
At the re-launching of the scheme, he said: “You would recall that when we started the programme, it was the first of its kind in sub-Sahara Africa. It attracted criticisms and commendations alike. I am glad that many, including the Federal Government, have taken a cue from us in the realisation that social security for the vulnerable segment of our population is the way to go. It is on the premise to cater for our people that made social investments to be one of our five-point Agenda.
“To expand and make the scheme better than it was during the first term, we are now in partnership with the World Bank in carrying out this laudable programme. This partnership dated back to our first term in office, when we commenced the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO). Through YESSO, a single register of poor and vulnerable households was created from a survey of communities across the 16 local councils, using internationally accepted standards of poverty indices.
“From the register, a total of 13,813 elderly citizens and physically challenged adults, who are 18 years and above, representing the first batch, have been selected as beneficiaries of the grant. Each beneficiary will receive a quarterly grant of N20, 000 and payments will be through their bank accounts. We will however not stop at effecting and ensuring payment. We will follow up on these indigent citizens with other welfare schemes and monitor the use of the funds to ensure productivity and maximum impact on the beneficiaries…”
While giving account of his stewardship in the last one year, Fayemi listed his achievements to include fulfilling the promise of “restoring values and dignity, tackling infrastructure decay and developing the economy through the five pillars of this administration, namely: Governance, Agriculture and Rural Development, Social Investments, Knowledge Economy, and Infrastructure and Industrial Development.”
He promised to not only continue with abandoned projects from his first term, but to also start new ones.
On the debts he inherited from the last administration, he said: “We have so far defrayed N31,105, 658, 370.89 in salary, pension, gratuity and subvention arrears, and contractual claims and obligations, which represent about 26 per cent of the total inherited debt.
“Further to the aforementioned, and in our quest to encourage and motivate civil servants, plans are on-going to commence the implementation and payment of N30, 000 minimum wage from October. The Civil Service has been repositioned and strengthened with periodic internal and external training to enhance the performance of civil servants,” he said.
On the rumours making the round that he would sack workers that didn’t vote for him in 2014, he said: “Contrary to the prediction of propagandists that JKF2.0 was coming to sack teachers, I am glad to say we are in the final stage of employing 1,100 primary school teachers to strengthen the capacity of State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) at providing quality education for our pupils in public primary schools.
“Recruitment of 1,000 teachers into the Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) is also ongoing to boost the capacity of TESCOM at providing qualitative education for our children in public secondary schools…”
On people’s high expectations from his government, especially in boosting commerce and the state’s economy, Fayemi said: “Our moribund Ikun Dairy Farm, through our innovative partnership with Promasidor Milk Company with plans to produce 9, 000 litres of milk daily over the next two years. We have also revived and expanded our rice and cassava programmes through partnerships with the Federal Government and key private sector players. We have expanded our Youth in Commercial Agriculture Development programme (YCAD) and many of the farmers are currently undergoing training in these sub-sectors for commercial farming…”
He reiterated his administration’s commitment “to all national and international agricultural programmes for promotion of modernised and mechanised commercial farming…
“Although we have started strong, we want to assure our people that we are not resting on our oars. The next year will witness unprecedented progress, as we embark on several legacy projects, such as the AfDB supported construction of the Agro-Cargo Airport, the Knowledge Zone, the Ado Ekiti Ring Road, the Ado-Akure Dualisation and Reconstruction, the Agricultural Processing Zone, the World Bank supported Aero-Magnetic Mineral Survey…”
He explained to the people that all the development partners and donor agencies are back and clamouring to work again with the state.
He said: “The World Bank, European Union, United Nations System, USAID, Africa Development Bank, and several other partners, including Federal Government agencies are now working assiduously with us on how to move our dear state forward through knowledge economy, infrastructure and industrial development, agriculture and rural development and social investments.”
On what the people should expect in the next one year, Fayemi said: “Year 2020 promises to be a year of massive projects commissioning and institutionalisation of more life-changing programmes. We are hopeful and confident that many of the programmes and projects we started this year without noise or fanfare will be due for commissioning within the second year of this administration. The same thing applies to most of the previously abandoned and inherited projects in the state.”
However, the PDP in the state has described Fayemi’s one year in office as a “colossal failure with no visible achievement to showcase.” The party noted that the several billions of Naira collected as allocations from the Federal government has been grossly mismanaged, with other funds and grants squandered to please his cronies.
The party’s Publicity Secretary, Mr. Jackson Adebayo alleged that Fayemi has dragged Ekiti State back from the development trends he met on ground, when he assumed office in 2018.
The PDP said: “What Fayemi has mainly achieved in his one year in office is grand deception and departure from campaign promises, among which is his promise to pay the backlog of salaries and arrears of Ekiti workers.”
But the Ekiti State All Progressives Congress (APC) Publicity Secretary, Hon. Ade Ajayi described PDP’s allegations as a concocted falsehood and monumental conjectures.
Ajayi said Governor Fayemi would not be distracted by the ranting of paranoid people, who are only perfectionists at spreading gospel of bare-face lies.
The APC spokesman said the distractions would not deter the purposeful Fayemi-led administration from its avowed commitment to clear the huge rots left behind by PDP and rescue Ekiti from the clutches of those holding the state by the jugular.
He said: “When Governor Fayemi came on board, virtually all sectors of the state was in deplorable condition. But now, the health sector has been reinvigorated, education is taking its pride of place, infrastructures and basic amenities are also taking good shape and the economy is improving markedly.”