I read with trepidation and shock Mr Soga Owoeye’s ill-motivated diatribe against Governor Kayode Fayemi in his deconstruction mission to distract and mislead his readers that the governor is leading an administration intent on providing for himself and his associates in a land ravaged by hunger and misery while the majority suffer. Trepidation because Owoeye is supposed to be an Ekiti man. Shocked because Owoeye is taken for granted to be learned enough to know the worth of truth, but the man preferred to traffick in intellectual dishonesty.
Eventhough Owoeye’s bible of misinformation in that piece is disingenuously laced with bile, we shall not play the Moses’ ball here by paying him in equal measure. Instead, we shall attempt to respond with facts and figures to enable Owoeye himself realise that he is a tragedy to his integrity and a disgrace to the cherished scholarship of Ekiti intellectuals.
Owoeye had argued in his essay that Fayemi in the last one year had been idle, embarking on foreign trips recycling seminal essays not for the benefit of Ekiti people but for self-elevation and advancement of the fortunes of his friends.
But for the purpose of addressing Owoeye’s convenient collapse of memory and to educate him on how to address his blatant knowledge deficit and crass opportunitism in the game of political mudslinging, we shall list in chronological order Fayemi’s local initiatives and foray into international engagements as earlier published in my essay to let Owoeye and his ilk know and understand Fayemi’s roles in the initiatives to pull Ekiti State out of the woods it was left by his predecessor.
For the records, barely a week after Fayemi assumed office, he started applying balm to Ekiti people’s pain in the neck by removing Fayose’s yokes off their shoulders.
Specifically on October 24, 2018, Fayemi signed an Executive Order abolishing education levies imposed by the previous administration of Governor Ayo Fayose while on November 12, 2018, the new governor started consultative meetings at the grassroots on needs assessment for the purpose of budget planning and implementation.
Hope rose for Ekiti water supply on November 22, 2018 when Fayemi met with the World Bank team on Third National Urban Water project. Today, pipes are being distributed across the state to provide water for Ekiti people.
The governor also secured the support of the international development agencies that were sent packing by the former administration. The development agencies have since returned to the state for a new partnership in development initiatives. Yet, these are the international agencies that Owoeye branded as serving Fayemi and his aides.
For instance, technical education received a boost after the state received the World Bank’s $3m under the IDEAS scheme for the three technical colleges in the three senatorial districts of the state. This was achieved after Fayemi visited these foreign development agencies.
To everyone’s surprise, electricity supply returned to the Ikogosi, Erijiyan and Ipole-Iloro tourism communities on December 15, 2018 when they were reconnected to the national grid after four years in darkness. Today, Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort is back to restore Ekiti State to the world tourism map. The abandoned Fountain Hotel and Civic Centre are also back to life while the governor’s wife had conducted outreaches across the state to give succour to the less-privileged and old people.
The Central Bank-backed micro-credit scheme has started in full swing that will take thousands of Ekiti people out of labour market pains.
On December 27, 2018, Fayemi flagged off the $55m rehabilitation of Ero Dam treatment plant and replacement of main pipelines to provide water for several communities. The same with Egbe Dam. But for Owoeye, these dams are being rehabilitated to serve only Fayemi and his supporters.
On the eve of the New Year, December 31, 2018, Fayemi put smiles on the faces of Ekiti workers by paying part of the outstanding 10 months salary arrears owed by the last administration. Is Owoeye saying that all the beneficiaries are Fayemi’s supporters?
The New Year 2019 began with putting the health of Ekiti children in the front burner of health services when on January 2, Ekiti State signed a pact with Momdia Group, Dubai, for the roll-out of a new mobile child health service. Are the beneficiaries Isan-Ekiti people or Fayemi’s friends alone?
The long abandoned New Ado-Iyin road was handed over to a Chinese firm CCEEC Nigeria Ltd for construction on March 21, 2019, while a week later, Fayemi donated a 22-seater bus to Ekiti State College of Medicine. Are the students in the college Fayemi’s children?
Shortly afterwards, the governor flagged off 251km extension of water distribution pipelines to 14 communities in Ado-Ekiti Local Government. Are Fayemi’s friends camped in Ado communities to exclusively benefit from this scheme?
Again, pensioners’ spirits were lifted on May 6, 2019 when Fayemi began payment of N200m gratuities to 88 beneficiaries while the Gossy Water production plant closed down by the previous administration was re-opened. He also restored workers’ car and housing loans cancelled by the last administration.
It was the turn of the inauguration of the Steering Committee on the Ease of Doing Business on May 24, 2019, the same day the governor commissioned the refurbished Gossy Water Production Plant while he also received final approval for the full accreditation of EKSUTH College of Medicine by the Medical and Dental Council.
On July 8, 2019, Fayemi attended a special session with the Committee on the Ease of Doing Business in Ekiti State and on second day he attended Africa Investment Forum Road Show organised by AfDB in Abuja while July 12, 2019, was the day Fayemi paid the outstanding salaries and allowances of Fayose’s political appointees.
Agricultural production received a boost on July 15, 2019 when the governor inaugurated Youth Commercial Agricultural Development Board of Trustees to manage the scheme that will ensure creation of jobs and food security and also met World Bank Human Development team. Two days after, the governor distributed cheques to local government pensioners and met the officials of African Development Bank to chart development path for the state, after which he met Belarus government team on prospects of development partnership.
Efforts to revamp the moribund Ikun Dairy Farm project came alive on July 22, 2019 when Fayemi met the Managing Director of Promador, Anders Einarson, to sign a partnership agreement on the project that has potential to create hundreds of jobs in addition to the value chain of the project while the governor later received World Bank officials on August 1, 2019 after which the United Nations Resident team also came visiting to chart development course for Ekiti State, among other development initiatives, to raise the state from the ruins into which it was left by the last administration.
The questions are: where is the evidence that the beneficiaries of these initiatives are Fayemi’s family members and friends? Do all these Fayemi’s efforts and initiatives support Owoeye’s assertion that Fayemi was idly recycling seminar and seminal papers across the globe to feather his nest and those of his friends?
Fayemi also resuscitated the abandoned Civic Centre while the abandoned Oba Adejugbe General Hospital in Ado-Ekiti has begun operation. We want to ask: is Oba Adejugbe Fayemi’s father?
Fayemi had in early part of his second term criss-crossed parts of the world to rally investors and development partners to help lift Ekiti State from doldrums with pockets of international aid agencies promising to help rescue Ekiti State in the objectives of the Collective Rescue Mission Two.
They included a visit to the Minister of Works and Power, Mr Babatunde Fashola, to discuss issues relating to the ministry’s decayed infrastructure and assets in Ekiti State and how to improve them and introduce fresh ones.
The Federal Government has since given concession to Fayemi to build Ado-Akure road to end the urban terrorism that road has constituted to Nigerians and Ekiti people in particular, as kidnapping activities menace the people along that road.
While at the Ministry of Interior, Fayemi sought from the then Minister, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, cooperation and collaboration on security to address insecurity in the state that has virtually turned Ekiti State to a kidnapping capital of the South West.
Fayemi also met the Managing Director of the Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), Abba Bello, in Abuja, to discuss on how to record a boom in Ekiti State’s economy through export of farm produce in which the Fayemi’s resuscitated Youths In Commercial Agriculture Development (YCAD) will play a pivotal role.
He also visited former Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, to seek cooperation in growing agricultural productivity and employment, especially among the youth and building on his Youths In Commercial Agriculture Development (YCAD) initiative during his first term in office.
Other issues discussed included efforts aimed at improving processing units across the value chains of export produce, including cocoa, coffee, cassava, rubber, cashew, and yam, amongst others, including improving storage facilities for farm produce to encourage large-scale production as a way to further encourage agro-investments in Ekiti State.
Besides the ongoing water project across the state, Fayemi is already finalising a scheme that will make Ekiti State a huge construction site to provide roads in all the nooks and crannies of the state. By February next year, bulldozers will be humming across the state to revamp road infrastructure and there is no evidence that it is Fayemi and his friends alone that will benefit from this project.
Again, Fayemi met with the Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria, Ambassador Kertil Karlsen, where they discussed ongoing and future economic programmes of the institution in Ekiti State. The Governor used the occasion to canvass for programmes and supports that guarantee jobs for youths and steps on improving inter-linkage between public and private sector-led development.
In health sector, Fayemi held talks with the representatives of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation led by its Managing Director, Paul Basinga, who promised to partner with Ekiti State government to develop the health sector while also seeking partnership in agricultural development partnership with AGCO South Africa (Pty) Limited.
The company’s Vice President, Nuradin Osman, assured that the partnership would create more than 3,000 jobs for Ekiti youths while at Agence Francaise de Development (AFD), Fayemi sought the cooperation and support of the agency in the implementation of some economic programmes in Ekiti State.
The question is: are the benefiaries of these initiatives Fayemi’s friends?
Well, politics is thick in the air in the run-up to the 2022 power grab scheme. It is only regrettable that sadly uninformed commentaries and lazy pontifications have started to replace what is supposed to a noble power chase.
I do not know Owoeye’s station in intellectualism, it is however regrettable that effort to misinform and mislead the public is being championed by a supposed learned man, no matter his state of origin.
Olujobi is Commissioner in Ekiti State Local Government Service Commission