EKITI APC Guber Candidate, Dr Kayode Fayemi
Since the Minister of Mineral Resources, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, emerged the APC governorship candidate in Ekiti, the PDP leadership in the state had launched a big propaganda blitz to run him down. Suddenly, the social media went agog with a lot of anti–Fayemi stories, some of which include, painting him as an apologist for herdsmen. Gov. Ayo Fayose, whose deputy, Prof. Kolapo Olusola is the standard bearer of the PDP has come out to say Fayemi is of no consequence and that the PDP would win again at the July 2018 polls.
But Fayemi, who is on his way out of Pres. Buhari’s cabinet, in the next few weeks, has told City People that he would beat both Fayose and his candidate, combined, at the polls. “PDP is in for a shock this time around, in Ekiti State, come July 2018″, he said matter of factly last week.
“If Fayose still thinks he can rig the way he did during the last governorship election that rigged us out of power, he would be shocked. The situation has changed. The game has changed. We knew how he rigged. We all watched the video recording of his secret meetings and we know the role vital agencies played at that time”.
“That won’t ever happen again in Ekiti. We won’t let him use the soldiers. We won’t let him use the police to intimidate anybody. The federal might he used to rig is no longer there. The game has changed. All he is relying on now is the propaganda that he is popular. He will soon see the result. He has forgotten that Ekiti people would be voting their conscience. How can a man, who is owing Civil Servants 8 months salary say he is popular? He is owing teachers also. How can giving mere pittance to Ekiti people be presented as stomach infrastructure? In Ekiti State today, people are hungry. That is why we are going in there on a rescue mission, to rescue Ekiti people”.
“Fayose has forgotten that the term stomach infrastructure was coined during my tenure, when some of my aides remarked that now that we have tackled roads, infrastructure and all the serious issues, let’s now deal with stomach issues.
“The PDP has been sponsoring all sorts of anti-Fayemi campaigns that I am an apologist for the North, that I said I would create a colony for herdsmen in Ekiti when I come in. All these are lies. I didn’t say anything of such. Don’t believe all the stories you read online, many of them are cooked up or sponsored”.
“They have also been carrying rumours that Fayemi does not like Ekiti teachers, that when I come in, I will deal with them. that I will sack them. That is a big lie. People forget that Fayose has not matched what I did for Ekiti teachers. During my 4 years, I increased the salaries of Ekiti teachers 3 times and the salary they earn today was the last salary, we promoted them to. We created so many allowances like Rural Teachers Allowance. We did a lot . They accuse me of arrogance. They said I am too intellectual. The truth is I am not arrogant. I am a simple person, who has great plans for Ekiti people. Ekiti is in a bad shape right now. That I am intellectual in my outlook shouldn’t be a crime in a state that prides itself in having produced a large number of Professors. I don’t have to keep playing to the gallery like Fayose because I want to be like him. No. He knows the game is up”.
“We are going in there to continue all the good policies we introduced that Fayose stopped”.
Fayemi revealed that the efforts of his administration in transforming the state paid off then, as the state took the lead in virtually all indices of Human development, as attested to by local and international bodies and in major changes in the lives of the citizens.
He said the state received high ratings in terms of efficiency, transparency and competitiveness among the states of Nigeria, even as the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ report put Ekiti among the 5 leading states that had made remarkable progress on all indices of doing business with ease under him.
He said Ekiti was ranked 34th before his administration came in then, but under him, the state progressed to the first 5.
He stated that the state benefited from, at least, 6 World Bank projects to the tune of $150 million in Agriculture, health, education, governance and infrastructure.
He reeled out a plethora of development initiatives, especially the Social Security Scheme and the Youth Volunteer Programmes, which his administration introduced that attracted the World Bank to Ekiti as a pilot state for its Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO), a welfarist intervention programme of the World Bank aimed at reducing poverty, by allowing poor people access to increased opportunities for youth employment and social service delivery.
This, he noted, put paid to those who continued then to “spread falsehood that we only paid attention to infrastructural development at the expense of human development”.
He disclosed that $50 million was approved for Ekiti to undertake a water project, pointing out that the state represented the bank’s model of development partnership.
He says the achievements of his administration surpassed those of all the previous administrations put together.
He attributed the high level of achievements of his government to the proper implementation of the well-thought-out 8-point agenda of his administration, which he said was tailored towards reducing poverty and attracting investment to the state.
According to Fayemi, Ekiti was transformed through aggressive infrastructural development put in place by his government which he said had made positive impact on the lives of the people.
He highlighted some of these achievements to include: •Construction of hundreds of kilometers of both inter-township and intra-township roads •Distribution of over 50 thousand laptop computers to students and teachers in the state • Renovation of all public schools •Implementation of social security scheme under which elderly citizens above the age of 65 years receive a monthly stipend of 5 thousand naira each • Transformation of the Ikogosi Warm Spring into the number one tourist destination in Nigeria •Implementation of an aggressive agricultural policy involving large scale irrigation farming • Engagement of hundreds of interested and enterprising youngsters under the Youths in Commercial Agriculture (Y-CAD) as well as a highly successful free health.
“We did a lot when I was governor,” he explained. “But what we failed to do then was, we did not embark on a media frenzy to show that we were working, like Fayose does”. “As I go round to campaign now, at every ward, ever LG, every town, I can see that all the infrastructures we put in place years back are, still standing. In most areas, that I have visited recently, what we did for them then, is still what is there standing.”
Fayemi insists that he is going back to Ekiti to revive all the laudable projects that earned him the admiration of Ekiti people.
He has identified some of the major problems facing Ekiti people, both at Rural and Urban level, and this was what led to his 8 Point Agenda programme then, some of which he plans to re-introduce. The 8 Point Agenda was Fayemi government’s road map towards rapidly and improving the general well-being of the people as well as attract investors.
The 8-point agenda were, (1) Governance, (2) Infrastructural Development (3) Modernizing Agriculture, (4) Education and Human Capital Development, (5) Health Care Services, (6) Industrial Development, Tourism & Environmental Sustainability, (8) Gender Equality and Empowerment. “Many didn’t know we had constant interactive sessions between the Government and the People at every level. Ekiti People were in the 4 years of my government always my main concern, first, before any policy or project is embarked upon. No wonder, Ekiti State became the first state in Nigeria to domesticate the Freedom of Information (FOI) Law, under Fayemi. Ekiti was also the first to pass the Physical responsibility law, also under Fayemi. They were the first to pass the Abuse of Gender which has been effective in the state by putting a legal framework that if you abuse anybody based on gender you will be punished. Another dimension was the One- On- one session he had called community assessment, between The People and The Governor before budgets were passed” he explained.
Fayemi says his administration had made it clear, that it was not going to adopt a sit in the office approach to budgetary policy. The people were allowed to say what they want before factoring it or aggregating it into the budget, before formulation and implementation. At that time Fayemi was given a score card in terms of Infrastructural Development, His administration had promised to develop the infrastructure of state from the cities to the Rural area because according to him, without improvement in infrastructure there cannot be any meaningful development. His government did not only improve the infrastructure but also did not abandon some of the major projects he met on ground.
In the area of Water supply which was one of the major challenges facing the state then, Fayemi commissioned over 5 mini-water treatment plants while replacement of new pipes to the old ones all over the State was done. 167 modern water fetching points called (Eyiyato Fetching Points) were constructed in various communities across the 16 Local Government Areas to ameliorate hardship caused by shortage of water. In 2013, Fayemi as Governor signed into law the Water and Sanitation bill. No wonder his administraton was rated one of the best 2 states in the water sector.
On Electricity, Transformers were supplied and installed in many communities to boost electricity supply because many communities which hitherto had no electricity in over 50 years of their existence, example is the Oke-Ako town in Ikole Local Government which was connected and linked to the national grid, all this was achieved under infrastructure. Fayemi kept insisting that Agriculture is the main stay of the economy of Ekiti state.
So, he ensured that Agriculture was modernized , in order to develop the value chain and one of it is Youth In Commercial Agricultural Development. Over hundreds of Ekiti youths were engaged in Commercial Agriculture under the Youth Commercial Agriculture Development Programme (YCAD). Through this, 117,000 farmers benefited from the ADP programme. Under Fayemi, Ekiti State had the largest productivity yield and cultivation. Ekiti also had the largest expansion in cultivation in the country then. In 2013, the state was rated as having one of the highest yields in Cassava in the country. As regards rice, 750Ha was cultivated under the Rice Expansion Programme, with 100% support from the state government, With 3,000Ha targeted. There was the 600 million naira irrigation project under which Ero and Itapaji dams made available. That was 1,700 hectares of irrigated land. This was the joint constituency project of the 3 Senators representing Ekiti with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Food and Agricultural Organisation. (FAO). To restore Cocoa to its original position as the main cash crop in the State, 150,000 cocoa seedlings were distributed to 15,000 farmers out of the 500,000 seedlings approved then. So modernizing agriculture through agric extension, irrigation, development of farm settlements was within the 8–point agenda. It also served as employment opportunity for the youths. According to Fayemi, in terms of Education and Human Capital Development, Ekiti people were seen as the clear leader in the Education sector, but despite the fact that they are known for their academic performance, for years, not much was done in making the environment conducive for students. This led to Fayemi‘s Operation School Renovation, which saw over 183 secondary schools and 836 primary schools renovated with standard furniture, free education up to secondary school level, while Tuition fees were reduced in the State University, 48, 000 laptops were distributed to students and teachers in Ekiti State with 25,000 more distributed before the end of his tenure. The renovation of schools and the distribution of laptops to students yielded dividends beyond imagination as manifested in the tremendous improvement in the WAEC result of the State in 2013. In the area of Health care service which is one of his 8 point agenda, Fayemi, in his 4 years in office made Health accessible for his people in terms of free medicals for underage (up to 5 years), pregnant women, physically challenged and the elderly ones in the society. While many Primary Health Care Centres and 18 General Hospitals were renovated across the state, two new ones were constructed. The Funmi Adunni Olayinka Diagnostic and Wellness Centre was established for early detection of Cancer related ailment to prevent avoidable death. Ministry of Health conducted free medical screening for Breast cancer in women and Prostate cancer in men. With its improvement in the health sector it helped in reducing Infant mortality and maternal mortality and it placed Ekiti and 2 other states to be certified as having met MDGs health goals, programmes.
Tourism was another area in which the Fayemi government recorded a great achievement. with the remarkable transformation of Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort.
The scenery is so natural and picturesque that it was made a world class tourist centre.Fayemi explained that once Fayose came in 2015, he abandoned all these projects he put in place and made it go to waste.
Perhaps, one of the biggest achievements of Fayemi was his introduction of Social security. That was another thing that gave Fayemi an edge over his counterparts, as payment of five thousand naira was given to the elderly people for their monthly stipend. Before he left, over 20,000 elderly people were enjoying it. His wife also made sure no elderly person in the State went to bed hungry through her Food Bank Programme where elders were served cooked food in Special Kitchens across the state. Traditional rulers were not left out in the transformation process, as they were provided with brand new vehicles. Fayemi empowered and encouraged women through its Gender Equality and Empowerment. As a result of that, in Ekiti more and more women began to indicate their interest in active politics than before where only few women were in politics. Under Fayemi, women got empowered and they now occupy more visible public offices than before. Erelu Bisi Fayemi, the wife of Dr. Kayode Fayemi, did not relent in her activities to see that women were well catered for, as she brought relief to many mothers of triplets through her Multiple Birth Trust Fund where financial assistance and baby items are given to them across the state through her gender empowerment programme.
Last week, Dr. Kayode Fayemi told City People that Ekiti will go back to the good times, once he wins. According to him, “right now Ekiti people are in bondage and we would surely rescue them come July”.