The recent violent assault on the convoy of Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, State precisely on Sunday, June 8,2014 by a police team led by the Commander of the Police Mobile Force in Ado-Ekiti, Gabriel Selenkere is totally condemnable. That it led to the death of an All Progressives Alliance member, Taiwo Akinsola and the forcible arrest of the Commissioner for Integration and Inter-government Affairs, Mr.Funminiyi Afuye makes it all the more horrendous.
This ugly incident coming a few days to the gubernatorial elections makes it worrisome. According to Fayemi, who has since described the attack as an assassination attempt on his person and taken the matter to both the president and the Inspector General of Police, “the death of Taiwo Aknola was avoidable. It is unfortunate.” Adding their voices of patriotic concern both the APC and the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights(CDHR) have blamed the Presidency and the PDP as the masterminds for the violence. And they have also warned that the country should not be thrown into chaos and anarchy prelude to the 2015 general elections. Their views and responses should be taken seriously by those who still have love for the peace and unity of this country.
Coming on the heels of the clamp down on the media by the military such warning should be a wakeup call to those who dictate the political affairs of the country. In fact, the position of the APC that the attack on Governor Fayemi may be part of a script by the PDP rigging machinery to unleash mayhem in the South-West geo-political zone all in the desperation to capture political power by brute force can hardly be faulted. This sordid and scary scenario, characterized by the penchant for power by means of crook instead of hook thjrows up some fundamental questions.
While it is a well known fact that the zone, well known for its political sophistication brings out the best of its brains and hands to the political space as exemplified by the emergence and excellent performance in office by the Awolowos, Ajasins, Iges, Jakandes,Tinubus and Fasholas through progressive political parties the PDP as an off shoot of reactionary forces under the aegis of the conservatives does the exact opposite.
For instance, one has observed, but sadly so that the PDP exhibits the tendency to project candidates from the South-West with antecedents for perpetrating evil to the political podium. The choices of Ayodele Fayose and Iyiola Omisore to fly the gubernatorial flags of the party in both Ekiti and Osun states fits this bill. Both have questions hanging on their necks over the dastardly assassinations of Dr.Ayo Daramola and Chief Bola Ige, respectively. Both are dictatorial in nature and believe in breathing down the necks of political associates to get their wishes done. As conservatives masquerading as democrats they are given to acting, as well as breeding violence through blood-letting thugs. It is intriguing that both also have questions over their academic qualifications.
Narrowing down the gubernatorial contest in Ekiti state between Dr.Kayode Fayemi of the APC and Mr.Ayodele Fayose of the PDP, “the difference”, as the popular advert message goes “is clear.”Fayemi is a well-rounded and thorough-bred world-renowned professional with a doctorate degree in war strategy. Fayose’s educational background, as mentioned earlier is shrouded in secrecy.
While Fayemi is credited as having a listening ear, Fayose has been several lampooned for his domineering attitude to governance. His associates, both past and present find this uncomfortable. Lacking in sophistry and diplomacy, Fayose with is short temper could take on anyone and rain insults on him. Indeed,one reason why the traditional institution in Ekiti state would not wish Fayose’s return is hinged on his utter disrespect to them. Many of them, including the paramount ruler of Ado-Ekiti had their thrones threatened while the man called Fayose held sway as the Ekiti state governor. It was no different for the elite and powerful stakeholders whose toes he trampled on at will, including the erudite Chief Afe Babalola who he was severally rude to.
Furthermore, empirical evidence abounds to the effect that while Fayemi is methodical and through in both planning and execution of projects Fayose’s approach to governance lacks these unfailing elements. Besides, he has the rush mentality of wanting things done quickly and embarking on too many projects all at the same time, without proper documentation. Yet, these are not all to Fayose’s Achilles heel.
In terms of prudence and accountability, Fayose’s tenure was marred with weighty allegations of financial impropriety. He still has questions to answer with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC over the controversial poultry project and money laundering. It is therefore, a sad commentary on our political culture that someone with such braggadocio attitude, whose tendency for violence and sleaze in financial matters are well known is being tipped to lead a state with the highest concentration of academicians on the African continent. Such gross lack of internal democracy which the PDP practices and paradoxically accuses other political parties of promoting led the former governor,Segun Oni to pitch his tent with the APC.
Good enough, the ever-smiling incumbent Ekiti state governor,Fayemi popularly called JKF has more than enough reasons to seek re-election for a second term. When one goes to the state and hears the slogan ‘kodurosoke’, it is a campaign mantra for the great achiever. Physical evidence of projects completed,including those left by his predecessor,Oni and on-going ones do not lie.
For instance, soon after Fayemi was sworn into office as the governor on Saturday, October 16, 2010 he launched a mission statement tagged ‘Collective Rescue Mission.’ The vision, summed up in an 8-point Agenda is predicated on the elements of : Good Governance, Infrastructural Development, Modernizing Agriculture, Education and Human Capital Development, Health Care Services, Industrial Development, Tourism Development, and Gender Equality and Women Empowerment.
First, he became the first state governor in this current political dispensation to openly declare his Seven Hundred and Fifty Million Naira, (N750 million) assets including the property owned by his wife, Bisi Fayemi. Fayemi also made history as the first governor in Nigeria to sign into law the Freedom of Information (FoI)Law on Monday, July 4, 2011.These salutary moves were to reinforce his firm belief that to deepen the democratic culture, government business should be conducted with utmost probity and accountability.
Subsequently, he embarked on massive infrastructural development. In four years, Ekiti state has since been turned into a vast construction site with road construction going on in towns, villages and even remotest settlements in all parts of the state.. For instance, in November 2011 the government decided to award roads, especially those leading to Ado Ekiti order to ameliorate the sufferings of motorists and also to give the State capital. Months ago he commissioned ten major roads totaling 103 km in fulfillment of the promise and commitment of his administration to make all the communities in the State accessible by motorable roads by 2014.
On the critical issue of education there is free education policy with many dilapidated school buildings which had not been touched for 40 years are being demolished and rebuilt. The pace of work going on in commercial agriculture, health, and tourism is commendable. A health centre at Ido Ile and a Skills Acquisition Centre at Iropora Ekiti which were carried out under the State Community and Social Development Agency has since been commissioned. The popular Ikogosi Warm Spring has been upgraded with requisite infrastructural development to make it a tourist‘s destination of choice, even as some cultural festivals are being given the desired attention to boost the industry.
It is also praiseworthy that Ekiti state is also the first in Nigeria to demonstrate in practical term a welfare scheme for the aged as the indigent elders receive N5, 000 monthly. Indeed, the Federal Government has recently keyed into this by expanding the programme to reach selected women in the state. It is such that after one year of receiving the stipend they could be offered soft loans to start their businesses.
The Governor also commissioned five water treatment plants at Ipole Iloro, Efon, Ido Ile, Okemesi and Mary Hill Ado Ekiti as part of people-oriented projects to mark the second anniversary of his administration providing potable water to at least 80 per cent of the state population this year.Similarly, all the four dams in the state have become functional as a bulk of the 2013 budget was expended on water.
In the power sector, a new dawn was ushered in for the people of Odo Uro, a communtiy in Iyin Ekiti as the governor commissioned a rural electrification project. The scope of work done involved about 0.1km Inter Town Connection (ITC), 1.8km Township Distribution Network (TDN), a 300KVA transformer and street lighting.
With these laudable landmark achievements, Fayemi is eminently qualified to ask Ekiti people for another four years to consolidate on the state’s monumental development. He is one of the undisputed heroes of Nigeria’s current democratic dispensation. Indeed, he is a jinx -breaker waiting to re-write the history of the Fountain of Knowledge.