OPINION: Fayemi, The Pathfinder

November 23, 2012

L-R: Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, inspecting drainages along the on-going dualization of Old Garage-Baptist-Ojumose Road, in Ado-Ekiti... rece

On the 16th of October 2010, when a tumultuous crowd of Ekiti Indigenes took to the streets to celebrate the judicial pronouncement of the Appeal Court that declared Dr. Kayode Fayemi as the duly elected governor of the state, many thought it was all a part of politicking. Some critics even went as far as saying the crowd was rented to create an illusion of popularity for the new governor.

But for those of us resident in the state, Fayemi’s victory at the Appeal Court was a sigh of relief and a promise that better days were ahead for us. It was a clear proof that heaven had finally sated the cravings of the good people of Ekiti for a messiah.

Before Fayemi’s administration, the environment of Ekiti State was an eyesore. Ado-Ekiti, the capital was an Aegean Stable that would rank amongst the worst capital cities in the country. Major and minor streets in the metropolis were littered as virtually every available space had become a refuse site. Drainages were blocked, walls were defaced with posters of all sorts and the roads were in derelict conditions. The stench oozing from the heaps of refuse that had become a regular sight on almost every street was a constant source of worry for everyone but the government that was contended with turning a blind eye to the problem. So bad was the situation that visitors in the state who were not familiar with the nauseating smell would cover their noses while walking and driving on the streets.

Thankfully those days have become history that will soon fade from our memories as a people. The coming of Dr. Fayemi marked the end of that era of disorder in Ado Ekiti and other towns in the state. In just two years at the helms the governor has transformed the environment of Ekiti State for good. He has proved to be the pathfinder illuminating our paths out of the dungeons where his predecessors placed us.

It is to Fayemi’s credit that a town that was once an eyesore and held no attractions for anyone now glows and competes favourably with Ikeja, Asaba, Uyo and other capital towns in Nigeria.

In his quest to ensure that things do not remain the way they were before his time, the governor started the urban renewal initiative which seeks to revamp and beautify Ado-ekiti and other cities in the state.

The results are obvious for all eyes to see. With the re-introduction of the monthly environmental sanitation across the state, the governor is turning Ekiti into a decent and modern State. We now see colourful flowers and trees blossoming in places that used to be refuse dump sites. Drainages are flowing freely and roads that used to be decorated with filth are now being swept on a daily basis. The stench that hung in the air before now has also been replaced with an aura fresh air.

Any visitor familiar with the Ekiti State during the pre-Fayemi era would attest that the Governor has performed credibly well in such a short time. Ekiti now wears a new a look that is hard to deny.

For Governor Fayemi, it is not just about giving the capital city a face-lift. It is about meeting the people’s expectations, creating a platform for them to develop themselves and leaving something tangible for posterity. For instance, when one considers the ‘Lagacy Projects’ that were initiated last month when he marked his second year in office, it becomes clears to see that the governor is driven by a passion to make life better for the people by turning the state into an urban centre. He knows that a well kept environment will not only attract investors to the state but will also put the people in the right frame of mind to think and come up with ideas that will better their lives.

The projects which include a new Government House, Civic Centre (incorporating a library, museum and art gallery and a cinema), State Pavillion (something like the Eagle’s Square in Abuja, where parade and other activities will take place), Samsung Engineering Academy and Grand Tower Shopping Mall which will be incorporated by Shoprite will not only add aesthetic value to the state but also provide job opportunities for the people. Aside from that, it will also improve the internally generated revenue of the state.

The infrastructural development programmes initiated by Fayemi’s administration have also contributed immensely in transforming the landscape of Ekiti State. In fulfillment of his promises to connect all parts of Ekiti State through motorable roads, the governor embarked on massive road construction projects across the state. As at today almost all the major roads in the State have either been completed or nearing completion. Even the Ado-Iworoko-Ifaki Road which proved a difficult task for previous governments is almost at the last stage of construction. Without doubt, these projects have eased the burden of life and living for millions of the residents of the state.

The best thing about Fayemi’s environmental renaissance is that it has placed Ekiti state on the spotlight as a tourist destination. The massive investments at the famous Ikogosi spring which serves as the state’s tourism hub speaks volumes of what his administration wants to achieve. By redesigning the landscape, constructing villa chalets and an amphitheatre, the governor is looking to attract local and international tourists to our beloved state. For a state that is naturally endowed with some of the most picturesque landscape, beautiful mountains, and alluring valleys, tourism portends an economic boom for the people.

As an observer, I often ask myself why previous administrations did not do as much as Dr. Fayemi is doing now. If any of the governor priviledged to have ruled this state had done a quarter of what he is doing, our state will definitely be more developed than it is today. With the meagre resources coming from the Federal Government as monthly allocation and a lean internally generated revenue purse, he has been able to achieve so much. I have no doubts that by the end of his tenure as governor, Ekiti would be one of the most sought after states in this country.

• Omonigbehin writes from Ado-Ekiti.

This article was first published in The Nation on 22 November, 2012.

Last modified: November 23, 2012

One Response to " OPINION: Fayemi, The Pathfinder "

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