The Governor of Ekiti State, Biodun Oyebanji, on Saturday, assured elderly citizens in the state that his government will continue to accord them the deserved respect and initiate programs that will transform their lives and make their old age more comfortable.
Gov. Oyebanji disclosed that the payment of gratuities and pension, introduction of emergency programs in all medical facilities and reintroduction of social security scheme for the elderly, were conceptualized to reduce the elders’ stress, sufferings and neglect in governance.
Gov. Oyebanji said this in Ado Ekiti, on Saturday, during an engagement with Older Persons held at the Adetiloye hall as part of the activities marking the first year anniversary of his administration.
At the event, attended by the First Lady, Dr. Olayemi Oyebanji, a Gynecologist, Dr. Bolade Ojo, took the elders through a health tips and ways they can prevent and overcome some of the health challenges associated with old age.
Gov. Oyebanji, represented by his Deputy, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye, said his plan and focus upon assumption of office, was to create a state, whereby all the strata of the society , regardless of age, religion, ethnicity and political leanings will enjoy the dividends of democracy under him.
The Governor saluted the elders for deploying their youthful vitality of the past to serve the state and fought for its creation, saying his government will continually treat them with respect.
“What I want is a State where everyone regardless of age, gender, religion, or ethnicity will live happily and thrive. We made payment of pensions our priority and also defrayed some outstanding gratuities of retirees at the State and Local Government levels. On health care, the government established Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) across all the LGAs to improve response to health emergencies.
“We also expanded the Ulera Wa Health Insurance Intervention from five LGAs to 10. Also, as part of the rural development plan, 43.4km of farm roads have been constructed across some LGAs. I assure you that this government will continue to do its best to ensure the welfare of our senior citizens.
“I am immensely grateful to Ekiti elders for your support, guidance, and prayers. Especially, I thank the Ekiti Council of Elders for their commitment and contributions to Ekiti development”.
Speaking further, Oyebanji added that he was aware of the National Senior Citizens Act and the establishment of a dedicated centre by the Federal Government to ensure that the rights of older persons are mainstreamed in all programmes and activities.
“As the State accords due attention to our senior citizens, I urge families to also take care of their aged parents and relations. An elderly person at home is like a living golden treasure. We are to take care of our aged effectively while alive, it is then that celebrating them when they are no more will be meaningful”.
Describing the elders as strong pillar of support to the current administration, the Ekiti State First Lady, Dr Oyebanji, sought continued support for his husband, saying the elders won’t regret such action.
“What the Governor needs most are your prayers, because the elders carry a grace and whatever they say shall come to fruition. This government is for you and we will not let you down” .
In his response, the Chairman of the Ekiti Council of Elders, Prof. Joseph Oluwasanmi, said the sudden removal of fuel subsidy really had a toll on the elders, which he said makes it imperative for government to design policies that would cushion the effect on this category of the Nigerian population.
Oluwasanmi, a Professor of Medicine and Surgery, saluted Oyebanji for his scintillating achievements in one year in office, particularly for being committed to factor all the citizens into his policies.
“We will continue to support and pray for the success of your administration. We have seen how you have been working hard to make Ekiti great. We are proud of your modest achievements”.
In his lecture, the Provost, College of Education, Bamidele Olumilua University of Science and Technology(BOUESTI), Prof. Adekunle Adegun, who spoke on ”Older Persons in Contemporary Times”, advised the elders to pay utmost attention to their wellbeing.
Prof Adegun, who described old age as very challenging, appealed to the elders to think less about material acquisition and refrain from acts that can stress them financially and economically, thereby worsening their health situations .
Last modified: October 22, 2023