Joy As Fayemi Showcases Stewardship

October 15, 2012

L-R: Special Adviser to Ekiti State Governor on Legal Matters, Mr. Tolulope Dare; Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Dr. Adewale Omirin; Governor Kayode Fayemi; and Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Dr. (Mrs.) Eniola Ajayi, during the Commissioning of the Newly Rehabilitated Ipoti High School, Ipoti-Ekiti, as part of the Events Commemorating the 2nd Anniversary of the Fayemi-Led Administration, Ijero-Ekiti.

Necks were strained with no pain to their owners, all in a bid to catch a glimpse of the important visitor. And the scorching sun of the ‘hostile’ afternoon meant nothing to the jubilant crowd. Surprisingly, umbrellas were on sabbatical. Conspicuously displayed by ecstatic youths, placards bearing their heartfelt feelings competed for space. “Our own Governor Fayemi, we appreciate your intellectual approach to governance,” one of the placards read. The euphoria was infectious.

With his fists humbly clenched under his chin in bewitching awe, the cynosure of all eyes in the mini-carnival, Ekiti State Governor, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi (JFK), beamed his trademark toothy smile in heartfelt appreciation of his hosts who were obviously drunk with joy.

Exuding palpable sense of fulfillment of sorts, members of his entourage, including commissioners and some legislators, nodded their heads in acknowledgement of the overwhelming reception.

“I can’t but appreciate your love for me and your unshaking belief in our administration. But I can assure you, this is just the beginning of a largely rewarding relationship,” Fayemi declared, spurring a thunderous applause even from the traditional rulers who graced the occasion. The event was the foundation laying of a trailer park at Omuo-Oke in Ekiti East Local Government Area of the state.

It was the fifth day of the celebration of Fayemi’s second year in the saddle. The previous day, he had, amid pomp, commissioned an ultra-modern Data Centre and laid the foundation of a Civic Centre and Samsung Engineering Academy among such laudable projects at various locations in Ado, the state capital town.

An incurable stickler to promptitude, Fayemi, by his tight itinerary that day, this reporter later learnt, never anticipated spending more than five minutes at Omuo-Ekiti. But his hosts caught him off-guard with various captivating gestures, interspersed with songs by various groups, including members of the Dr. Frederick Fasheun faction of the frontline Yoruba self-determination group, the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC).

The gathering was enlivened the more when, Isalu Awoyo, a legendary masquerade that comes out once in seven years was specially ‘forced’ out to entertain the serviceable governor.

With head-swelling praise-songs, Egbe Obirin Omuo-Oke, all decked in white lace materials with embroidered caps to match, took their turn. Again, it was a groundswell of prayers for Fayemi and his lieutenants. They capped it up with presentation of gifts to the governor.

Chief Joshua Adewumi spoke for the community. He hinted: “We deliberately appear in white today to express our love for our governor and his administration.” Looking straight into Fayemi’s eyes, he added amid affirmatory ovation: “You will soon know how much we love you.”

Obviously touched, Fayemi smiled in response as he rose to address the people. As he read his brief speech, songs of appreciation rocked the scene from every angle. “Omuo-Oke specifically asked for a trailer park and we are here today to lay the foundation for its delivery,” he stated amid deafening chants of “thank you sir.”

He continued: “What we are doing here today is in agreement with our 8-Point Agenda. On completion, the park will end the era of indiscriminate parking of trailers on the route. The park will accommodate over 100 trailers and smaller vehicles; a petrol station; mechanic workshop, administration buildings; ambulance base, Fire Service Station and a police post among others. And it will create at least, 1000 jobs.”

Thereafter, with adeptness, Fayemi laid the foundation of the facility with mixed sand and blocks to the pleasant shock of onlookers. In fact, the main jocular poser left unanswered while he left for another location was whether or not the governor trained in bricklaying!”

In terms of time frame, the foundation-laying of the Life Academy Foundation, Ilu-Omoba in Gboyin Council Area had some semblance with the brief signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of the 27 million U.S Dollar Grand Tower Mall earlier on Wednesday at the Government House before the governor went on the day’s tour.

The project, billed to be executed at Ado, the state capital, by Golden Towers Plc, is expected to be completed within 24 months at no cost to the state government. It is expected to attract multinationals in the state’s investment drive, attract tourists, and employ no fewer than 500 construction staff with over 1000 post-construction employees.

Handing the Certificate of Occupancy of the location of the project to representatives of the Grand Towers Company after signing the MOU, Fayemi simply said, “you can move to site immediately.” He waited for no further comment as he embarked on the day’s trip.

In no time, the governor and his entourage were at Aisegba in Ise/Orun Council area for the foundation-laying of its Enterprise Development Centre.

Before one could say Jack, the entourage took its business to Ijan for the commissioning of Ilupeju-Ijan Electricity Project. It is in the same council area. That it was a special day in the community was felt even by the blind. Reason: Yes, he might not see the mammoth crowd of indigenes and their neighbours who stepped out to be counted at the moment and the school pupils who dared the hellish sun to welcome their beloved governor; but his eardrums would play host to euphonious traditional lyrics churned out in honour of Fayemi and his cabinet by various dance groups.

Call it another moment for the characteristic ‘Broom Revolution’ of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), you are right. Members in attendance waved their brooms as they chanted the praise of the governor vis-à-vis of the people-oriented agenda of the party.

Those who did not turn emergency photographers in desperate attempts to have the governor’s shots were perhaps the infinitesimal few without phone sets. Humans turned horses for others who mounted their backs; many other hanged on boughs and some wonky structures to have their turns at all costs, the inherent risks notwithstanding.

Some enthusiastic youths took their appreciation of the governor to a mathematical level when after Fayemi cut the tape to declare the project open, they shouted to high heavens: “Four plus four equal eight; not story!” Are you at sea over what that meant? One of the youths told this reporter: “He is doing another four years after this; it is settled!”

Certainly, it was bold on the faces of the state Deputy Governor, Mrs Olufunmilayo Olayinka and the governor’s wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi that the day would enjoy special mention in their memoirs. So it was for the Chairman of the ACN in the state, High Chief Jide Awe who also made the day with his governor.

After a thoughtful stare at the new electricity transformer just installed to empower the facility, the Onijan of Ijan, Oba Samuel Oyewole Fadahunsi, who, alongside his chiefs, graced the occasion in flowing robes and complementary beads, was unsparing in words of commendation for the governor for ending their days in darkness.

All Fayemi told them was that the project was in partial fulfillment of his electoral pledge to the community, stating that more would come the people’s way.

For Fayemi, having put his hands on the plough, especially as regards the day’s activities, there was no going back. Leaving Ijan, his convoy tore through the Ilupeju-Ijan-Ise Road that is actively undergoing re-construction by his administration. Construction workers were seen sweating it out.

Within minutes, the convoy berthed at Ijaloke Grammar School, Emure where structures recently rehabilitated by the administration were commissioned, and ditto for Obada High School, Emure Local Government area, where a modern science laboratory was opened for use.

No thanks to time constraints, the various entertainers that had gathered to do what they know best in appreciation of the governor’s gestures had little or no job to do.

They probably had not completely left the scenes with their drums when Fayemi, again, was warmly received at the African Church Comprehensive High School (ACCHS), Ikere, where the state government had breathed life into some dilapidated structures. Again, it was full pass mark for the governor by residents who sang his praises to high heavens.

With good performance by the masquerade, its guide’s day is made, so goes a proverb. That was obviously the picture in Ilawe, a major town in Ekiti South West Council area where about seven buildings in Corpus Christi School were repaired by the Fayemi-led government.

Traditional rulers, parents, teachers, pupils and residents abandoned their various other commitments to be part of the project commissioning by the widely acclaimed ‘Action Governor.’

“To the glory of God and service to humanity, today, I declare ….” was all it took Fayemi to suspend the fun for drummers who had dreamt of a rosy day with him on the project which they all agreed, was a major contribution to the “hungry” community by the administration.

Highly elated High Chief Gbenga Agbona, the Elemo of Ilawe, was effusive in words of gratitude to Fayemi’s administration in its genuine bid to reposition the state. Agbona, also an alumnus of the school, said one could not praise the governor and his cabinet enough for what they had done to lift the community.

“As an alumnus of Corpus Christi, we have been trying to do one or two things in the area of revamping the school, but not much to show for our efforts. With what the governor has done in this school and two others in our town, Fayemi has proved himself to be a worthwhile custodian of people’s mandate who is there to make meaning out of people’s lives,” Agbona submitted.

The lengthy Ilawe-Igbara-Odo-Ibuji Road later turned the entourage’s port of call. Again, same task – commissioning. Then, it had become no longer news that residents trooped out in numbers to say “thank you, our dear governor and reliable ambassador.”

To many a lazy doll, an infirmary would play host to the governor for three days after “over-using” himself like a Trojan horse on that Wednesday. However, it was no shock to most Government House staff who had got used to the fact that he works on all cylinders when, last Thursday, Fayemi was the first to jump into a vehicle to continue the projects commissioning/flag-off in other parts of the state.

On that day, besides commissioning the rehabilitated Ipoti High School, Ipoti and the Erelu Adebayo Orphanage, Iyin in the Central Senatorial District of the state among many others, Fayemi commissioned ten major roads totaling 103 kilometres in fulfillment of the resolve of his administration to make all the communities in the state accessible with motorable roads by 2014.

The roads, all located in Ekiti Central Senatorial District, include: 14.3-kilometre Erijinyan-Ilawe; 12-kilometre Odo Owa-Oke Ila; 6.25-kilometre Awo-Iyin; 24-kilometre Ikogosi-Efon; 11.5-kilometre Ado-Ilawe, and five-kilometre Fajuyi-Basiri-Police headquarters.

Others are 1.65-kilometre Fajuyi-Teaching Hospital Road; 10.75-kilometre Ado-Afao; two-kilometre Ijigbo-Isato and 13-kilometre Osun-Iloro route. Joyful noise welcomed the governor and his entourage wherever the road commissioning took place.

At the venues of the commissioning of the various roads, the refrain on Fayemi’s lips was that the construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of the roads were informed by their deplorable condition which had given “motorists nightmarish experiences while traversing the roads”.

He revealed further that the government awarded contracts for the roads, especially those leading to Ado Ekiti, in November 2011, to mitigate the sufferings of motorists and also give the state capital a face-lift. The Fajuyi-Teaching Hospital Road, he added, was aimed at linking the on-going Ado-Iworoko-Ifaki Road with Fajuyi Park.

To the know-nots, he further disclosed to the pleasure of his hearers, that government was rehabilitating 16 other roads within the township to make Ado an enviable state capital in every sense.

While commissioning the Ado-Afao Road amid hearty expression of relief by prospective users and resident, Fayemi expressed confidence that the rehabilitated road would undoubtedly be a great relief to motorists, especially those going towards Ikole and the northern part. His reason: It is a shorter link than the Ado-Ifaki Road.

Fayemi, who recalled that the road was constructed by one of his predecessors, Ayo Fayose, in 2005, lamented that the road did not endure and thus became a haven for hoodlums.

With its current status, he enthused that the road would enhance the economic activities of the residents along the route.

His administration’s avowed battle against thirst also led to the governor’s commissioning of five water-treatment plants at various locations across the state. The plants and reservoirs are located at Ipole Iloro, Efon, Ido Ile, Okemesi and Mary Hill, Ado.

The governor explained that the water projects were to achieve the target of his administration in the area of providing potable water for at least, 80 per cent of the state population, by 2014.

He hinted that concerted efforts were being put in place to ensure that all the four dams in the state become functional as a bulk of the 2013 budget would be expended on water.

Today, it is a new dawn Odo Uro, a community in Iyin Ekiti. A nerve-soothing song is being sung by the people as the governor also commissioned a rural electrification project for the community.

The scope of work done involved about 0.1-kilometre Inter Town Connection (ITC); 1.8 township Distribution Network (TDN); a 300KVA transformer and street lighting.

To Fayemi, the project was not devoid of cogent reasons. Commissioning it, he explained that his administration realized the importance of good electricity supply to the economic and social development of rural communities, hence its prime place in the administration’s 8-Point Agenda.

Also, a healthcare centre at Ido Ile and a Skills Acquisition Centre at Iropora Ekiti which were carried out under the State Community and Social Development Agency were commissioned.

Speak ill of Fayemi today, you risk seeing the “red eye” of the Owa Ooye of Okemesi, Oba Gbadebo Adedeji. He spared no word in commendation of the governor and went further to urge him not to be discouraged by criticisms but to see them as “tonic” that would further commit him to the development of the state on all fronts.

The traditional ruler lauded Fayemi for the rapid and evenly distributed dividends of democracy which, by his reckoning, had been felt by virtually all communities in the state, saying: “What you have done within this short period is unprecedented; keep it up, our governor.”

Hon. Funminiyi Afuye, a former legislator in the state and now Commissioner for Information and Civil Orientation was part of the breath-taking tour. He mentioned some of what he termed the administration’s Legacy Projects, which include: Government House (billed for completion in 18 months); Governor’s Office (also to be completed in 18 months); Civic Centre (comprising a library, museum, art gallery and a cinema) to be completed in a year; State Pavillion, like the Eagle’s Square Abuja, where parades and other activities will take place, due to be completed in six months; Samsung Engineering Academy (to be completed within a year); Grand Tower Shopping mall and Life Academy at Ilu-Omoba (an ultra-modern technical school where graduates can go for further technical training in different fields).

Afuye hinted that the projects so far executed were made happen through the governor’s “incredible passion for hard work and goal getting” and the administration’s judicious use of the state’s meagre resources, including the N20 billion Bond secured by the state for capital projects.

Far from being an avenue for vain display of extravagance, to the Fayemi-led administration, the anniversary was committed to modestly showcasing the goodies of good governance and taking immediate steps to consolidate on such laudable achievements with one sole aim: To leave a legacy in people-oriented governance.

 By Dada Aladelokun
This article was first published in The Nation on 15 October 2012.

Last modified: October 15, 2012

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