FEATURES: ACN Is Correcting The Errors Made By PDP In Ekiti – Ekundayo

May 3, 2013

Tayo Ekundayo is the Ekiti State Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation. In this interview with our Correspondent, Yaqoub Popoola, in Ado-Ekiti, he dismissed allegations by some members of the opposition party against the administration of Dr. Kayode  Fayemi, saying the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) government is actually righting the alleged wrongs of the PDP administration in the state. He spoke on other issues. Excerpts:

A chieftain of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Dayo Adeyeye, recently granted an interview where he specifically accused Kayode  Fayemi of poor performance  in the state. What is your reaction to this?

It is most unfortunate that somebody would start making wild allegations when what he is supposed to be discussing are issues. I am surprised that Adeyeye could talk the way he did. I knew Adeyeye could call a cow ‘brother’ simply because he needed beef, but I didn’t know that he could tell lies so blatantly that at the end of the day anybody reading him would know that he is still living in the past.

All what Adeyeye said, we knew what we met on ground when the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) led government came onboard in 2010. If Adeyeye is claiming that Fayemi is not performing, what are his parameters? It is an open fact that our government is actually redoing most of the projects shoddily done by the PDP government in Ekiti.

In fact, most of the projects executed under Adeyeye, then as Chairman of Ekiti State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) were poorly done such that it had taken a lot of efforts for this government to start renovating and improving on the quality of the rots they left behind.

Let me tell you point blank, what the PDP government was interested in, was the award of contracts andmoney they were going to loot. So, for anybody in the PDP to be saying that Fayemi’s government did not perform, I don’t think they have been coming to Ekiti since they ran away when their administration was truncated. Because, if Adeyeye in particular, has been coming to Ekiti, he would have seen many developmental strides put in place by the present government.

The achievements of this government are so obvious for anyone to see. I am sure if Adeyeye comes to Ekiti today he would be convinced. Anyway, we know Adeyeye’s antecedents, if PDP does not pay him, he would run to another party, may be not ACN this time around. We know he used to be in Alliance for Democracy (AD) as a member of Afenifere. Whether he was genuine or fake then I cannot really say. Honestly speaking, he is not saying something unexpected of somebody who has not won any election in his life.

Adeyeye is also blaming your government for the merger of the three state universities, saying such action had deprived the people of the state many good things ?

That is the most interesting part of his allegations. We all knew that the three state universities were set up just to massage the ego of the PDP Administration of that time. As at the time Segun Oni was setting up two other universities we knew the state of the existing one, that is the University of Ado-Ekiti (UNAD). It was nothing less than a glorified Secondary School.

He was talking about a population of about 30,000 is that university when more than half of that were part-time students who would spend two or three days in a week and get all kinds of degrees they cannot defend.

I had an instance that somebody got a degree from UNAD and could not even write an application for job. Was that a university? If as government you had that kind of situation, would you go ahead to establish two other ones? Don’t forget that the decision to scrap the two other university was not unilateral – it was a product of a stakeholders’ meeting where it was recommended that all the existing state universities be collapsed into one so that  you have enough funding to make the university a world class.

As I speak to you, UNAD which was on the 79th position in 2010 when this government came in has improved in its national ranking to 19th. Today, the students are proud of what the university is doing. The two other universities were living from hand to mouth.

How would you react to the claim that your government did not attract any private investor in the area of education?

As regards the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), it was not

Segun Oni’s government that started the university. He may want to argue that the university came to being during PDP government, but for him to be referring to that as one of their achievements, he is not being fair to himself. The truth of the matter is that ABUAD is single efforts of our revered Baba Afe.

If an individual can establish a university to compliment what the government is doing, I don’t think it would be right for anybody to make issue out it. Adeyeye also said Ogun State has ten universities, it is true.

How many of that did the state government establish? I think two. Even Lagos State which is the richest in this part of the world does not have two universities. Oyo State as I speak does not have a university of its own. If we have all the money why not and what is the population of Ekiti State? About 2.5million.

With one good university owned by the state, there is Federal University at Oye-Ekiti and ABUAD. And I know one or two of our people are also thinking of establishing private university in Ekiti. So it doesn’t make sense for Adeyeye to be boasting that part of his priority as governor would be the establishment of more states universities. To me that is wishful thinking  and that was how the PDP has been leading this state astray when it was in government.

What is your take on the alleged falling standard of education under your government?

How can he be talking about the status of educational system in Ekiti? Only last week a student of Ekiti came first in the national competition in Secondary School. The student is from CAC Grammar School, Efon-Alaaye. The rot the PDP left behind, the results would be coming out years after. You can only be judging this government when students in secondary schools start graduating.

Whatever Adeyeye is talking about poor performance must be part of the rot the PDP government left behind. We are just trying to correct the bad situation we met on ground. We have done a lot of interventions in Ekiti to correct the absurdities.

Can you tell us what has changed in the new EKSU in terms of infrastructure?

By way of infrastructures, if you go to Ekiti State University (EKSU) now, you can compare how it used to be before the merger. You are aware of the institute for governance. Having collapsed the three universities, automatically you have more funding for the new one. We want a university that can have as much as 40,000 to 50,000 students at a time. And the infrastructures on ground must be able to support that. Even the part-time which used to be the albatross of EKSU has reduced significantly. The students are happier now that they have a university that can be compared with any other in the country.  The issue of cultism has reduced. What we are planning to do now, through Public – Private Partnership (PPP) is to build hostels for students. These are part of the interventions we have made.

Is it true that government is considering stoppage of special salary structures for health workers in the state. In addition, how would react to the allegation that Ekiti Hospitals are lacking manpower?

That can’t be true, because Ekiti happened to be one of the first states to implement the payment of special salary structure for medical workers in Nigeria. I remember when there was crisis in Lagos, the people there were referring to Ekiti as one of the states that have paid. I do not known how somebody would say our hospitals do not have enough Doctors when we are paying them well. What we decided to do is to stop wastages in the areas of health. Take, for example, the foreign doctors that Segun Oni brought – you know how much the government was paying them then, almost N200 million per quarter. You know what that can do locally. We even realized later that government was spending the money without commensurate benefits to the people of the state.

What should the people of Ekiti expect in terms of development strides in the next two years?

Well, what we tried to do in the last two years is to put solid structures on ground, to improve infrastructures. As I speak today, there is no part of Ekiti that you cannot get to within one hour, because the roads are fantastic. In addition to that the hospitals are getting attention. Most hospitals that were abandoned by the PDP government are now receiving attention under this government. We are also trying our best to empower the people.

This article was first published in the Daily Independent

Last modified: May 3, 2013

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