FEATURES: Ekiti Revs Citizen Participation

November 29, 2013

In Ekiti State, citizen participation in governance appears to be working, as the various communities are making some input into next year’s budget by presenting three projects in order for priority to be included in the fiscal policy now in the works.

This was manifest during a recent tour of communities across the state by Governor Kayode Fayemi to inspect or commission some projects undertaken or being undertaken by the communities through the money given to them in the community empowerment programme of government.

The policy is geared towards partnering with the people/communities in their development and issues affecting them directly, as against government sitting down at the state capital and determining their preferences and needs.

He disclosed that his administration had so far expended N600 million on community self-help projects, or ‘grants-in-aid,” across the 16 councils of the state.

From the enthusiasm of the various communities visited the tour, judging by the turnout and reception accorded the governor and his team and town hall meetings with the people during the tour, it was obvious that the people really want to be active participants in deciding their fate and development.

The town hall meeting started in November 2011, but this year’s edition was remarkable, in that instead of asking the various communities in a local government area to converge on the local government headquarters, the governor chose to go to every community to meet the people and get a feel of their pulse regarding his developmental projects, which was well appreciated.

The tour, which commenced in Ekiti East council on November 1 and would be rounded off on December 5 in Ado-Ekiti council, would take the governor to about 132 communities across the 16 councils of the state.

At Araromi-Ugbesi in Ekiti East, the governor said, “we will, however, follow processes as prescribed by law” regarding budgeting, adding that any community that “had a history of autonomy before being subsumed by a larger community should put up a paper to all relevant authorities for processing.”

He also visited Ilasa, Araromi Oke, Omuo Oke, Eda Ile, Kota and Omuo Obadore.

At every point of call, Fayemi was welcomed by a large crowd of youths, politicians, market men and women and community leaders, who assured him of their support in his second bid, just as he stressed that grassroots development was a major priority of his administration; hence the government’s emphasis on the people-oriented programmes and projects.

Speaking at town hall meetings in communities in Oye local government area, he stated that the people are the crux of his administration and this accounts for the decision not to “development for them, but with them,” adding”

The communities visited were Ayegbaju, Isan, Ilemesho, Ayede, Itaji, Oloje, Imojo, Oye, Ire, Ilupeju, Itapa, Osin, Omu and Ijelu.

Fayemi reiterated his commitment to spreading development to all the nooks and crannies of the state, adding that his administration was irrevocably committed to meeting the needs of the people on whose shoulders his administration rode to power.

He explained that government should be about the masses, who yearn for development; hence their input, regarding what they need are so important to his administration that he embarked on the tour and town hall meeting.

The governor noted that the town hall meetings were held differently this year to enable him ascertain the impact of his administration’s projects and programmes on the people in the last three years, inspect ongoing projects and meet with the people on what next to be done.

Many of the communities had sought his attention in the area of road networks, saying this would enhance their socio-economic wellbeing.

In response, Fayemi assured that many of the roads would be constructed, while existing ones that are yet to be completed would be completed as soon as possible.

He stressed that his administration would leave no stone unturned in achieving its target of making all parts of the state accessible by motorable roads by next years.

Thousands of jubilant indigenes of the 14 communities visited trooped out to welcome the governor, some in uniform, and followed him to the various project sites and the town hall meetings to hear what he has in stock for them.

The town hall meetings also took Fayemi and his team to Orisunmibare community, near Itaji-Ekiti, which basically has no motorable road and electricity.

But the governor’s unscheduled visit to the community made the most remarkable impact, as he, after listening to leaders, promised to do something about the major road leading to the community and by that, turn around their fortune.

An obviously elated Michael Omolayo, a resident and farmer, was optimistic that the governor’s visit would make the community accessible and enable the farmers to evacuate their farm products, thereby enable them to earn some money better from their labour.

“I am happy for the visit. I am sure things will change for us in the near future; I am sure the governor will do something for us and we assure him of our mandate for a second term.

“He has been doing well in some other communities and we are sure he will do something for us, especially the road.”

An elderly women, who came out of her house to ascertain why the sudden activity in the community, and who identified herself as Iya Akin, simply said, through an interpreter: “He is our son; we like him. He will do something for us. God will bless him for remembering us.”

Some of the communities in Ikole Council visited by the governor included Oke Ayedun for the commissioning of a 200KVA transformer /electrification project; the palace of the traditional ruler of Irele and the Oke-Ako Community Viewing Centre; and inspection of renovation work on market stalls in Ipao.

At Iyemero, the governor inspected new market stalls under construction and moved to Itapaji, where he visited the palace before going to Odo-Oro to inspect the completed town hall, as well as an examination hall and block of three classrooms under construction.

Other projects visited by Fayemi were Otunja Health Centre and Ilamo Community Information Centre, which he commissioned; state hospital in Ikole under renovation; Usin Basic Health Centre; palace of the Oba of Orin-Odo under reconstruction and the Ijesa Isu Police Station.

Fayemi was also at Ikere Council, where he visited sites ofthe construction of 10 units of lock-up shops in Afao Ikere; site of Afao/Kajola Health Centre; Aso Community/Okeilese-Ikere Box Convert /and Concert Drainage sites; Afao/Ogbaodi Skill Acquisition Centre/Equipment and Basic Health Centre; as well as Ogoga Palace Hall being renovated.

At Ise-Orun Council, the governor inspected the completed Town Hall, commissioned the electricity transformer at Ise, while at Emure council, he inspected the 32 Open Market Stalls at Olojido and the state hospital in Emure town under renovation.

In Ire-Ekiti in Oye council, Fayemi urged the people, especially politicians, to allow peace to reign ahead of next year’s governorship election in the state.

He called on the people of the state to avoid crisis that would portray the state in bad light, saying everybody that wants to contest the election should be allowed to do so without any fear or molestation.

The people appealled to government to re-construct the road from Afao-Ekiti-Ire-Ekiti road to make life more meaningful for them.

On their part, the people of Ilupeju-Ekiti called for the upgrade of the community market to a neighborhood market and provide them with two additional transformers in the area and three blocks of classrooms for the school in the community.

Fayemi promised to look into their request and see how it could be keyed into the state government rural development agenda for the people.

The tour also took the governor to Oye Council, where he visited the completed Ire Ekiti Town Hall and inspected the construction of a block of three classrooms; the Police Station in Ilupeju; visited the palaces at Itapa and Ijelu; the Osin Town Hall under renovation; and Omu Oba’s Palace.

He was also at Ita-Wure to commission the renovated block of three classrooms at CAC St. Michael Primary School/military residence and

Information Centre at Isaja; visited the Palace in EKSCDA Commissioning

Efon Town and inspected construction of the Iwaji Town Hall, all in Efon Council.

He was at Ayegbajuin Oye council to commission the renovated Community Hall; Isan/Itafun to inspect renovation of the Community Hall, Customary Court in Ayede, Examination Hall in Itaji, state hospital in Ifaki and Doctor Quarters in Imojo; and visited the palaces at Ilemesho, Oloje and Oye.

At Ido-Osi Council, Fayemi commissioned the Osi and Ifishin Town Halls, inspected and market stalls in Igbole, Aaye Community Hall and Ora Town Hall and visited the palace in Odo Ora.

At Igbemo, Orun, Afao, Are, Obo, Iworoko, Esure, Iropora, Awo, Eyio, Igede and Iyin in Irepodun/Ifelodun council, traditional rulers and community leaders and spokesmen in the communities visited also promised to back his re-election next year, as according to the Alare of Are Ekiti, Oba Boluwade Adebiyi, “no single town, village or community can claim not to have been touched by his government” in a state that “was known as a state of one week, one trouble,” in the past.

“We wish to specifically thank you for giving us the opportunity to benefit from the state’s rural development programme, which has transformed the state.

“Ekiti has never had it so good,” he added.

On his part, the Onigede of Igede, Oba Emmanuel Aladesuru, the longest reigning monarch in the state, commended Fayemi for initiating the town hall meetings to get their input into the budgetary processes.

Chief Deji Fasuan, on behalf of Afao community, also lauded the governor for his developmental projects that he said have had positive impact on his people.

At Iyin Ekiti, the people waited patiently for the governor, who arrived the town around 7pm and accompanied him to inaugurate a newly built health centre before returning to the palace for the town hall meeting.

At Ilasa, Araromi-Oke, Omuo-Oke, Eda-Ile, Kota and Omuo-Obadore communities, Fayemi assured the people of his government’s commitment to bring development to all the towns and villages in the state.

The tour, which started on November 1, continues with visits to Ijero, Ekiti West, Ekiti South West, Aiyekire, Ilejemeje, Moba and Ado councils.

The governor is expected to inspect and commission several projects under construction or completed, including road, electricity, community/town/examination halls and centres, palaces, market stalls and lock-up shops, hospitals, viewing/civic/health centres, blocks of classrooms, and pay courtesy visits to traditional rulers of the various communities.

This articles was first published in The Guardian

Last modified: November 24, 2021

One Response to " FEATURES: Ekiti Revs Citizen Participation "

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