Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on Thursday flagged off his campaign for a second term in office with a charge to the people of the state to protect their votes from being stolen by election riggers and vote robbers.
The Governor at a rally held at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, also pledged to work harder to better the lives of Ekiti people and ensure a better transformation of the state if re-elected in the June 21 governorship election.
Fayemi said he has faithfully implemented his eight-point agenda and fulfilled all the promises contained in his inaugural address when he was sworn into office on October 16, 2010.
He explained that he has brought transparency and accountability to governance as no official of his administration has been summoned to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) unlike what it used to be in the past.
The city was at a standstill for several hours as All Progressive Congress (APC) party faithful from all parts of the state thronged the stadium for the rally which was turned into a huge carnival.
Fayemi was joined by fellow APC governors from other parts of the country who attested to the character and integrity of their host, urging Ekiti people to re-elect him back into office
The Governors include Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), AbdulAziz Yari Abubakar (Zamfara); Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo); Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun); Rauf Aregbesola (Osun) and Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), who was represented by his deputy, Peter Kishra.
Others guests who appeared at the rally to drum support for Fayemi are former Borno State Governor Ali Modu Sheriff, former Ekiti State Governor and APC National Vice Chairman (South West), Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, APC National Women Leader Sharon Ikeazor, Senator Ajayi Boroffice and Iyaloja General, Mrs. Folashade Tinubu-Ojo.
Fayemi explained that he is ahead of his rivals in other parties on the strength of his track record and performance in office which is visible in all parts of the state adding that all what his opponents can offer for now are only promises.
“The advantage I am having is that I am running on record and there are people who will promise heaven and earth but I can tell you what I have done in education and how I have banished poverty among our elderly.
“I can tell you what I have done in infrastructure, how we have transformed Ikogosi Warm Spring to an international tourist centre, how we have empowered our women, hoe we have revived our industries.
“These are the records I want those who are coming to run to challenge. We have a responsibility to make poverty history and APC is that party of new Nigeria.
“Those who looted our resources in the past are threatening that they are coming back. We know where we are coming from and you know our history.
“In Ekiti State, we don’t want somebody to sit somewhere and expect people from outside to install him in power. The coming election in June, if you think it is meant for Fayemi, you are wrong.
“It is not only Fayemi’s election, we don’t want to return to the dark days if one week, one trouble. In APC, we are not. Us timers of EFCC and we are not arraigned in court over fraud because we are using our money to serve Ekiti people.
“This election us about our freedom, social security for our aged, respect for our elders, respect for the traditional rulers, peace and prosperity for our teachers and we are not coming back to sack people.
“We are not chop-I-chop party, we are not a party of I-don’t-care, we are competent, we are transparent and we can offer better than other parties in Nigeria”, Fayemi said.
The Governor also used the forum to dispel some rumours being peddled by the opposition in the state that he would deal with some sections of workers in the state if he wins re-election.
He said it is not true that he. would ban Okada riding if he wins re-election saying rather than banning Okada, he would empower riders to contribute more to the economy of the state and ensure safety for them and their passengers.
Fayemi also slammed the opposition for spreading a rumour that he would sack teachers if he returns to office for the second time saying he would not sack any teacher but employ more teachers if he wins second term.
The Governor who also promised to provide training opportunities for teachers noted that in the whole of Nigeria today, Ekiti remains the only state that pays special allowance for teachers in rural areas which is 20 per cent of their salaries in addition to their normal salaries.
Fayemi also revealed that his administration pays 20 percent to teachers who teaching core subjects in addition to their normal salaries which he has not defaulted in paying.
The Governor also refuted opposition allegation that he would mete out the treatment being meted out to local government workers in Ondo State saying he has no reason to victimize local government workers saying what he had only done was to eliminate ghost workers from the system.
With the cleansing of the local government system, Fayemi said more money are now available to build markets, roads and more projects in the local government areas.
The Governor urged for vigilance at the election saying ” we must be vigilant, we must be ready to man those booths, be at those polling stations because we must kick out those criminals. This is government of peace, this is government of prosperity”.
In his welcome address, Ekiti APC Chairman, said Ekiti people are on Fayemi’s side and they are ready to trust him with their votes at the governorship election.
Awe said Ekiti people have resolved to move forward with Fayemi in the driver’s seat stressing that APC will continue to rule in Ekiti and take over power at the federal level through the 2015 general election.
Adebayo said while APC is fielding a Ph.D holder and a globally-renowned scholar as its candidate, a major opposition party in the state is fielding a candidate that is being tried in court for looting the state resources as its candidate.
The APC southwest leader said the candidate was being arraigned in court sweating inside the dock before the judge on charges of corruption urging Ekiti people to reject the candidate “that is on his way to jail”.
Adebayo said when PDP was in power, Ekiti was in darkness but when Fayemi came to power, there was light all over the state and the people have now seen the difference.
Ex-Borno Governor Modu Sheriff said he and other APC leaders from outside Ekiti came to endorse Fayemi whom he described as a “working governor and performing governor” for second term.
He said Ekiti people have decided to back Fayemi and are only waiting for the election day. He said Ekiti has changed from what it used to be the last time he visited urging voters to return Fayemi to office to continue the work.
Sokoto Governor Wamakko said Fayemi is a leader that should be celebrated judging by his performance in office which is being acknowledged within and outside the country.
He noted that APC as a party is about performance and transparency adding that the party will continue ensure that Nigerians are united in their resolve to enthrone good governance.
Wamakko said with what he and his colleagues have seen in Ekiti, the people have made their choice in Fayemi for the good work to continue.
Adamawa Governor Nyako pointed out that local and international agencies have adjudged Fayemi as a leader that has transformed with the state with solid performance, transparency and honesty of purpose.
Describing Fayemi as “one of the most serious governors we have in Nigeria”, Nyako called on all Ekiti people to re-elect their governor with massive votes.
He predicted that Fayemi will win with landslide victory to lead Ekiti to the next level in the comity of states in Nigeria.
Zamfara Governor Yari-Abubakar said he was not surprised by the huge gathering that attended the rally because Ekiti people appreciate what Fayemi has done in the last three-and- half years.
Describing APC as a party for a new Nigeria, Yari-Abubakar charged Ekiti people to ensure one- man-one-vote saying the June 21 poll offers a new challenge to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the votes of the people count.
Imo Governor Okorocha described PDP’s 14 years in power at the centre as years of waste with nothing to show for it.
He said the last recruitment exercise of the Nigeria Immigration Service in which lives of young job seekers were wasted has given PDP away as a party that does not care for Nigerians adding that APC has brought change to the country.
Okorocha who is the chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum declared that Fayemi’s victory at the poll has been signed, sealed and delivered.
He urged all Igbos, Hausas and other ethnic nationalities resident in Ekiti to give their votes for Fayemi.
Ogun Governor Amosun urged Ekiti people not to go back to the dark days which he said has become history in the state.
He said the infrastructure built by Fayemi and the social security stipends given to the elderly citizens all attest to good governance being enjoyed in Ekiti.
Amosun said the opposition in the state has little to offer but only depend on rigging the election urging the people of the state to be vigilant so that their votes will not be stolen
He urged all segments of the Ekiti population to come out in large numbers and elect Fayemi for second term.
Oyo Governor Ajimobi described Ekiti as a land of Honour and respectable people urging Ekiti people to sustain the change fought about by Fayemi.
He explained that the change being witnessed in Ekiti was as a result of Fayemi’s administrative sagacity and political acumen saying “you need a good brain to perform in office”.
Kwara Governor Ahmed who spoke through his deputy Kishra said Ekiti State and Kwara State are related and share affinity.
He said the people of Kwara State are solidly behind Fayemi and would work to ensure his return for a second time.
The carnival –like event was graced by ace juju musician, Adewale Ayuba, Rap Artiste, Olamide; and other top musicians who took tutns to trill the capacity crowd at the stadium.
Last modified: March 27, 2014