Governor Kayode Fayemi
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Olayinka Oyebode, in this interview with journalists in Lagos, spoke on some political developments in the state and the developmental strides of Governor Kayode Fayemi. Nkiruka Okoh was there. Excerpts:
What are your expectations for 2014?
I sincerely believe 2014 will be interesting in Ekiti State for a number of reasons. The governorship election will be issue - based and issue - driven. An informed electorate who has of recent tasted good governance cannot be easily taken in by sugar-coated politicians. So, I foresee a situation where aspirants are put to task on their promises. You know talk is cheap. It is not enough to say I will do one, two of twenty things, the main issue will be how would you do them, within what frame and at what cost as well as where the fund will be sourced?
Of course, it is a time Ekiti people will not suffer any fool gladly. You must be able to dazzle them with your brilliance and sincerity of purpose before they can count you worthy of being an aspirant to the exalted office of Governor of Ekiti State, Nigeria. The Omoluabi factor is there also, and this you cannot buy in the market. You either have it or you don’t. In 2014, there will be no room for dubious characters- emergency millionaires, court jesters, scammers and fraudsters.
Are you worried about the opposition?
The opposition in Ekiti State provides the comic relief. And this comes in different shapes and shades in various factions of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state. They have since lost direction and are just groping around in the dark. And having failed to connect with the people, they have now resorted to battling the incumbent government withal manners of lies. Like a drowning man, they are just holding on to anything, including their attempt to re-write the laws of the land through their illiterate approach to legal interpretation and illogical reasoning.
My advice to them is that opposition is no license for rascality or irresponsible behavior nor does it make one a certified purveyor of falsehood. Sometimes the jocose excitement they display on some seemingly insignificant issues shows their shallowness and poverty of ideas.
Former Governor Fayose recently faulted Governor Fayemi’s administrative style and said he was ACN’s main headache?
Well, may be his faction of PDP is a big headache to the other factions. Really, the former governor is entitled to his own views, I must say however that he is missing some points and this could be as a result of insufficient information at his disposal or a deliberate attempt at mischief. But if he has been following developments in Ekiti State, he would have known that the era of “bole kaja” government has gone.
The Fayemi administration is an open book that can be assessed, read and comprehended by every citizen. All government transactions are properly documented and details of activities of government, including its spending, are just a click away. Unlike the lawlessness of the past, the government’s transactions are guided by the relevant laws that were deliberately put in place to ensure good governance.
What about Segun Oni’s case?
Well, I wouldn’t like to comment on the case or any other one for that matter. But really, it appears that going in and out of the court is another way Oni and his cohorts amuse themselves and try, however feebly, to get a mention in the media. I am not a lawyer, but I have enough common sense to know that in the eye of the law, all matters relating to the 2007 governorship election in Ekiti State have been laid to rest by the landmark judgment of the Court of Appeal, sitting in Ilorin on October 15, 2010. Honestly, I do not know what they want the court to do again.
Are you worried about the presence of Labour Party?
Honestly, beyond what I read in the papers, I don’t know about the existence of Labour Party in Ekiti State. The party has no roots here in Ekiti. I have read a lot of comments since the conclusion of the Ondo State governorship election and I can say that a good percentage of the reports and analyses are unduly exaggerated. And I see a lot of over generalization. If LP could win Ondo, it can win Ekiti? Such an argument is too simplistic. Again, the scenario in Ondo is quite different from what is obtainable in Ekiti State. So, it will amount to daydreaming, perhaps hallucination for anyone to say LP will make any headway in Ekiti State during the next election.
What do you think about ACN generally in South-west?
I am not in the position to speak for ACN, but I can say that the ACN is perhaps the only party that has an ideological direction in the country. The welfarist approach to governance cuts across the ACN-controlled states. In Ekiti for instance, there is free and compulsory education up to the secondary school level.
here is free health for the vulnerable members of the society- children under five, pregnant women, the elderly citizens above 65 years and the physically challenged. There is also the social security benefit for the elderly indigent citizens, which is the first in sub-Sahara Africa. Through this scheme, elderly citizens who are 65 years and above are paid a monthly stipend of N5, 000 for their upkeep.
The amazing thing is that these laudable programmes do not in any way affect government’s efforts in the industrial and physical development of the state. So, it is about commitment, it is about ideology, it is about being alive to your responsibility as a leader. It is about putting the people first.