By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
A renowned poet and Professor of English, Niyi Osundare, has advised the incoming governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, to use his second coming to fight poverty and moral decadence in the state.
Osundare, a native of Ikere Ekiti, said politicians have been hiding under the sliding moral values of Ekiri people and poverty caused by culture of laziness to cheat the system, adding that the next government must tackle the menaces for history to judge Fayemi well.
Making allusion to the outgoing governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, whom the essayist described as a demagogue, Osundare stated that the moral degradation accounted for the promotion of stomach infrastructure among Ekiti populace.
Osundare spoke in Ado Ekiti while delivering an inauguration lecture entitled: ‘Reclaiming Our Land, Restoring Ekiti of Our Dream’, in honour of the governor-elect, who will be sworn in Tuesday to succeed Fayose.
In his highly elucidating lecture, Osundare regretted how Fayose has made the people across the globe to brand Ekiti people, who had hitherto been known to be highly knowledgeable as people who have no values by his conduct and utterances while in the saddle of governance.
He urged him to clean the augean’s stable by instituting policies that will combat poverty and all forms of social ills that had crept into Ekiti through the actions of politicians.
“Ekiti were people that place priority of knowledge, wisdom. They know the values of these virtues. They were regarded as extremely stubborn people because they won’t compromise their integrity for anything.
“These were times when education was a pride and we had the brightest academics like the late Professor Sam Aluko, Professor Adegoke Olubunmo, Chief Afe Babalola, Prof. Ojo Ugbole, and many others. We placed values on hardwork, knowledge acquisition and our parents sold their farms and clothes to send their children to school. They knew the rights from the wrongs at that time.
“But there came a demagogue who ran authoritarian government in Ekiti in a manner that had never been experienced by any state in Nigeria.
“He stopped at market places to buy roast corn and ate in public place just to deceive the people when majority of our graduates were not provided with jobs and farm products were wasting away and our value system collapsed calamitously.
“Education that was regarded as our best industry was not well funded and our graduates that had earlier been regarded as the best in Nigeria for decades became practically half-baked and unemployable. Book and elitist thinking were his enemies.
“The culture of stomach infrastructure was introduced and Ekiti became a laughing stock. How populism manifests itself and the politician banked on the vulnerability in the system to mislead our youths.
“With Fayemi coming on board, he needs to tackle poverty and reenact value reorientation in Ekiti. He must come with policies and programme of actions that will prohibit miracle centres where students passed without reading and make Ekiti vegetation centre of knowledge.
“His (Fayemi) nose and ears must be closed to the grounds; he must be close to the people and eradicate ignorance and poverty that make our people to believe in stomach infrastructure.
“This is your (Fayemi) second chance and significant opportunity to rewrite your name in gold and make significant impacts on the lives of Ekiti people for real restoration of our value system,” Osundare stated.