Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
As a result of kidnappings and killings along some highways in Ekiti State in recent time, the Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, has appealed to the military top hierarchy to redeploy soldiers in these dreaded zones in the interest of commuters.
The deputy governor expressed fear that the removal of military checkpoints along Iwaraja-Efon-Ita Ure-Aramoko, Ado-Ikere-Ise-Emure and Ikere-Akure highways, where cases of kidnappings had beenrampant and established in recent time, could cause breach of the peaceduring yuletide season.
He said the presence of soldiers on these highways had helped inwarding off criminals and stemmed the tides of crime perpetration in the state.
The deputy governor also assured the people that the his principal, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has a robust four-point cardinal programme with which to develop Ekiti, saying this policy won’t deviate from the progressive norm which abhors abandonment of the projects of the preceding government.
He said all the projects initiated by former Governor Ayodele Fayosewill be completed, adding that Fayemi’s administration won’t operate at the pedestrian level, where government abandons the projects of the predecessors.
Addressing journalists in Ado Ekiti during a courtesy visit to theNigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Correspondents’ Chapel, Ekiti chapter at the weekend, Egbeyemi said: “Our government is passionate about security and we are ready to spend if spending money would make Ekiti safe and peaceful.
“Our government wants peace and very soon you will be seeing changes
in the actions of our security personnel. They were not motivated before, but now our government is taking steps to give them incentives to be able to work.
“We leant the security checkpoints mounted at Ita Ure in Efon Alaaye
and the one along Ise Ekiti had been dismantled. We want to urge the military to redeploy soldiers to those areas because of the rampancy of kidnapping in our dear state.
“We realise that soldiers are the security personnel that kidnappers fear most and they must be retained in Ekiti for the safety of our people,”, he said.
Egbeyemi expressed disenchantment with the way projects were initiated by Fayemi in his first term but could not be completed and were allegedly abandoned by his successor.
“Our focus is to develop agriculture, industrial, education sectors and to also generate employment, but we won’t abandon any project. Governor Fayemi started some projects like the Oba Adejugbe hospital, some roads under the 5km programme but were abandoned by the governor that came after him.
“The contractors handling the projects had been summoned and will be mobilised to site to complete them, including those Fayose initiated.
“In the area of education, government will continue with its operation renovation programme, but this time, we will build more laboratories, buy books in libraries so that our students can experience learning under a conducive atmosphere.
“We want to appreciate our teachers for cooperating with us. When we were
campaigning, they accused us that we are going to sack teachers, but today teachers were the first to benefit from the N200 million government’s housing and vehicle loans.
“We have stopped illegal fees in our primary and secondary schools and
teachers must comply. The government that gave the directive knew that it would give running grants to fund our schools effectively.
“We are also planning to make farming a good occupation in Ekiti. We have good land we are going to make good use of, to make Ekiti the food basket of the nation.
“All our moribund industries will be revitalised but we are not going to allow this to affect payment of salaries and pensions. When you pay, the traders, landlords and artisans will be happy.
“I am currently heading a committee to look at the existing spaces in the civil service, so that we can fill them. We are going to employ through this. We are ready to cooperate with everybody, no matter your religion, ethnicity and political belief,”, he said.
Soldiers Redeployed in Crime Prone Highways