By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has urged community leaders and groups not to allow themselves to be used to cause unnecessary tension that can trigger tribal crisis in the state.
Tactically alluding to the fears in some towns that Fulani herders were allegedly planning to annex their lands for occupation, Fayemi said the primary assignment of every responsible government is the security of lives and property of the citizenry and that he wouldn’t be inept in the discharge of this pivotal duty.
The leaders of Orin Ekiti community in Ido/Osi Local Government, had last year, raised the alarm that some herders had allegedly destroyed crops worth over N50 million and had hoisted their flag with the intention to forcefully take over 2,500 acres of land at a section of the town for grazing.
Speaking in Ado Ekiti in his New Year message to the people, Fayemi assured the people of their safety, saying: “I have personally kept a close watch on the security situation within and around Ekiti State, and I can assure you that as a government, we are leaving no stone unturned to ensure safety of lives and property in our dear state. Ekiti remains one of the safest places to live, work and conduct business in Nigeria.
“The fact remains, however, that criminality cannot be totally eradicated even as we are working meticulously at reducing it to the barest minimum in Ekiti State, and the evidence is there for all to see and acknowledge that we are making steady progress. Since we are not an Island, we are also working with neighbouring states to strengthen our security architecture.
“On January 9, 2020, the Western Nigeria Security Network known as Amotekun shall commence operations in all the six states in our zone and Ekiti is very active in this initiative which will go a long way in securing the people and protecting the state.
“Henceforth, I urge our community leaders or groups not to allow themselves to be used to spread fake or unsubstantiated news with a view to setting the residents against themselves or destabilizing the peace of the state. We must encourage our people to report any strange signal or incident, but we must resist the temptation to resort to self-help at any time.”
The governor stated that the 2020 budget of deliverables bears eloquent testimonies to his deliberate and honest quest at providing good road network and improving the enabling environment for business concerns in Ekiti State.
“On water, work is almost nearing completion on Ero and Egbe Dam rehabilitation and additional work will commence on Ureje and Itapaji Dams. Equally, pipelines conveying the water to various homes are currently being installed and water meters will follow suit apace with other water sector improvements. We are confident that the state will witness a comprehensive return to the supply of pipe borne water and a reduction in water borne diseases,” he said.
Fayemi disclosed that his government is working with Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) on the improvement of supply and distribution of electricity in the state, saying he has been working on a more permanent solution with the support of African Development Bank (AfDB) towards the improvement of transmission and the generation of independent power in the state via renewable vehicles.
He said the government is taking giant strides to rejig the agriculture sector by making use of grossly underutilized arable land for the promotion and sustenance of agribusiness and would radicalise the solid mineral sector to make them the mainstay of the economy.
“We have also restructured and expanded our rice and cassava programmes through partnership with key private sector players like Dangote Farms, Jumlar Rice Limited and Stallion Rice who are all setting up rice mills in the state in 2020 and a number of cassava mills are also coming up Promise Point, FMS Farms and Krest Farms are pioneers here.
“More brownfield and greenfield investments in agribusiness are being planned in palm oil and cocoa sector, and we are sure they will manifest in year 2020. In addition, we are embarking on the construction of 1,000 kilometres of rural roads to aid and enhance agribusiness in Ekiti State with the support of the World Bank Assisted RAAMP initiative,” he said.
Fayemi added that the residents of the state would continually enjoy affordable education at all levels, good and motorable roads, social security benefit and grassroots development through the newly inaugurated council officials.