The traducers of the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi have called him many unprintable names, chief of which is the lie that he does not stay in the state let alone record any meaningful achievements. But as a build-up to the inauguration of various projects across the state, commemorating his two years anniversary in his second coming, his Chief of Staff, Biodun Omoleye, led stakeholders, including select members of the media on a tour to evaluate some of the projects. Raheem Akingbolu reports
Since 1999, when Nigeria began the current democratic journey, successive administrations in the states and at the federal level, have regarded their commemorative dates as moment for jamborees. Contrary to the norms, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State recently used his second year anniversary celebration to achieve three things: thanksgiving, showcasing of achievements and inauguration of infrastructural projects.
Under what was tagged, ‘Ekiti State Infrastructural Project Tour’ Fayemi’s Chief of Staff, Hon. Biodun Omoleye, used the first three days to take stakeholders round some of the various projects and allowed people of the state to access the quality and asked questions where necessary.
On the first day, he led the invited members of the public to Ekiti North Senatorial District, where different projects were inspected in various communities.
Among others, the team inspected the new Ikole Ekiti Comprehensive Health Centre, Ilupeju-Ire-Igbemo-Ijan road, Comprehensive Health Centre, Isan Ekiti, the State College of Agric and Technology, Ikun Dairy Farm, Oye-Ayede-Ikun road and Comprehensive Health Centre in Oye and Igogo Ekiti.
Before the train moved to Ekiti North Senatorial District on the second day, the tour took participants to the ‘Knowledge Zone’ along the Federal Polytechnic Ado Ekiti road and Banji Akintoye Model College, along the same route.
After assessing the prospects around the place, Omoleye took the team to inspect Agbado-Ode-Isinbode-Omuo road, Comprehensive Health Centre, Kota Araromi Ekiti and Igbara Odo-Ibuji road.
Perhaps, because it houses the state’s capital – Ado Ekiti, inspection across Ekiti Central appeared more complex and cumbersome. Though it consists of only five local governments, the locations of the projects are far from one another. The journey began from the new Ado-Iyin dual carriage road, which was under construction before heading to the newly completed Water Corporation Headquarters on Iworoko road, Ado Ekiti.
Other projects inspected in Ado Ekiti include the ultra-modern Oja-Oba market, the Civic Centre, Fajuyi Water Booster Station, Secretariat buildings, four newly established model secondary schools and the Asphalt Processing plant at Opopogboro, where Omoyeni expressed confidence that with the plant, poor road maintenance and construction would soon become a thing of the past in the state.
“This project was conceived by Fayemi at the twilight of his administration in 2014 but for the change of government, he couldn’t actualise it. After inauguration two years ago, he didn’t waste time before kicking it off, because of his passionate belief that its establishment would open a new vista for road construction in the state. Besides, we have been able to provide employments to scores of youths in the plant and the employment exercise still continues,” Omoyeni stated.
From Ado Ekiti, the convoy headed to other local governments within the senatorial district – Ekiti West, Ijero, Efon and Irepodun-Ifelodun Local Governments, where they inspected rehabilitated schools, road construction and health facilities.
However, of all the projects, the four new model schools, which were named after four Ekiti prominent heroes were specially celebrated by the people of the state, because of the surge in students’ population in recent years and the attempt being made to decongest the existing secondary schools.
Fayemi also admitted this during the inauguration of the one named after Chief Deji Fasuan, a seasoned administrator and uncle to former Governor Ayo Fayose, that there was urgent need to lift the public schools. He also admitted that the population growth of school children is not at par with the number of schools across the state, hence the need to build more schools.
The Governor also pointed out that the four schools being inaugurated were built with modern facilities to enable pupils learn under a conducive atmosphere.
Fayemi explained that the model schools, which were named after the illustrious sons of the state, Ayo Fasanmi, Prof ‘Banji Akintoye, Prof David Oke and Chief Deji Fasuan were part of the multifaceted efforts put in place to achieve a pupil friendly environment that would encourage enrolment of school age children in the State.
“The four schools are meant to decongest some secondary schools around and within Ado Ekiti, the state capital, as well as open up the areas for urban development. After our inauguration in 2018, one of the issues that became our serious concern was education. What we met on ground was nothing to write home about and as a government, we swung into action.
“Most of the schools, especially in Ado Ekiti were over-populated while many of the pupils studied sitting on the floors in dilapidated classrooms. It was very clear that something needed to be done to right the obvious wrongs. The creation of these new schools, therefore, was a dream come true for the pupils and teachers, even more for the government,” the governor said.
Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology in the state Dr. Olabimpe Aderiye, commended the governor for walking the talk and investing in school upgrade. She corroborated the position of the governor that students’ populations have bloated and not growing in the same proportion with the number of colleges in the state.
“I’m glad that our governor doesn’t just dream, he also actualises his vision. All his strategies and approaches are geared towards restoration of Ekiti values and making poverty history. It will not however surprise many people that His Excellency has named the new schools after illustrious Ekiti indigenes. Great people acknowledge greatness,” the commissioner said.
Speaking further, she pointed out that Governor Fayemi decided to establish four new mega secondary schools, with modern indoor and outdoor facilities, to prevent overcrowding in the existing schools.
According to her, “Ado Ekiti has 15 public schools with 19,907 students; Ado Community High School has 2,186 while AUD Comprehensive High School, also in Ado Ekiti has 2,186 students. This translates into a requirement of 70 classrooms for each school of the schools required about 105 classes of 20 students per classes.
“It is this need to decongest schools that are heavily populated and make school easily accessible for children, who are living in new areas as a result of expansion that informed his Excellency to establish the four mega schools in Ado Ekiti.”
Earlier, at David Oke Model College, along Ikere Ekiti road, where a few members of Prof. Oke’s family were waiting to receive the inspection team ahead of the inauguration, it was an emotion-laden atmosphere as the family expressed their appreciation for the recognition given to the patriarch of the family.
The spokesperson of the family, Rev. (Mrs.) Mary Bolaji Inuomioseebi (Nee Oke) said Senator David Olatunbosun Oke, would have loved to attend the event welcome the team but for the COVID-19 crisis that restricted the movement of people, who had earlier in the year, travelled abroad.
“Our family would write today’s date down as the day God in heaven has designed to uplift our family name. In this part of the world, what we see every day is posthumous award and honour but Ekiti State Government has chosen to recognise and honour our brother alongside other prominent citizens while he’s still alive.
“For us, this is a thing of joy and we shall continue to appreciate Mr. Governor, the ‘Omoluwabi tooto’ for this honour. I spoke with my brother as I was about leaving home today and he prayed for him (Fayemi) and progress of Ekiti State. I’m praying from the bottom of my heart in the name of Jesus that Fayemi and his team would continue to make us proud. I pray that his administration would not crumble,” Rev. Bolaji stated.
At Ekiti West Local Government, where the team inspected Aramoko-Erijiyan-Ikogosi road, a political leader, Elder Taye Bamigbola, who spoke to journalists commended Governor Fayemi for embarking on the project and prayed for the success of the administration.
Speaking on the governor’s decision to beam his searchlight on public schools, Elder Bamigbola said the idea of naming the schools after illustrious citizens was a good initiative as friends and family of the honouree, would not want such a legacy project to crumble.
“All the stakeholders in Ekiti West appreciate Governor Fayemi for the priority given to Aramoko-Erijiyan-Ikogosi road. Apart from the fact that it would boost tourism activities at Ikogosi Warm Spring, it will also help farmers and market women to access various community markets around this area. Another thing that gladdens my heart is the model schools in Ado but I want to urge the governor to extend the good gesture to other communities as well as recognise more prominent citizens.
“We still have more prominent people, either dead or alive that need to be immortalised, the likes of Architect Fola Alade, Justice Olatawura, Prof. Sam Aluko, Evangelist Olumilua, Prof. Ade-Ajayi, Chief Akin Omoboriowo, Chief Oduola Osuntokun, Chief Afe Babalola and others, who have contributed to the development of Ekiti and the nation as a whole. I see the initiative as novel, because I know the family and friends of those, who are honoured would not want the legacy projects named after their heroes to crumble,” Bamigbola stated.
After many years of expectation by market women, the Ado Ekiti central market, otherwise known as “Oja Oba” was officially opened during the anniversary. The Governor said the ultra-modern market complex, which was built with modern facilities would boost commerce and other economic activities in the state capital.
Fayemi whose first administration conceptualised the market in 2012, however, commended his immediate predecessor, Mr. Ayo Fayose for starting the project, which was at 55 per cent completion level at the time the last administration left office, two years ago.
The governor also disclosed that he was determined to complete the project inherited from the immediate past administrations, because of his resolve to give priority attention to abandoned projects, adding that his administration still retained the same contractor engaged by his predecessor.
With his litany of achievements and eye-popping projects lying across the state, it is doubtful if his traducers can still sustain their propaganda that the governor does not give attention to the state or that Fayemi is a ghost governor. Evidently, their 15 minutes of mischief, lies and propaganda is up.
Pix: Commisisoning of Ayo Fasanmi Model College with Fasanmi’s eldest son, justice Obafemi Fasanmi and SUBEB Chairman, Prof Akinwunmi.jpg