The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, and former Borno State Governor, Senator Kashim Ibrahim Shettima have advised the Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi to resist the temptation of foisting successor.
This came as Fayemi told members of his cabinet covertly jostling to succeed him to remain focus on his administration developmental agenda or resign, rather than allowing the power struggle to derail his action plans.
They urged Fayemi to rather allow the system to produce his successor in the best interest of the state, stressing that imposition always breeds rancour and consequently take tolls on governance.
The duo spoke in Ado Ekiti, the state capital yesterday, during a high level retreat 2020 organise by Governor Fayemi, with the theme: ‘Finishing well and sustaining progressive leadership in Ekiti State’.
Delivering his speech on “Finishing well, winning against all odds”, Fashola called on the governor to build stewardships in the minds of the populace for the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) to sustain its leadership in Ekiti.
He noted that Fayemi and his team must channel their energy on the kernel of the five pillars of his administration to earn the respect of the people, saying “when citizens are made the cornerstone of policies and actions such government will enjoy widespread acceptability.
“Nothing can be more successful than self-measurement. I urge all of you to keep the world finishing well in minds. You all agreed on a goal, but the question to ask is that can we finish well? We must ask ourselves especially those having political ambitions who may want to place personal ambitions over collective gains.
“What does success mean? If the five pillar policy thrust is well achieved, then there is success. keep your focus on the agenda of government. Remember that finishing well would mean that you remember that this government is a product of APC, which believes in propagation of ideals of progressivism, which means continuous improvement of human conditions.
“This is a step towards finishing well. And when you finish well, you will see the credibility of your government with the people and this make it compulsory that we must stay connected to the people .
“I am not unmindful of the limited resources, but prioritise the needs of the people. You must do things based on public opinion polls and engagements with the people.
“Take critics as challengers, not enemies. Those who asked you to do more are not ungrateful people. If they ask you to do more, is a vote of confidence on your person and government.
“Build your stewardship on the minds of the people. How do you react to those that suffered to elect you. How do you react to their messages and calls? Is it with laughter or irritation? All these are issues we must also take into cognisance”.
On his part, Senator Shettima called on Fayemi to place premium on competence and acceptability against friendship and loyalty in his succession plan, saying ” you won’t know the true nature of a man until he gets power”.
Loyalty and friendship is not a yardstick for succession plan but competence, capability, integrity, maturity and depth of appreciation and acceptability by the general public are better considerations in politics than primordial sentiments.
“At the eve of my tenure expiration in 2019, I played a game of pure political brinkmanship to choose a successor. No fewer than 21 people were interest in the seat, but I understood the politics and allowed the system to produce my successor”.
He stated that he was able to lay a solid legacy in Borno State because he never allowed the challenge of Boko Haram insurgency defined his government or distracted him, saying he perceived it as part of the challenges of leadership.
“When I was in Borno State I ensured that my team was focused and determined. I was monitoring every dime that was being spent in every ministry. Apart from that, we must remember how ephemeral our tenure is and the vanity of power as well as the need to treat people with dignity”.
Governor Fayemi said the retreat was conceptualised to appraise the gains and challenges he has made in the second year of his tenure, with a focus to re-tool machineries of governance with a view to making life abundant for the citizenry.
“Those who will work against our focus through ambition can excuse and allow us get focused. We can’t at this time be working at cross purposes and derail the focus of government. We are opening new areas of opportunities and we must work hard to sustain this.
“We have brought two former governors to tell us how they have been able to entrench progressive governance in their states despite the challenges.
“We are considering how far have we gone? What have been our lessons, gains and failure? It is a unique opportunity for us to project into the future. This is among other things the review of the successes and challenges of the last two years, so that we can come up with more functional policy for the future.
“This programme will enhance good working relationship among our team and ignite team spirit. If will finish well, we will be able to inject a progressive government that will deliver and project progressive politicking in Ekiti. We must not be distracted or allow divisive tendencies to derail our focus,” he added.