Be Pragmatic with Governance, Olanipekun, Falana Tell Ekiti Gov-elect
Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Two prominent indigenes of Ekiti State, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) and Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) have charged the state’s Governor-elect, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, to take proactive and pragmatic steps that would change the economy of the state when sworn in.
The senior lawyers said this in Lagos while playing host to Oyebanji at the weekend in furtherance of the governor-elect’s consultation with prominent the indigenes of the state.
According to a statement by his Media Assistant, Mr. Raheem Akingbolu, the governor-elect, also visited the former National Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Dele Adesina (SAN).
Falana, a human rights lawyer, who warmly received Oyebanji, urged him “to carve a special niche through effective and pragmatic governance that would bring about value restoration and economic prosperity for Ekiti people”.
Speaking during the visit to his Ikoyi, Lagos office, Olanipekun said Oyebanji’s emergence as governor-elect was not by accident, considering his involvement in the struggle that led to the creation of Ekiti State and his 11 years of experience in the government of the state.
“The governor-elect is a brother in whom I am well pleased. He is a rare gift to our dear state and I am not surprised that God in his wisdom has thrown him up to become our governor. I first met him many years ago, when, at a very tender age, he joined the Ekiti leaders and traditional rulers, who championed the struggle for the creation of Ekiti State.
He is intelligent, brilliant, humble, and sincere to a fault. Besides, having served in various positions in Ekiti State for 11 years, I don’t know any individual who can beat that record today with those unique attributes I see in Abiodun. I am happy about this visit and I have assured him of my support any day,” Olanipekun explained.
Adesina, on his part, said Oyebanji’s decision to consult Ekiti leaders at this preparatory level was the best decision anybody could take.
“The first advice I would have given our governor-elect is what he is already doing -consultation. He should make it a deliberate policy to bring the Ekiti elite together and rub his mind with them on what they could contribute.
“Gone were the days when government alone can bring about sustainable development. There are many Ekiti people out there who are not pushovers anywhere in the world and could contribute well to the growth of our state. Our incoming governor must involve them to contribute whatever they could contribute.
“The secret of it is that when an idea comes from a particular set of people, they won’t allow it to die. To engage our youths, I want to urge Mr. Oyebanji to invest more in technical colleges so that young men and women in Ekiti can acquire knowledge that can help them establish small-scale businesses.
“This is necessary to re-orientate the Ekiti youths who have suddenly become the opposite of what we grew up to know,” Adesina said.
Responding, Oyebanji said the ongoing consultation with Ekiti stakeholders and leaders would continue till his inauguration adding that regular consultation with stakeholders and leaders will be a major feature of his administration’s public engagement policy.
Oyebanji said the visit was in continuation of his earlier resolve to close ranks with passionate Ekiti leaders and carry them along as he pilots the affairs of the state.
“Today, I have chosen to visit three of the legal icons in Ekiti, who are making us proud. I must confess, each of them made my day through the quality advice they offered and their willingness to support Ekiti State anytime the need arises.
“This is necessary because development and good governance can only be enhanced when every stakeholder contributes to nation-building,” he added.