Members of opposition parties including the People’s Democratic Party and Action Democratic Party applaud as well as fault the performance of Governor Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti state as he marks 300 days in office. Gbenga Sodeinde reports.
Governor Biodun Oyebanji has no doubt performed creditably well in his first 300 days in the saddle as Ekiti Governor.
His achievements within such a limited time in his four-year tenure have continued to attract praises from people of the state at home and abroad not leaving out members of the opposition parties.
One of such opposition voices giving kudos to the Ekiti State helmsman for his performance so far is the governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) in the 2022 gubernatorial elections in Ekiti State, Erelu Kemi Elebute-Halle.
Elebute-Halle in a recent interview with THISDAY commended Governor Oyebanji for what she described as “his good performance so far, particularly in the area of road infrastructure”.
The ADP chieftain, who doubled as ADP Presidential Campaign director-general in the just concluded general elections, commended Oyebanji for his pro-people projects and humanitarian gestures saying, “Governor Oyebanji is a very humble man. We share some attributes particularly in the areas of humanitarian gestures. Look at how far he has affected lives of some individuals positively in Ekiti in the recent time.
“Apart from this, Oyebanji is service-driven. If you look at what he has been able to do in the last few months, he should be commended. Politics apart, let’s be sincere!
“Before now, Ekiti State seemed to have been completely cut off from the rest of Nigeria, but under him, most of our federal roads that were hitherto in deplorable state are being fixed and reconstructed. For example, Ijan-Ijesa Isu, Ado-Ilawe roads are getting attention.
“Now, one can now link and connect any part of the country within a short time. I felt if God has given us a leader who is doing well like this, one should say thank you to him for taking good care of the Ekiti people. But that is a service he has sworn to give us and he is doing it well.”
Speaking in the same vein, the Governorship Candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the June 18, 2022, election in Ekiti State, Mr. Bisi Kolawole, also commended Governor Oyebanji, for his remarkable achievements within a short space of time.
Kolawale who made the assertion during a courtesy visit to the Governor in his office in Ado Ekiti noted that Oyebanji’s visionary and purposeful leadership was being appreciated by the people of the state.
According to him, “So far so good, he has done well, the whole idea is to take Ekiti to the next level and he’s on the right track.
“He’s doing very well and I hope God will help him to sustain the pace.
“He was one of the pioneer people that spearheaded the creation of Ekiti State, if am not mistaken, he was the secretary, so, doing very well now is part of the project long ago. So there is nothing strange even about his performance because I would not have expected anything short of that,” Kolawole stated.
Another PDP chieftain, and one of the noted critics of the APC, Lere Olayinka at a forum recently said “as for me, Governor Oyebanji is doing well and I won’t be blinded by politics not to acknowledge that.”
The PDP chieftain apparently felt highly impressed with the performance of Oyebanji, declared during a meeting with some PDP leaders in Ado Ekiti that Oyebanji deserves Ekiti’s collective support and urged the people to give him their support
According to him: “If you pass through Ita Awure – Aramoko – Igede Road this time last year and now, you will see the clear difference and this can’t be hidden even if you don’t like the face of the governor. Personally, I remember how many times I had issues with my vehicle’s tyres on that road.
“Also, I have seen the governor even visiting those who contested the guber election with him, including those who even challenged his election up to the Supreme Court.
“He is running government across political party lines and for that, there is peace in the state. That’s what Ekiti needs at this time.”
While former Governor of Ekiti state, Ayo Fayose of the PDP said God was kind to Ekiti State to have made Oyebanji the governor, describing him as a listening and pragmatic leader, who is well prepared to offer diligent and excellent service.
Fayose who urged Ekiti people to support the new administration of Oyebanji so that he can improve the economic situation of the state and deliver on his promises to move the state forward.
Fayose said, “Governor Oyebanji had started very well judging by some of the steps he had taken so far, adding that the support of the people is what is needed so he can do more. In fact, God is kind to Ekiti State for giving us a governor like Biodun Oyebanji who is a pragmatic and attentive leader.
“The former governor who said he was ready to offer his support and counsel at all times, maintained that the governor needed good advice from well-meaning leaders and citizens of the state on the best way to move the state forward, in the face of a global economic crisis.
“You are now the face of Ekiti, you need everybody to gather advice, you need good counselling, especially in a state where some people are looking for manners from above. I will continue to offer my advice, and when we have observations we call you to tell you.
“Support this governor, he’s not the Governor of APC, he’s not the Governor of PDP, though he contested under his party but he’s now the governor of Ekiti State. So, he needs all the support to succeed, and I know he shall succeed because he has started very well.
“I am not here to play politics, I am a PDP man when it is time for an election. I will fight you but right now you are the face of our state. You are the governor of our State. What I have seen of you is that you are a listening governor, you are well prepared to serve,” the statement added.
But despite all these avalanche of commendations, there is a PDP chieftain who decided to toe a different path of criticism rather than commending or praising the governor for all he has been doing in Ekiti within his first 300 days in office.
A former PDP State Chairman in Ekiti state, Gboyega Oguntuwase, however has a different opinion about the performance of Governor Biodun Oyebanji saying he saw nothing good that he could count as an achievement of the present Oyebanji/ APC led government in Ekiti state. He added that all he could see so far is that Governor Oyebanji is a very handsome looking gentleman, humble and lovable.
According to Oguntuwase, “Governor Oyebanji is a very handsome and very neat man. He rarely laughs but appears lovable and he equally wears well tailored dresses. If he believes in the praises of palace jesters he would have missed his ways several kilometers before discovering himself”.
Oguntuwase who warned Oyebanji against those singpraising him, added all he could see is in the faces of Ekiti people across the nooks and crannies of the state is mass poverty and hunger everywhere in the state. “Governor Oyebanji should carefully listen to me as a brother, it is too early to start taking the praise worshippers seriously. He should tell me whether in his town, local government, or any part of Ekiti state whether the poverty level has reduced or whether the human capital index has improved. Has he not heard the loud voice of poverty in the land?
“Does he not know that his membership of APC makes him as guilty as Buhari and those that have just withdrawn our oil subsidy thus making workers and every salary earner to know that the value of their salary has diminished seriously”.
Apart from this, he also saw nothing good about Oyebanji’s predecessor, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, accusing the former governor of wrecking the state.
According to him: “The APC government of Fayemi has wrecked the state. We are victims of Fayemi’s recklessnes, and lack of commitment to duty. Oyebanji has a lot of work to do. So, I personally congratulate him for joining hands with others to rescue APC chairman from kidnappers, and that is to let him know that he has a lot of work to do on security”.