From Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
RECENTLY, Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State commissioned some landmark projects in spite of the obvious paucity of funds in the state’s treasury.
Ado-Ekiti, the capital of the state, was agog for the commissioning, which was also more elaborate with the presence of seven serving governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) out of 11 of them that were invited.
Many at the inauguration observed that Governor Fayose’s choice of the projects against the background of the lean purse of the government was an indication of his prudent management of the state’s resources as well as sound knowledge of the basic needs of his people.
Investigation also revealed that the administration’s developmental projects, comprising road networks, water and agricultural projects as well as stomach infrastructure among others, cut across the nooks and crannies of the state, reaching the grassroots and pleasing the masses.
The governor’s desire to continue to open up the state’s capital, Ado-Ekiti, for more buoyant economic and social development activities apparently informed the overhauling of De-Head (Bawa Estate) -Adetiloye Road- which has now addressed the plight of motorists who hitherto had to painfully endure the Ado-Ekiti township traffic gridlock, and the opening up of Olorunsogo and Olorunda areas of the capital city for more robust economic activities. It has also added immense value to the landed property in these communities.
Conceived by Governor Fayose in November 2014, the project is now completed and has been in use for several months now.
According to the state’s Commissioner for Information, Youths and Sports Development, Hon. Lanre Ogunsuyi, Adetiloye Road, which is 6.2 kilometers cost N782,021,436 to overhaul.
In March 2015, traders at the popular Erekesan Market, otherwise called King’s Market and adjudged to be the next major means of livelihood for Ekiti people after the civil service commission and facilitated by the Ewi of Ado, Oba Rufus Aladesanmi Adejugbe, were temporarily relocated to Awedele community in the state capital. Governor Fayose discovered that a heavy traffic had been attracted to the area courtesy of the hitherto single lane which could not contain the robust commercial activities of the traders.
He then chose to dualize the Awedele-Secretariat road to resolve the issue.
The governor did not stop at dualizing the road, he also illuminated it not only to rid the area of evil men but also beautify the area and equally enable traders transact business late into the night. The road gulped N488,199, 974.59k and its illumination cost N11,106,315.00k.
It’s obvious that Governor Fayose’s desire to satisfy the yearnings of his people informed his choice of completing in a grand way, the Ewi palace gallery, a cultural edifice conceived initially by Oba Adejugbe, the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti.
Fayose took over the project shortly before the prestigious Udiroko Cultural Festival in 2015.
Governor Fayose had promised Ekiti people during the last Udiroko Festival that he would ensure the completion of a more elaborate and befitting palace gallery before the next edition of the festival and fulfilling the promise, the gallery, which has a sitting capacity of 2,300 guests and costs N212,131, 216,50k has now been completed and has since been serving the cultural needs of Ekiti people. Describing the significance of the palace gallery, Honourable Ogunsuyi said “the project has added beauty to the palace of the monarch, making it stand out among other palaces in Yoruba land. The good people of Ado-Ekiti can now meet on the gallery on issues of mutual interests.”
Also to show the world that his administration has always cared for women, evidence of which abound in his choice of a woman, Dr (Mrs.) Modupe Alade, as Secretary to his government, appointing a Special Assistant, Mrs Tessy Funmilayo Oguns to cater for the needs of women, widows and children among others, and allowing his wife, Mrs. Feyisetan Fayose to continue to cater for the needs of women, the girl-child and the less-privileged in the state, Governor Fayose built the Funmilayo Olayinka Women’s Centre for Ekiti women in memory of the late Mrs Funmilayo Adunni Olayinka, former deputy governor of Ekiti State. The building comprises training halls, offices for the wives of the governor and deputy governor, as well as other agencies of the state government.
The late Olayinka had been elected on the platform of a rival political party, All Progressives Congress (APC) and for naming the centre after her, many in Ekiti have described Fayose as a mature politician/leader who is tolerant and selfless.
While delivering his speech on behalf of the state government at the commissioning of the centre, Hon. Ogunsuyi said “the Funmilayo Olayinka Women’s Centre built in the heart of Ado-Ekiti is evidence that Dr. Fayose is the governor of all regardless of political affiliations. Before the project was initiated, the site was named Heroes Park by the immediate past administration of ex-governor Kayode Fayemi, now Honourable Minister of Solid Minerals Development and it was the late Funmilayo Adunni Olayinka’s final resting place. The place was abandoned and overgrown by weeds, thereby becoming an eyesore.
However, Governor Fayose thought it wise to honour the former deputy governor by proposing a befitting structure which would be named after her.Though, the state was confronted by paucity of funds to actualize the project, Governor Fayose approached a number of corporate organizations in the state and today, the building is erected at no cost to the state.
“In naming the star project after the late deputy governor elected on the platform of a rival political party, his Excellency , Dr. Ayodele Fayose has continued to portray a rare quality of political tolerance, Christ-like spirit of forgiveness and uncommon conviction in the Ekiti project. All the projects and appointments effected so far by this administration are devoid of vengeful politics that now characterize the landscape.”
As part of activities slated for the commissioning, a thanksgiving ceremony was organized by Governor Fayose in honour of Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku on his victory at the tribunal. The lower tribunal and Appeal Court had nullified Ishaku’s election saying he was not validly elected as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Recalling how Fayose stood solidly behind him during his travails before his victory, Governor Ishaku said Fayose’s spiritual counseling made him strong.
“After losing at the Appeal Court, I was in Jerusalem with Governor Fayose and at a time I became downcast and I told him that I was prepared to go back to my state. But he advised me to wait longer and put all my supplications before God and that I did.
“I then promised that if I should win at the Supreme Court, I would host my thanksgiving at Ado Ekiti and that’s what I’m doing today. He told me that God will make way for me and his advice actually subdued my worries and today I am celebrating.
“That’s why I am committed to wiping away tears of my people in Taraba State. As I speak with you, many communities in Taraba had not witnessed development since its creation.
I was startled when my wife told me she went to a very remote community in the state and a woman of over 100 years old said she had not seen a car in her life ”, he said
In the same vein, his counterparts from Akwa Ibom and Abia states, Emmanuel Udom and Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, respectively, revealed that Fayose had been a pillar of support to their administrations.
Fayose, who attributed his contributions to God’s guidance and powers, urged Peoples Democratic Party governors to continue to serve the people and always seek the face of God in all their dealings.
The governor added that virtually all his predictions about some happenings in the country had come to pass, saying this is an indication of the grace of God in his life.
“Having triumphed over the forces of darkness, I want you to rededicate yourself to the service of God. You must see God as your pillar and be ready to render selfless service to the people”, he said.
Governors of the PDP that attended the event with the PDP Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, included Dr Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, David Umahi (Ebonyi State), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia State), Nyesom Wike (Rivers State) and Ibrahim Dankwabo (Gombe State).