Ex-gov’s actions lawful — aide
Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
Some communities in Ekiti North Senatorial District of Ekiti State are sad and angry. They have accused the immediate past administration of former Governor Ayodele Fayose of neglecting them by not extending developmental and infrastructural projects to them during his tenure.
The communities have also urged Governor Kayode Fayemi to correct the injustice done to them by reaching out to them in his efforts to restore and rebuild the state.
Also, a Muslim group in the state, Ahmmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, led by Mr. Alawode Bashirudeen, have alleged that the former governor, Fayose appropriated its land located in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, for the construction of a fuel station for his son.
Members of the Muslim group recently staged a protest in the streets of the capital during which they urged the state government under Governor Fayemi to revoke the land to avert a religious crisis in the state.
Communities in Ido Osi Local Government area of the state said Governor Fayemi must urgently come to their rescue by providing basic social infrastructure in form of a good road networks, water, and electricity among others for them.
One of the most prominent monarchs in the state and traditional ruler of Ido -Ekiti, Oba Idowu Faboro, and
a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress, Sola Ogunsina, explained that the communities in the area, including Ido-Ekiti, Ilogbo-Ekiti, Orin-Ekiti, Osi-Ekiti, Ora-Ekiti and Usi-Ekiti, among others, all of which are in the Ekiti North Senatorial District, alleged deliberate neglect by the immediate past Governor Fayose, even as they urged Governor Fayemi to help redress the alleged injustice.
Decrying the absence of government presence since the state was created in 1996, Oba Faboro said that Ido community alone ought to have no fewer than 10 wards as against two wards the town has currently, adding that such is inhibiting its development politically and in terms of development.
The monarch spoke to Daily Sun during a briefing to announce the celebration of Ajodun Ido Oganganmodu 2018. It is a week-long cultural festival of the town which began on Monday, November 19, and featuring a fund-raising ceremony for development projects, youths carnival, prayers and cultural fiesta, among others..
Ogunsina, chairman of the planning committee, and a former aide to Governor Fayemi, appealed to his former boss to ensure that he appoints indigenes from Ido and Ekiti North so that government presence could be felt
in the area.
He said: “Ido is a God-made community, but we do not enjoy government largesse. It was only during the military era that Ido attracted the Federal Teaching Hospital. Ido has been relegated since the creation of the state in 1996. There has not been any significant thing as government project in the town.
“Ido is the third or fourth most populated town in Ekiti State, yet other towns of smaller sizes have more government presence. Everything on development that we have have been through the efforts of our indigenes, as led by the Kabiyesi, the monarch,” he said.
Ogunsina who is also the chairman of Ido Progressive Association, Lagos branch, a group of illustrious sons and daughters of the town, noted that many indigenes of Ido and adjoining towns are now coming into the town courtesy of the accommodating attitude of the current Olojudo, Oba Faboro.
Oba Faboro also listed why Ido and its environs in Ekiti North should not be neglected by government. He gave a number of factors that make the communities outstanding:
“The historical antecedents of Faboro, my great-grandfather, made it possible for the establishment of a prestigious educational institution such as the Ekiti Parapo College in this part of the state. Faboro is named as an another name for Ido. That is why this town is called ldo Faboro. He created an identity for Ido as one of the leading fronts in the war. It is in appreciation of his efforts years later that the Ekiti Progressive Union and the National Association of Ekiti indigenes unanimously agreed to establish the Ekiti Parapo College in
ldo as the heartland of the state which connects easily and geographically to other towns as the centre.
“We enjoyed the presence of Governor Fayemi’s administration in his first tenure. An example is his signature projects for all communities which we used for the layout of the new palace. But during Governor Fayose’s reign, the adjoining towns, even those that are much smaller to us, enjoyed dual carriageways, but we didn’t. We are also one of the towns in Ekiti that produced some of the best professors who have recorded many firsts in their academic pursuits in this country.
“For any government who wants to accord the town the prominence which it had enjoyed many years ago, Ido deserves a state university and a museum. Our roads are bad, some of them would have long been impassable if not for efforts of indigenes. The public water system hasn’t been working well and we earnestly yearn for job opportunities as well as empowerment for our people,” he said.
Reacting to the complaints by the communities, the state government said developmental projects would be
evenly distributed across the state. Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to Governor Fayemi, Mr. Yinka Oyebode said:
“Everybody in Ekiti understands that under the leadership of Dr. Kayode Fayemi, every town and village will benefit from every form of development and infrastructure that government would do for the state. No town will be neglected for any reason whatsoever. This has always been his way.”
Protesting members of the Muslim group, who marched round the town, insisted that Fayose acquired their land for his personal use. They called on Fayemi to help retrieve the land from the former governor.
They carried placards of various inscriptions and comments expressing their grievances. In their words, the land was acquired for them in 1940 under the reign of the late Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Aladesanmi Anirare. They alleged that the piece of land was forcefully taken over by ex-governor Fayose.
Alawode said the Islamic group was surprised this year during the regime of the former Governor to see
new petrol station being built on the land.
His words: “We went to the State Ministry of Lands and the General Manager of the Ekiti State Housing Corporation and complained, but they told us the land had been acquired by the government and we suspected that government can’t acquire a land to build a petrol station.
“When we suspected foul play and saw the structure springing up, we sent a petition to the police commissioner and he intervened and stopped the construction. It was at the meeting with the police commissioner that we got to know that the land was acquired by the governor for his son.
“We have documents backing us that we are the original owners, so we are appealing to the government to remove the structure and give us our land back. It belongs to us.
“We can only negotiate with the owner of this structure if they give us another land within this vicinity and this should come with all necessary documents,” he said.
But Lere Olayinka, spokesman of the former governor, denied all the allegations. “No child of the former governor is building a petrol station anywhere in Ekiti State, and none of them benefitted from his government
in terms of lands acquisition,” Olayinka said.
“All actions of Fayose’s government were done within the ambit of the law and the records are there. Also, the issue in question was addressed with the Muslims while ex-governor Fayose was in office and the present government is at liberty to look into it if there are grievances,” he said.
In his reaction, the governor’s Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Yinka Oyebode, called for caution on the land dispute. He urged the aggrieved Muslim group to embrace a legal campaign to pursue their case.
“The land dispute is between the Muslim group and ex-governor Fayose. They didn’t say the former governor took the land for government but for his private investment. There are laid down procedure to pursue a legal case.
There is more than enough ground under the law for them to pursue their case and reclaim their land. As for government, we will be fair to all parties.”