Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Chief Ayodele Fayose, has charged elder statesmen in the country not to keep quiet in the face of poor governance and leadership, but rather keep public officers on their toes by demanding good governance and accountability from them.
He noted that history and posterity will not be kind to them if they fold their arms and watch situations deteriorate to dangerous level in the country.
He stated this in Ado-Ekiti when members of the Ekiti State Council of Elders led by their Chairman, Prof. Joseph Oluwasanmi, paid him a visit at the Government House.
In a statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi, yesterday, he quoted the governor as also charging the elders not to only offer advice to public office holders, but that they must not shy away from criticising them when the needs arise.
” We must make political office holders accountable for our commonwealth. The essence of giving people the opportunity to lead is to make life better for all. Evaluate the situation and guide where necessary but don’t say you have tried to get across to some people but that they are proving stubborn or inaccessible.
“They are representing the interest of the people who elected them and whoever feels too big to identify with the people must be taught the needed lessons.
Turning to the Ekiti elders, the Governor said, “We appreciate you for appreciating the little we have done. We are working for history and posterity. We will take a number of elders around our projects for you to appreciate them and hand them over to Ekiti people.”
Governor Fayose, while reacting to some demands made by the council, noted that the previous administration left the finances of the state in tatters.
“We can’t even borrow money without the approval of the Federal Government. Right now, we pay over N1.2 billion monthly to service debts incurred by the Kayode Fayemi administration and we will pay till 2036. This same person has been a Minister for Solid Minerals for about three years now and has not found anything worthwhile to bring to the state in spite of the abundant solid mineral in Ijero, Oye and other parts of the state,” he added.
On the development roadmap prepared by the elders, Fayose noted that since it is the government that would implement anything like that, it would have been better to carry the government along in preparing such a document.
On the parlous state of the national economy, the governor frowned at a situation whereby the Federal Government would borrow money for its own use, but would make all the three tiers of government repay same.
He said he had gone to court to challenge that and some other policies of the Federal Government.
Earlier in his speech, Prof Oluwasanmi commended the Fayose administration for the giant strides in education, infrastructure and other sectors.
He told the governor that the state would soon host a meeting of the Yoruba Council of Elders and invited the governor to be part of the meeting.