From Priscilla Ediare, Ado Ekiti
A former Special Adviser and Director General, Ekiti State Bureau of Public Procurement, Dr Bayo Arowolaju, has said that former Governor Segun Oni’s performances outclassed other governors ever produced in the state.
Arowolaju described the event leading to Oni’s removal by the Appeal Court on October 15, 2010, as a conspiracy against him by political heavyweights.
Describing Oni as committed to developing Ekiti, Arowolaju maintained that Oni won both the 2007 governorship election and 2009 Rerun polls, contrary to the position canvassed by the then Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN).
Arowolaju, in his congratulatory message in Ado Ekiti on Saturday, commemorating Oni’s 67th birthday slated for Sunday, September 5, 2021, revealed that the former Governor’s performances triggered agitations by Ekiti masses that he should vie for the 2022 governorship.
By his ouster, the former Director General, Ekiti State Due Process Office, said the foundation for probity, transparency and economic freedom Oni laid for the people was scuttled by ill feelings orchestrated by some powerful politicians.
‘During the tenure of Governor Segun Oni, Ekiti State almost became an El Dorado. There were regular and full payments of salaries and allowances to workers, effected promotions, payment of gratuities and pensions to retirees, employment of 4,000 youths into the public service, financial autonomy to local governments, legislature and the judiciary.
‘In the areas of education, students were given free lockers and benches in all schools, school feeding systems were initiated, scholarship for students to local and foreign higher institutions, supply of pipe-borne water and improved electricity supply.
‘Segun Oni’s road revolution programme, where 24 roads were constructed simultaneously opened up the state as major, minor and feeder roads were solidly captured and reconstructed. The programme provided succour to different segments of the people.
‘Ekitis are still having the fond memories of a solid administration when health care services were not left behind, new hospitals and health centres were built throughout the state, world-class Cuban doctors’ staffed Ophthalmological Centre was built and a Central Pharmaceutical store was established in the State hospital putting an end to the sale of fake drugs,’ Arowolaju stated.
Arowolaju lamented that the orgy of insecurity in the facets of banditry, kidnappings and killings that were alien to Ekiti have now resurged due to the alleged ill-preparedness of those at the helm of affairs.
‘Our Obas are no longer safe in their palaces. Not only did private car owners become ready targeted victims, but commercial transport patrons also have become victims that their driver unions are now protesting openly their insecurities.
‘Poor farmers were not left out of terrorism by Fulani herdsmen, all who have virtually taken over the state from the lawful authorities as members of the state executive council are no longer immune from this malady of insecurity. Peace, security and safety that were taken for granted when Segun Oni was Governor has now eluded Ekiti.’
Arowolaju said the 2022 governorship poll presents a veritable opportunity for Ekiti masses to take their destiny in their hands and fight with their votes for a better alternative at the Primary and General Elections.
‘After all, Japan, like Ekiti State has no drop of oil but quality brains like Ekiti people and they have succeeded and developed far more than some people with an ocean of oil. This had always been Oni’s belief and that he would achieve if returned as Governor in 2022.’
Oni was removed as the PDP governor of Ekiti State following a petition filed by Governor Kayode Fayemi, the candidate of the ACN in the 2007 and 2009 main and rerun polls.