From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
Former Lagos State Governor and Minister of Works, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola(SAN) and the ex-Borno State Governor, Senator Kashim Shettima, have called on Nigerian leaders not to ever see critics as enemies but rather as confidence vote in their abilities to do more.
The duo enjoined all politicians to build their stewardships in the minds of the citizens in order to earn respect and enduring legacies after tenure.
This came as Governor Kayode Fayemi also charged Political Appointees in the State on Committment to developmental agenda and not allow their personal ambitions jeorpadised government delivery service to the people.
They Spoke in Ado-Ekiti, on Thursday, during High Level Retreat 2020 organised by Governor Fayemi, with the theme: ‘Finishing well and sustaining progressive leadership in Ekiti State’.
The programme was held in compliance with COVID-19 pandemic regulations, as participants used face masks and many of the resource persons made their presentations via virtual means.
Delivering his speech on “Finishing well, winning against all odds”, Fashola posited that Fayemi and his team must focus attentions on the kernel
of the cardinal objectives of his administration to earn the respect of Ekiti peoole.
“Nothing can be more successful than self measurement. I urge all of you to keep the world finishing well in minds. You all agreed on a goal, but the question to ask is that can we finish well ? We must ask ourselves especially those having political ambitions who may want to place personal ambitions over collective gains.
“What does success mean? If the five pillar policy thrust is well achieved, then there is success. keep your focus on the agenda of government. Remember that finishing well would mean that you remember that this government is a product of APC, which believes in propagation of ideals of progressivism, Which means continuous improvement of human conditions.
“This is a step towards finishing well. And when you finish well, you will see the credibility of your government with the people and this makes it compulsory that we must stay connected to the people.
“I am not unmindful of the limited resources, but prioritise the needs of the people. You must do things based on public opinion polls and engagements with the people.
“Take critics as challengers, not enemies. Those who asked you to do more are not ungrateful people. If they ask you to do more, is a vote of confidence on your person and government.
“Build your stewardship in the minds of the people. How do you react to those that suffered to elect you? How do you react to their messages and calls? Is it with laughter or irritation? All these are issues we must also take into cognisance.”
Fashola assured that President Muhammadu Buhari would complete the federal Secretariat awarded by the federal government and other road projects being undertaken in Ekiti State like ; Efon-Iwaraja, Ado-Aramoko- Itawure , Ado-Ifaki- Otun roads.
“On the Akure-Ado Ekiti road, the contract for the reconstruction and expansion had been awarded, it has to be dualised. The Kogi-Ekiti road will be taken up by DANGOTE group as part of the public private partnership of the Buhari-led government.’
The Senator representing Borno Central, Kashim Shettima, appealed to Fayemi to resist the temptation of imposing a successor, by allowing the system to produce a capable leader after him.
He stated that he was able to lay a solid legacy in Borno State because he never allowed the challenge of Boko Haram insurgency defined his government or distracted him, saying he perceived it as part of the challenges of leadership.
He appealed to leaders in Nigeria to always place high premium on competence and capability in appointing leaders against other primordial considerations.
“When I was in Borno State I ensured that my team was focused and determined. I was monitoring every dime that was being spent in every ministry. Apart from that, we must remember how ephemeral our tenure is and the vanity of power as well as the need to treat people with dignity.
“Competence, capability, integrity and maturity and depth of appreciation and acceptability by the general public are better considerations in politics than promordial sentiments.
“21 people wanted to succeed me, but I understood the politics and allowed the system to produce my successor.”
Fayemi said the programme was conceptualised to appraise the gains and challenges he has made in the second year of his tenure, with a focus that there is room for improvement.
The governor, however, advised the commissioners and other cabinet members having their eyes fixed on the governorship seat to resign in order not to derail the focus of government.
“Those who will work against our focus through ambition can excuse and allow us get focused. We can’t at this time be working at cross purposes and derail the focus of government. We are opening new areas of opportunities and we must work hard to sustain this.
“We have brought two former governors to tell us how they have been able to entrench progressive governance in their states despite the challenges.
“We are considering how far we have gone? What has been our lessons, gains and failure? It is a unique opportunity for us to project into the future. This is among other things the review of the successes and challenges of the last two years, so that we can come up with more functional policy for the future.
“This programme will enhance good working relationship among our team and ignite team spirit. If will finish well, we will be able to inject a progressive government that will deliver and project progressive politicking in Ekiti. We must not be distracted or allow divisive tendencies to derail our focus.”
In his presentation, a renowned Economist and a development Consultant, Dr. Ayodele Teriba, said the economic team had met with 22 MDAs in Ekiti and provided written footprints, saying whatever gains that had been made would be compared with the challenges encountered; like the COVID-19 pandemic.