EMERGENCY DIGEST – Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi has urged the people of state not to perceive the coming general elections as a do-or-die affair, in order to make the 2019 a rewarding year for the populace.
Mr Fayemi urged politicians and the electorate to put the interest of the state above parochial interest for radical development of the state not to be stalled through desperation on the parts of a few.
The governor also said the budgetary provision tagged budget of restoration he presented to the House of Assembly will be prosecuted diligently to redirect Ekiti to the path of economic sanity and recovery.
Mr Fayemi, in a state broadcast to mark the beginning of the new year , said his government will accord priority to payment of salaries and pensions as well as concretize the state’s development plan through the 4-cardinal policy thrust of his administration for Ekiti to regain its lost core values.
The broadcast marked the return of the Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State to air wave after being closed down by the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission since July, 2018.
He said: “If we count the blessings and gains of the past two months of our administration in the saddle, you will all agree with me that we are already out of the dark tunnel into the glowing light of fast economic recovery and speedy value restoration.
“This, indeed, is the least we can do for Ekiti people for their belief, love and trust in our ability to steer the course and put our State back on the path of prosperity, honour and peace.
“Of course, there are many issues, sectors, projects and citizens’ expectations desiring urgent attention. The intolerance, decadence, rot, abandonment, hopelessness and misplaced priority that pervaded Ekiti land in the past four years has inevitably increased the thirst of Ekiti-kete for good governance and the dawn of good tidings.
“We held meetings with every sector and stakeholders involved in the Ekiti project, signed five Executive Orders, declared free education which culminated in the eradication of payment of all levies both at the primary and secondary school levels, including payment of fees for the 14,000 pupils that will take WAEC examination in 2019, constituted four visitation panels for stocktaking of major institutions and agencies, visited and assessed the damage done to the multi billion naira abandoned projects that litter Ekiti State”.
The governor added that his government had been forming strong synergies with the locals , corporate bodies and multinationals with the prime vision of making Ekiti a business friendly state .
“May I unequivocally inform you that some corporate organizations and donor agencies that fled the state at the height of its misrule and suffocating business environment of the past have not only started to return, but have also pledged increased investments and interventions in critical areas.
“Just four days ago, I flagged off the Ero Dam treatment plant, rehabilitation and replacement of transmission main pipelines. You can be assured that with the huge resources we have committed to the water sector, the project beneficiaries in the nine (9) Local Government Areas of Ero Dam coverage will soon heave a huge sigh of relief, when uninterrupted potable water is made available to them. Equally, the rehabilitation of Egbe Dam is continuing apace and upon completion, should meet 85% of our water requirement in the State together with Ero Dam.
“Our small treatment plants in Efon-Alaye, Erinjinyan, Okemesi/Ido-Ile, Igbara-Odo and Ipole-Iloro should provide the remaining 15% coverage when fully in use.
He said his government began operations on a solid footing by according priority attentions to many abandoned projects, restoring electricity to some areas that were in total blackout for almost four years and by mobilising Contractors to the sites to complete roads or renovate many of the economically viable, but abandoned projects.
Mr Fayemi stated that to promote peaceful coexistence among the citizens , that the security architecture is being reconfigured to meet the people’s expectations and ensure protection of live and property.
“Ekiti State was one of the states rated with the best “Ease of Doing Business” in Nigeria by the World Bank during my first tenure between 2010 and 2014. Unfortunately we lost the status between 2015 and 2018 due to practices that were not in tandem with best business practices the world over.
“The good news, however, is that, efforts are being made now to regain the positive rating. The year 2019 must be used to right most of these wrongs and with your unflinching support, we are poised to push it through”.
About the 2019 elections, Mr Fayemi said invidious acts that could trigger crisis must be avoided to prevent calamity in the state.
“As the electioneering season approaches, we must play by the rules and avoid politics of bitterness. Such must be avoided at all costs if we are to live in harmony. Political discourse should be civil with decorum and in a constitutional manner.
“We should learn from the lessons of the election conducted in Ekiti State last year and draw encouragement from its’ outcomes which were adjudged to be free and fair, and violence free without any loss of lives”, he concluded.