The governor-elect of Ekiti State Ayodele Fayose has pledged to be on the side of the common people of Ekiti State, saying he wants to be “the Awolowo” of the southwest state.
The late Obafemi Awolowo, the former premier of the defunct Western region, is revered among the Yoruba for his people-oriented developmental programmes.
Speaking to journalists at Spotless Hotel in Ado Ekiti, on Sunday, Mr. Fayose who won by a landslide in Saturday’s gubernatorial election said: “I want to be the Awolowo here. Awolowo is long dead but nobody can come out to insult him.”
While commending the other contenders in the governorship race for conceding and accepting the result of the poll, Mr. Fayose said he was now “older and wiser” and was ready to work with everybody.
“Governor Kayode Fayemi, my brother Opeyemi Bamidele, and others that we contested together have accepted me as the governor-elect, I want to thank them too and assure them that I would work with all of them,” he said.
“These four years would be four years for all of us in government. There will be no winner, no loser,” he added.
He particularly thanked the incumbent, Mr. Fayemi, for his service and pledged to continue any uncompleted project initiated by the incumbent.
“Whatever projects are left by our predecessor we will continue. It is not about Fayemi; it is in the interest of the people. It is about Ekiti,” he said.
He particularly thanked the common people of Ekiti for believing in him, noting that without them his victory would have been impossible.
“My charge to every politician is to target the common people. When you’re voted to power, don’t forget the common man.
“I left the government house on 16 October, 2006 and by God’s grace I will be back in Government house 16 October, 2014. I owe it all to God and the common man in Ekiti.”
During his first term as governor, Mr. Fayose was impeached and subsequently charged to court for an alleged N1.2 billion fraud. Prosecutors from the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, told the court that Mr. Fayose converted the money meant for a poultry project for his personal use. The case is still in court.
The governor-elect pleaded with the police to release all those who were arrested during electioneering, no matter their political leaning. He also promised to compensate all those who were injured or whose properties were destroyed. For those who lost loved ones in the various violent clashes that characterised the run-up to the election Mr. Fayose said his government would “alleviate their suffering and support them.”
He said he would approach his time as governor with the tenacity he did the job the first time. He said he would take the welfare of civil servants seriously and promised to pay salaries every 21st day of the month.