The immediate past governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, on Tuesday again came under fierce attack from his successor, Ayo Fayose, who accused him of living in opulence while the people of the state wallowed in poverty.
Mr. Fayose alleged that his predecessor purchased two beds worth N50 million for himself and his wife in the new Government House he (Fayemi) built.
Mr. Fayose of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was sworn in as governor of the state last Thursday. He had defeated Mr, Fayemi, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the June 21 governorship election.
On his inauguration day, the new governor had alleged that the former governor left a debt profile of N57 billion. Mr. Fayemi has since debunked that claim, stating that he took N25 billion Bond out of which N14 billion had been paid.
The new statement by Mr. Fayose’s Special Assistant on Information and Social Media, Lere Olayinka, said while Mr. Fayemi furnished his room with a N30 million bed, that of his wife was bought for N20 million.
It said apart from the beds, their toilets and bathrooms cost about N100 million.
The statement titled “N3.3bn new Government House Is Fayemi’s Show of Wickedness To Ekiti People,” said nobody would see what the former governor did with the funds he borrowed and be able to hold back tears.
“Between Fayemi and his wife, what was spent on their bedrooms, toilets and bathrooms will be in the region of N100m,” the statement said.
“How can a responsible government use borrowed funds to provide this kind of luxury for the governor and his family alone in a state where a lot of people cannot afford to feed more than once in a day?
“People should ask the former governor what was really wrong with the abandoned governor’s lodge used by his (Fayemi) predecessors?”
Mr. Fayose argued that such funds expended on the hilltop edifice should have been used to resuscitate the moribund textile factory in Ado-Ekiti that was turned to lock-up shops to provide employment for our teeming youths?
Wondering if Mr. Fayemi was living in that manner of opulence before he became governor or sleeping on a body-massaging bed and bathing in an electric-controlled Jacuzzi, the statement said the former governor could not pay salaries and yet was living in such opulence.
It said, “Here is Fayemi, who could not pay workers salaries, owing them two-month salaries before he left. A Fayemi, who out of sheer wickedness refused to pay pensioners N2.4bn pension and gratuities; N400m workers leave bonus, N700m subventions to parastatals and tertiary institutions and remit N2.4bn four months’ cooperative society’s deductions from workers salaries preferring to use N3.3bn borrowed funds to provide luxury for himself, his wife and children alone. This is wickedness!’’
The statement claimed that the governor would prefer to sell the property and use the proceed to provide basic amenities and employment opportunities for the people.
The statement also said Mr. Fayemi had planned to purchase a helicopter if he had been voted back to power.
“That’s also the reason he (Fayemi) refused to renovate the Governor’s Office, leaving it in a state of disrepair because he knew that he was not going to use the office during his second term,” the statement said.
“Also, contract for the maintenance of the property was already awarded for N150m per annum. When we visited the Government House for the first time yesterday, Mr Governor was like; how I wish I can sell off this place or turn it to commercial use? It is simply wicked for a governor to be more interested in this manner of ostentatious comfort at the expense of the people.”
The statement wondered “if the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, whom Fayemi and his so-called progressives claimed as their role-model, lived in any government house, much less of building an Emperor-like house for himself.”
It also asked if the late Adekunle Ajasin, former governor of the old Ondo State, built a monarchical government house for himself or Lateef Jakande, former governor of Lagos State live in any government house?
“These are great Yoruba sons, who recorded landmark achievements as premier of the old Western Region and governors of Lagos State and the old Ondo State respectively.
“The duo of Ajasin and Jakande were able to impact tremendously on their states because they did not like to waste public funds on the provision of luxury for themselves.”
According to the statement, Mr. Fayose, who governed the state between 2003 and 2006, would have preferred not to live in the Government House build by Mr. Fayemi because it was a symbol of oppression.
It added, “He(Fayose) will prefer to live where Ekiti people can easily see him, touch him, eat with him and discuss the progress of the state together.
“But abandoning it would amount to colossal waste of public funds; but Governor Fayose will not hide himself from the masses.”