The governor urged Ekiti people to protect their votes
The Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, on Thursday, flagged off his campaign for a second term in office with a charge to the people of the state to protect their votes during the June 21 governorship election in the state.
The governor, at a rally held at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, also pledged to work harder to better the lives of Ekiti people and ensure a better transformation of the state if re-elected.
The rally was attended by some APC governors including Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), AbdulAziz Yari Abubakar (Zamfara); Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo); Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun); Rauf Aregbesola (Osun) and Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), who was represented by his deputy, Peter Kishra.
Others were former Borno State Governor Ali Modu Sheriff; former Ekiti State Governor and APC National Vice Chairman (South West), Adeniyi Adebayo; APC National Women Leader, Sharon Ikeazor; a Senator, Ajayi Boroffice; and Iyaloja-General of Lagos, Folashade Tinubu-Ojo.
Mr. Fayemi said he had faithfully implemented his eight-point agenda and fulfilled all the promises contained in his inaugural address when he was sworn into office on October 16, 2010.
He said he brought transparency and accountability to governance as no official of his administration has been summoned to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, unlike what it used to be in the past.
He explained that he was ahead of his rivals in other parties on the strength of his track record and performance in office, which he said was visible in all parts of the state. He bragged that all his opponents could offer for now were only promises.
“The advantage I am having is that I am running on record and there are people who will promise heaven and earth but I can tell you what I have done in education and how I have banished poverty among our elderly,” he said. “I can tell you what I have done in infrastructure, how we have transformed Ikogosi Warm Spring to an international tourist centre, how we have empowered our women, and how we have revived our industries. These are the records I want those who are coming to run to challenge. We have a responsibility to make poverty history and APC is that party of new Nigeria.”
Mr. Fayemi pointed out that those who looted the resources of the state were threatening to come back to power.
“We know where we are coming from and you know our history. In Ekiti State, we don’t want somebody to sit somewhere and expect people from outside to install him in power. The coming election in June, if you think it is meant for Fayemi, you are wrong. It is not only Fayemi’s election, we don’t want to return to the dark days of one week, one trouble. In APC, we are not arraigned in court over fraud because we are using our money to serve Ekiti people.”
He said the election was about the “our freedom, social security for our aged, respect for our elders, respect for the traditional rulers, peace and prosperity for our teachers and we are not coming back to sack people. We are not chop-I-chop party, we are not a party of I-don’t-care, we are competent, we are transparent and we can offer better than other parties in Nigeria.”
The governor also used the forum to dispel some rumours allegedly being peddled by the opposition in the state that he would deal with some sections of workers in the state if he returned to office.
He denied having any plan to ban Okada riders if he was re-elected and that rather than do that, he would empower the riders to contribute more to the economy of the state and ensure safety for them and their passengers.
Mr. Fayemi also slammed the opposition for allegedly spreading a rumour that he would sack teachers if he returned to office for the second time. He said he would not sack any teacher but employ more if he wins a second term.
The governor, who also promised to provide training opportunities for teachers, noted that in Nigeria, Ekiti remained the only state that paid special allowances to teachers in rural areas, which is 20 per cent of their salaries, in addition to their normal salaries.
In his welcome address, the Ekiti APC Chairman, Olajide Awe, said the Ekiti people would support Mr. Fayemi and that they were ready to trust him with their votes at the governorship election.
The APC National Vice Chairman (South West), Mr. Adebayo, said while the party was fielding Mr. Fayemi, a Ph.D holder and a globally-renowned scholar as its candidate, a major opposition party in the state, which he did not name, was fielding a candidate who he alleged was being tried in court for looting the state resources.
The APC southwest leader said the unnamed candidate was being arraigned in court and sweating inside the dock before the judge on charges of corruption. He urged the Ekiti people to reject the candidate “that is on his way to jail”.
Mr. Adebayo said when Peoples Democratic Party was in power, Ekiti State was in darkness, but that when Mr. Fayemi came to power, there was light all over the state and the people had seen the difference.
All the governors that attended the rally in solidarity with Mr. Fayemi urged the indigenes and resident of the state to vote for the governor during the coming election.