Barely a week after the Bishop of Ekiti Catholic Diocese, Felix Ajakaye, criticised the administration of former governor Ayodele Fayose, another bishop again on Sunday described the ex-governor’s four-year second term as a waste.
The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) reports that Bishop of the Diocese of Ekiti, the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, the Christopher Omotunde, gave the verdict at a thanksgiving for the new deputy governor, Bisi Egbeyemi, in Ado Ekiti.
Mr Omotunde said Ekiti’s progress was stunted in the last four years of the former governor.
He described the tenure as “four wasted years in which life became unbearable for the people and in which hunger ravaged the land without any concrete effort to alleviate people’s poverty.”
“The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had a golden chance to make a difference in the lives of Ekiti residents but abused the opportunity to the extent that the people became slaves under them”, he said.
He therefore warned the new All Progressives Congress (APC) administration to learn from the mistakes of the immediate past government and never disappoint the teeming masses looking up to it for meaningful governance.
Mr Omotunde who delivered his sermon at the Emmanuel Anglican Cathedral, Okesa, Ado-Ekiti, said Mr Fayose should be particularly blamed for all that went wrong during his tenure
The bishop said Mr Fayose’s daily criticisms and opposition to President Muhammadu Buhari, for instance, denied Ekiti of many benefits.
He said while Mr Fayose was busy abusing the president, other wiser PDP governors were busy attracting projects to their states and financial support from the federal government because of their good relationship with the President.
The bishop, who described himself as “a father of all politicians”, said members of his church belong to all political parties, and that he was duty bound to speak the truth when the need arises.
Mr Omotunde said God had given Governor Kayode Fayemi another chance to make the difference in the lives of Ekiti people and he must therefore not fail to do that because the expectations are very high.
He advised Mr Fayemi to choose people who will be faithful in translating his dreams for the development of the state into reality and not those who would be advancing their personal and selfish interests.
The bishop said now that Mr Fayemi’s party, APC, is in power at the federal level unlike what obtained during his first tenure, the federal government must grant all the requests of the governor to repair Ekiti and assist the state financially for its people to be relieved.
According to the bishop: “This our God is a God of another chance. He gave PDP another chance also but unfortunately they abused the chance to the extent that people became slaves under them, they rendered everybody hopeless under them”.
“They bewitched everybody that our eyes were closed. They bewitched us that we called evil good and the few that their power of bewitchment had no effect upon prayed and God looked down from heaven and visited this state again opening another door for Fayemi’s government
“Your party (APC) is in power now, let them know that I said, it’s a government of another chance and God will try you again and see whether you will be faithful or not. It is left for you to prove yourself.
“Tell me of one youth that the immediate past government empowered? Even though they called it a government of Okada riders; how many Okadas did he buy for the youths?
“I was watching the television recently and Ebonyi State governor was listing his achievements in agriculture. He gave the federal government credit for his success and my (former) governor was also a PDP governor.
“In many states, Buhari had many achievements and successes to show but the only achievement here was the repair of Ado-Itawure Road. But our (former) governor would not give him room to work.
“The whole four years (under Fayose) was wasted; we were retrogressing, going backward. Many states were given opportunities in agriculture, nothing was given to Ekiti and all we needed was for the governor to give them land and banks were ready to finance the projects.
“With hunger ravaging the land, the former governor was collecting N1,000 from each pupil. What did he use the money to do? We did not see what they did with the money.
“Our people are hungry and they are suffering financial difficulties. They have been thrown into poverty so that they will become slaves to the ‘rock’ but God brought somebody who knows how to break the rock
into pieces”, he said.
Addressing the congregation, Mr Egbeyemi called for the prayers and support of Ekiti people for the new government saying: “the welfare of the people remains the focal point of this administration.”
NAN reports that the service was attended by the wife of the governor, Bisi Fayemi; wife of the deputy governor, Margaret; Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Adeniran Alagbada and his wife Kike.
Others are former deputy governor, Dupe Adelabu; Secretary to the State Government, Biodun Oyebanji; Chief of Staff, Biodun Omoleye; Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Adeyemo Adejugbe and other traditional rulers.