Embattled former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has rebuked the Bishop of Ekiti State, Anglican Communion, Christopher Omotunde, for describing his tenure as a wasted four years.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi, and made available to journalists on Monday, Mr Fayose, who has just been released from detention on bail, said the bishop should remove the “cassock and mount the soap box” so that the whole world would know that he had joined politics.
Mr Omotunde during a thanksgiving service held for the deputy governor, Bisi Egbeyemi, on Sunday in Ado Ekiti, reportedly said Mr Fayose’s tenure was a wasted four years which stunted the growth of the state.
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”.
Mr Omotunde’s knocks on Mr Fayose came barely a week after the Bishop of Ekiti Catholic Diocese, Felix Ajakaye, also criticised his administration.
Reacting to the latest criticism from the pulpit, Mr Fayose, in the statement said only a cleric on a voyage of justifying the rigging of the last Ekiti governorship election by the All Progressives Congress(APC) would describe the “physical transformation of Ekiti by his administration as a waste”.
“Even the blind feels the good works of Fayose and perhaps Bishop Omotunde and the likes need to change their eye glasses to see well,” the statement said.
The statement, while chiding the bishop also listed some of Mr Fayose’s achievements while in office.
“Our fathers have a saying that it is disheartening when one hears a statement of gullibility from a place where one expects to hear the words of wisdom.
“The records of the Fayose administration are there for all to see. It organised an education summit that led to great improvement in education in the state. Ekiti came first back-to-back in NECO exams and we also did well in WAEC. These are public institutions and the records are there for Omotunde to peruse.
“The Fayose administration built the first flyover in the state and it passes beside Omotunde’s church. One wonders if the bishop closes his eyes whenever he drives or passes through that place. If he does not, we pray that God opens his spiritual eyes.
“The Fayose government built a new high court complex, a new Governor’s Office, a new Oja’ba Market; dualised roads in Ise, Emure, Ikole, Omuo, Ijero, Efon, among others. It also dualised the Ado-Ikere road, built many roads in Ado itself such as Petim- Afao Road and Dehead- Police Headquarters Road. Maybe the bishop does not pass through these roads!
“Accreditation for various courses in EKSU, School of Nursing, and College of Health Technology was pursued and achieved by the administration. We can go on and list many other achievements in agriculture, health, social welfare and other sectors.
“Yearly, the Fayose administration recognised hard-working teachers and civil servants with car prizes and other gifts. Within four years, it was promotion galore for civil servants. Civil servants and teachers will not agree with the untenable and jaundiced position of Omotunde.
“The Ekiti people who Fayose served for almost eight years know that his time was a great blessing to them, which is why they call him the architect of modern Ekiti.
“Bishop Omotunde should remove his priest’s garment and mount the soap box if he is minded to be this politically partisan.”
The statement noted that if it was true that Mr Fayose’s opposition to Mr Buhari administration did not allow Ekiti to benefit anything from the centre, it thus confirmed that Mr Buhari is an autocrat, not a democrat as he would not take criticisms.
“We make bold to say that Ekiti under Fayose and PDP witnessed more economic and physical development in the last four years when compared to neighbouring APC-controlled states which have openly venerated President Buhari as their godfather,” the statement read.
“What has Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Ogun benefitted from the Federal Government? What has even Lagos, where the APC national leader comes from, benefitted?
“In terms of peace and security, Ekiti under Fayose was peaceful; it was secured from herdsmen attacks, assassinations, and armed robbery operations. These and politically-motivated killings have returned in full swing under (governor Kayode) Fayemi/APC.”
Mr Fayose further said that the bishop should have also listed what Ekiti benefited from the incumbent, Mr Fayemi while he was minister for solid minerals.
He said he did not owe the cleric any apology for criticising the obnoxious policies and indecisions of the president, which had brought untold suffering on Nigerians.
The former governor is standing trial for corruption and for allegedly receiving illegally gotten funds from the Office of the National Security Adviser under President Goodluck Jonathan.
He was released on bail on Monday after two weeks in EFCC custody.