Fayemi’s Mid-Term: From Cloudy Fortunes To Consolidation Of Triumphs
NEW DEMOCRAT NEWSPAPER Column
October 16, 2020
Fayemi’s Mid-Term: From Cloudy Fortunes To Consolidation Of Triumphs
By Wole Olujobi
“All our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing,” surmises William Shakespeare through his fictional Scottish Army General, Macbeth, in a classical reversal of fortune remark after the tricky and treacherous wheel of fate has played its last joke on the Tormentor-General that derives pleasure in mass murders and shrieks of pain to keep his stool as Scottish king in that epic drama.
Literature, particularly of a classic genre, is a potent tool to explain human experiences, for as a living text on human conduct, strengths and faults in content analysis even in the world of make-believe are veritable props to draw logic in explaining the gaseous essence of life itself.
In the context of Ekiti development and political diary, the blend of tragedy and comedy; a rapid sequence of pains and gains, best illustrates the tortuous path the state has taken in her quest for raising the standard in the conduct of governance for prosperity in a state desperate to preserve its identity and value under threat by hucksters that routinely ignored the nicer rules of conscience, and there are dozens of instances to explain the puzzle in the contradictions that attend the pursuit of worthwhile schemes in this terrestrial plain.
Anton Chekhov in his “The Cherry Orchard”, tells us a story of a family on the verge of losing its inherited value, heritage and estate on account of an inevitable social change to end aristocratic era, featuring both elements of tragedy and comedy to reinforce the central theme of dubiety in a society ravaged by crisis of identity.
Though a period of identity loss, the humorous and exuberant characters in the play provide the mirth for comic relief as witnessed in Ekiti State between 2014 and 2018, which marked the climax of identity loss among Ekiti people, as hi-tech fraudulent acts of state leaders reached a frightening height punctuated by theatrics devised to make people forget their sorrows and pains of loss of identity and value, a usually cruel but potent tact by hedonists to keep their state and estate.
Shakespeare reinforces the dubiety of human conduct in his “The Winter’s Tale”; a story of pastoral romance, sorrows, roguery, humour and happy reunion. In both senses, large doses of pain, humour and happy ending are all in an intricate mix to give meaning to the general theme.
Indeed, Ekiti State in the period between 2014 and 2018 before Ekiti rebirth on July 14, 2018 fits into that scheme when the pursuit of epicurean pleasure principle driven by the egotistical meanness and megalomaniacal licentiousness of government leaders paid little regard to the societal general well-being. Not even the natural concept of fortunes as they run on the zodiac arc survived the siege, as several innocent people, with a mere stroke or careless nod and grin, lost their means of survival. As time-tested rules were broken, it was a period that every month presented a set of universal sufferings similar to the preceding month, all romanticised as facts of good life by the Emperor Antiochus Soter of Ekiti State, who was always straining to counterfeit a courtly grace of benevolence to hoodwink the people, until the jinx was broken in the July 14, 2018 salvation election that returned Dr Kayode Fayemi, the Marcus Aurelius of Ekiti State, as governor.
Those years of the locusts have since become a walking shadow in the memories of Ekiti people: no more pains, no more wars, as Majek; Majek Fashek, would sing.
And since then, the sordid course of living, which became the lot of Ekiti people between 2014 and 2018 during which time the Ekiti meadow would neither spring water nor grow the hay, has stopped, as Ekiti people voted for freedom to rediscover themselves in a fresh journey to self-redemption.
Not only have Ekiti people been rescued from the burden of listening to the same stories of economic doom they were served between 2014 and 2018, they have also been shown that of all leadership graces, such as vision; hard work, discipline, forbearance, verity, temperance, honesty, creativity and largeness and purity of the heart, all remain very key to the onerous task of governing and growing a people.
After two years of building communal trust and spirit among Ekiti people for prosperity, and contrary to the accusation of oppression charge fuelled by envy by the opposition, a stoic Fayemi has ensured the sanity of the political space by embarking on confidence-building measures among party members and Ekiti people for public mobilisation for effective service delivery. Thus in the last two years, he has changed Ekiti landscape from its hitherto prostrate state to that of peace and infrastructure hub for public good.
Through his five-point agenda incorporating Governance, Agriculture and Rural Development, Social Investments, Knowledge Economy and Infrastructure and Social Development, Fayemi institutionalised participatory governance by putting the people at the centre of his development policy.
He relaunched his social security scheme, which has since been copied by the Federal Government, to give succour to the poor and elderly, including unemployed youths, in partnership with the World Bank for support in his Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) he initiated in 2014 by creating a single register of the vulnerable households totalling 13,813 elderly persons and physically-challenged adults over 18 years. Each beneficiary takes N20,000 in quarterly payment.
Apart from resuscitating several abandoned projects, including Ikun Diary Farm and Civic Centre, the governor also initiated new ones, including Legacy Projects, such as Agro-Cargo Airport with support from Africa Development Bank; the Knowledge Zone, Agricultural Processing Zone and the World Bank-supported Aero-Magnetic Mineral Survey, among others, while all the international development partners and donor agencies that abandoned Ekiti State during the last administration have since returned, helping the state in its development policies.
Fayemi has also refurbished the abandoned self-regenerating projects, such as Ekitiparapo Pavilion and Fountain Hotel, among others, that were left in ruins by the last administration while the liquidated Gossi Water and the re-looted and abandoned Ikogosi Resort are back on stream.
To ease movement and provide both inter and intra-state access to the commuting public and conveyance of agricultural produce across the state, many roads have either been constructed or rehabilitated to provide comfort for the people. They include Oye-Ikun, Ado-Ilawe-Igbara Odo, Agbado-Ode-Isinbode, Ilupeju-Ire-Igbemo–Ijan, and New Ado-Iyin roads, among others.
To eliminate communicable diseases among the people, Fayemi invested heavily in the rehabilitation of Ero and Egbe Dams to supply water to the state capital and several other communities. As you read this, pipes are being laid for water supply across the state.
A landmark was recorded by Fayemi when he created a leeway for the production of the first set of medical graduates at the Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, while also giving a head-start to the construction of the College of Agriculture, Isan-Ekiti, even as Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, also received a boost with the upgrade of its ICT equipment while also boosting power-generating capacity of the elite health institution. Fayemi has since won corporate laurels for his feats in his telecommunications expansion thrust.
The governor also stood out among his colleagues in taming the scourge of Corona Virus Disease (Covid 19 pandemic) that has claimed the lives of many Nigerians and thousands around the world. From their decrepit state, public primary schools and health institutions now wear fresh looks.
Fayemi increased gratuity and pensions payment from N10m to N100m monthly to enable retired workers reap the benefits of their productive years after leaving the service of the state, while since assuming office, no worker has lost his job against the opposition propaganda during electioneering campaigns that Fayemi would lay off workers if voted into office.
Several Ekiti people recently attended recruitment interviews to the state civil and teaching services, while promotion arrears were also approved, even as the Wife of the Governor, Erelu Bisi-Adeleye Fayemi, constantly races across the state to put smiles on the faces of the underprivileged, the latest initiative being Women Empowerment Team (WET) code-named ‘Obinrinkete Cooperative’ with the mission to productively engage and empower Ekiti women to have a future in prosperity.
In contrast to the last administration, just few days ago, the governor approved conversion and inter-cadre transfer for 603 civil servants as a fulfilment of his campaign promise to support workers to enhance their productivity and reach the zenith of their careers. It is noteworthy that the gesture is coming to workers for the first time in many years after the governor did the same during his first term in 2012.
For Fayemi, evidently a man of history, two years in government is just the beginning of service to the people of the state as he unfolds other development schemes to mark the second year and prepare for the other half-term engagements. The bright fortunes on the way are what Ekiti people must grab with two hands.
No more paradoxical fortunes covered with the clouds! False face of yesterday’s comprador that liked to take a stand among the stars for false glorification can no longer hide what the true hearts of Ekiti people have seen in Fayemi’s mission to dispense the benefits of his vision, compassion and good governance to the people. From all indications, the last lap of the four-year sprint is for the consolidation of the present triumphs for higher calling for public good. Congratulations to the People’s Governor!
* Olujobi, a journalist, is Commissioner in Ekiti Local Government Service Commission, Ado-Ekiti