BEING THE TEXT OF THE SPEECH BY THE GOVERNOR OF EKITI STATE, DR. KAYODE FAYEMI, ON THURSDAY APRIL 21, 2011, ON THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY AND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS SCHEDULED FOR TUESDAY, APRIL 26, 2011.
This is my second broadcast to the state in the course of the 2011 elections. I wish to use this opportunity to commend our people’s outing on Saturday April 16, 2011 when many trooped out to elect a new President for Nigeria. Before then, you had been subjected to needless disappointments and botched electoral attempts when you came out on April 2nd out only to be confronted with official tardiness and avoidable postponements. Despite the imposed election fatigue and the evidently low turnout, you still stuck to your unimpeachable resolution to choose your representatives with your votes.
My dear Ekitikete, I have no doubt that you are looking forward, once again to Tuesday, April 26, 2011 when you will use your inalienable voting power to elect men and women of integrity who will represent you and our State as symbols of honour and integrity.
It is commendable that throughout the period of electioneering campaign and the last Presidential election, your actions became imprints of peace and orderliness..
As the peoples’ government, we had kept faith with our promises and pledges on one person, one vote in the realization that the only vehicle that wheeled us here is the people’s undiluted will. That is why we have consistently insisted that these elections should signpost the consolidation of a fragile democracy arising from our country’s chequered history of elections. I know majority of us are glad that the presidential poll was largely free, fair and non-violent.
While we are free from a Governorship election in Ekiti State on Tuesday, 26th April 2011, we are still saddled with a three-in-one election race into the Senate, House of Representatives and the State House of Assembly.
Although our gubernatorial mandate is a fresh one, the upcoming elections on April 26 2011 is very much about me and it is one we are happy to contest on the strength of our record and the relevance of our eight-point agenda.
Ours is a record that is hinged on lifting hardship from the shoulders of our peasant parents. We are running a free education programme to ease the pains of financing education by parents up to Senior Secondary School 111. As part of this programme, the WAEC fees of students have been paid while JAMB forms were also paid for by the government. Fees of any kind have been abolished in our primary and Secondary schools. A drastic reduction in the fees payable by our State University students was also implemented by the Government.
In line with our commitment to free and qualitative healthcare, we have embarked on free medical/health programme where over one hundred and twenty thousand Ekiti people in the local communities were treated of various ailments. We are fully prepared to launch the comprehensive free health programme in June 2011.
On public transportation, we have presented taxi cars and buses to Transport Unions in the State and in the process of making motor cycles available for ease of transportation.
We are not unaware of the perennial power outage and to boost electricity supply, we have purchased and distributed transformers to may communities and these are in the process of installation.
In our quest to embark on massive road rehabilitation and construction, the Ado/Afao, Ado/Ilawe and Omisanjana Roads have been flagged off and contractors are on site already. Work is also on-going in the other roads entering the state capital. Additionally, the rehabilitation of Ado township roads is ongoing. Now that government has received the report of the Contracts Review Committee set up at the inception of this administration, we are now geared to intensify our rebuilding of additional roads and other public infrastructure in the State.
In our drive to tackle the hydra-headed problem of unemployment, a programme of empowerment of 20,000 unemployed youths is to be concluded before the end of the year. An average of 300 unemployed youths in each Local Government will soon be given their letters of absorption in the first batch.
Our public servants have not been left out of the dividends within the short space of time we have spent in office. On Monday April 18, 2011, this administration approved N13,000.00 relativity payment for the workers while the promotion of the workers that were frozen by the last administration were lifted with many workers today savoring the benefit of that gesture. A total of 2,200 school teachers have already benefited under this new dispensation.
Earlier, at the onset of this administration, there was an upward review of salaries and emoluments of health workers, the first in the entire South West while Judiciary workers also have their salaries reviewed upwards. The housing and car loan schemes frozen by the last administration had been restored by this administration and recently, some teachers were presented with cheques for their car loans.
A sum of N700 million naira had been paid by this administration to the retired workers few weeks after assumption of office so that they could reap the fruits of their labour, while alive. We have also signed the Pension Bill into an Act of Parliament with the attendant benefits to our pensioners.
Within the little span of this government, we have been able to show that this is a government of the people by the people and for the people. In the light of this, we shall put an infinite termination to the memory of the regime of slave drivers and docile representatives.
On April 26, 2011, a new window of choice would be opened to us. Undoubtedly, we know and will feel the weight of our decision which will either be complementary to our progressive strides or a drawback to the dark days when our workers were owed salaries, denied car and housing loans, refused promotion and derided to wait for their Messiah before they could live a meaningful life.
Our youths will have to choose if they are interested in their empowerment through our job creation initiative or remain the hand tools of political vandals who killed and maimed innocent citizens in the last few years.
On April 26, our mothers would make a choice whether to relapse into an astronomical mortality rate or keep faith with our unique free medical care.The significance of our choices on April 26, 2011 cannot be overemphasized. Our representatives both at the State and National Assemblies are catalysts in our efforts to reposition Ekiti State and this is why it is important to vote for representatives who will complement rather than contradict the progressive government now in charge in the State.
Consequently, I urge you to vote in all Action Congress of Nigeria’s candidates across the board, candidates who have the same dream of a life more abundant for our people and a future free of fear and loathing. We cannot afford the imbroglio and confusion of a legislature which holds a divergent mission against a progressive executive and does not appreciate a welfarist manifesto.
Like other Southwest states, Ekiti cannot be a black sheep; we cannot afford to be an outpost of conservative hegemonists. We have never been and indeed we shall never be. Ours is a Land of Honour.
I wish to assure our people that they have nothing to fear as they go out to observe their civic responsibility on April 26, 2011. Equally, all our National Youth Corps members, especially those from states outside Ekiti are safe and free to carry out their statutory assignments as electoral officers.
We wish to assure them that the skirmishes that trailed the result of the just concluded Presidential Election in some parts of Nigeria is an isolated occurrence. Ekiti is insulated from such. We are peace loving, so indigenes and non-indigenes should go about their lawful duties peacefully. In the event of any crisis, our law enforcement agents are alive to their responsibilities.
I wish all of us a Happy Easter while enjoining us to imbibe the spirit of this season. God bless you. God bless Ekiti State.
Ekiti A Gbe A O.