Fayemi’s Loss a Mystery, says Soyinka…I Have no Regret for My Actions – Fayemi
Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has described the loss of the outgoing Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, in the June 21 governorship election as a mystery which the All Progressives Congress must unravel.
He said with the various programmes and legacy projects put in place by Fayemi, his successor must continue on the path of development.
He stated this during the inauguration of the new Government House known as “Ayoba Villa” in Ado Ekiti on Sunday.
Soyinka, who, expressed bewilderment at the outcome of the June 21 election said, “Somewhere, something went wrong and it has to be corrected. That is the message I have for all of you. Be patient but at the same time be watchful.
He advised the people to put aside all the mystery surrounding the loss and continue to build on the “good foundation” Fayemi had established.
Soyinka added, “Many people within and outside Ekiti were mystified. There is a clarity in my mind. That clarity has been demonstrated today and has been manifested in the four years of Fayemi.
“My own message is that, put the mystery aside and the emotional attachment. Continue to build on the foundation that has been laid by him. The state has been resurrected in a way that all of us should be proud of.
“I’m glad that there is no sadness on the face of anybody. I’m happy I do not perceive any iota of regret on the face of anyone. That is the way it should be.”
On his part, the outgoing governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi stated that he has no regret for actions taken by him during his four years tenure.
He warned that Fayose should not fritter away the working relationship between the state and some international organisations, especially the World Bank.
“Many of the things I did were people-based. Going into the communities and asking what the people wanted rather than staying in my room to write my budget; the Freedom of Information (FoI) law was something I carried from my days when I was working with the Media Right Agenda, when I was Director, Centre for Democracy and Development and we have been campaigning to have the FoI in the country, so it wasn’t a surprise that I came into Ekiti and it was the first state to have FoI law.
“Let me give you an example, people, especially the media, have grown fond of the epithet ‘stomach infrastructure.’ This government, and I stand to be challenged, did more stomach infrastructure than any government Ekiti has ever had but we did not do it in the manner others would do it.
“We did not go on the streets and start sharing money. We have no culture of ‘share the money’ but we shared the money on an institutional basis because everybody who got the N5000 in our social security scheme was getting stomach infrastructure. Every young volunteer who was in our youth empowerment scheme earning N10,000 a month for doing environmental work or traffic management and paramedic benefitted.
“I grew up in this place. I went to school down the road here and I know that I could not for the life of me recall some of the things I see on the streets around me but then that is the dynamism of society. It happens in other places too but as a leader and a politician, I owe a duty to the courage of my conviction. And I will say it a thousand and one times, I will never be part of the game of ‘share the money’ in politics.
“Whether it produces the kind of result the people want or not, they should count me out on that because I’m in politics to make a fundamental difference, not a tokenistic difference, because it is easy to make a tokenistic difference.
“I can get the N3 billion that comes into Ekiti every month and take N500,000 out of it to go to Fajuyi Park with the Okada riders and do baba rere, baba ke and share the N500,000, they would say ‘the governor is a free giver’ and then I pocket N1billion and the hapless urchins on the street are celebrating every time I drive past with dispatch riders, sirens and all the superficial attachments that big people have around them in this country.
“I’m a student of the Awo school, I cannot recall any time growing up, in all my admiration of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, hearing that he was sitting by the road side eating ‘boli’ with some people in other to demonstrate how grassroots-connected he was and I never saw him riding on Okada because he wanted to prove that he was a grassroots person. You will rather see him in his stretched 250 Mercedes Benz at that time and yet what happened to the same Awolowo for taking tough stance that he believed in? In 1954, he lost an election!” he noted.
He, however, underscored the fact that the free education which Awolowo canvassed for, which was the basis of his vilification and rejection, is still the greatest legacy for which he is remembered.
Fayemi, who said he would be returning to the classroom after his exit from government, assured the people that he would be available to give clarification on any grey area that the Fayose administration may need to clarification also he warned that the incoming administration must conduct itself in a way that would not affect the state.
“If they conducted themselves appropriately, I do not even see any reason why I should not be taking the in-coming governor on a tour of these buildings (the new Government House), and showing him what we have done here and how we can maintain the monument. It is not a private property of any governor resident here.
“The World Bank had eight projects in the course of my tenure in the state. So Ekiti became the major focused state in Nigeria. And they are worried now. They are very worried. They are concerned about what is going to happen to their projects and to the things we have been doing.
“We have projects in agriculture, in water; we have in education. I mean World Bank has over the last one year put in almost $150 million in this state and now, they have solicited, they have asked me to bring the new person so that we sit down, introduce him to them and reassure them that these things would be handled in the manner that would not lead them to regretting the funds they have given.
“Of course, their support is not personal, it is institutional. But in fundraising, we always say it is people that you are comfortable with that you will support and it is not an accident that Ekiti did not have that kind of support before I became governor here. So it is going to be a challenge. He would have to reassure development partners.
“They don’t have particularly nice stories to tell about past relationships with him. So I hope we don’t lose out. I hope the World Bank doesn’t withdraw their support from Ekiti,” he said.
Fayemi said what he did in the last four years was to ensure that he instituted programmes that would bring a fundamental change in the lives of the populace, boasting that he had succeeded in fulfilling all his electioneering promises to the people.
Fayemi said it is now left for the incoming administration of Mr. Ayodele Fayose to either honour or desecrate his legacies, saying what he believed had been that his achievement feats would remain indelible in the hearts of the people.
“What we have pursued in the last four years is integrity, honour, compassion, truth , commitment and competence and we have no apologies for whatever we did.
“But despite that I am leaving the office, I am not tired of honouring my people with good governance wherever I find myself, because no matter what we have done, the works have not been finished, there are still a lot to be done. So I want the incoming administration to build on what we have done for the betterment of our people.”
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