‘Ekiti Govt Is On The Right Track’
Mr Segun Akinwunmi is Special Adviser to Governor Ayodele Fayose and Director General of the Bureau of Public Procurement in the State. He speaks on the efforts of the state government to build on foundation he laid between 2003 and 2006 which he said was abandoned by his predecessors.
GOVERNOR Ayodele Fayose has just marked his first year in office, do you think he has laid a solid foundation for performance?
Fayose laid foundation in his first coming to office between 2003 and 2006 which his predecessors failed to build on. He was the first governor to open up Ado Ekiti with dualisation of many roads, from Police Headquarters to Fajuyi. Ikere road dualisation project stopped since 2006 which he just flagged off its completion recently despite the lean purse of the state. He came back to office as an experienced administrator and began work immediately from where he stopped. His vision for the transformation of the state was clear and he has proved to all that he has a mission. I am fortunate to be part of his first set of appointees. I was appointed on October 23 last year, so I saw the beginning and happenings in this administration. I can say with confidence that the government is on the right track.
What will you say he has achieved in the last one year?
The greatest thing any government must first achieve is peace. It is the symbol of life, without peace there is no government. In Ekiti now under Governor Fayose, we are not enjoying relative peace, but absolute peace. People can sleep with their two eyes closed. You can work in the dark without the fear that someone will throw any missile at you. There had been no case of arm robbery. The issue of kidnappers has been dealt with.
Talking about infrastructural development, in the last one year, there are a lot of road network being built in the town. There is a road from Afao linking Iworoko called Onala-Tinuola-Petim road, it has witnessed a total re-construction. Another one at De-head linking the police headquarters is at the verge of being completed now. The Awedele-Asai road is about to be completed. Ado Ekiti will be having an intra-city dualized road in a circular form with the construction work going on. We are not stopping at that, the rehabilitation of Afao township road is going on. I can talk of two past governors in this state, who could not go to their towns because they did not do anything to show that town has once produced a governor. There is dredging going on in many towns including Ado, Ilawe, Ikere to combat flooding and safe lives and property of the people.
The construction of the gallery at the palace of Ewi of Ado Ekiti is going on to the delight of all Ekiti sons and daughters. Governor Fayose promised to give that palace a facelift and he has fulfilled his promise. I have been fortunate to be in many palaces in Nigeria and I quite agree with our governor that Ewi’s palace must wear a new look and all of us are happy with the work going on there now.
The opposition party has disagreed with the government on the propriety of the Airport project being constructed at Ado Ekiti, what is your opinion on this?
I will also start by asking the opposition the importance of the airstrip at Daura, apart from the airport in Katsina. There is a multi-billion Naira international airport in Katsina town, yet an airstrip is built in Daura, a local council headquarters.
Ekiti is a state on its own. We don’t need to depend on Ondo State for anything. It is like religion, it doesn’t matter what you called your own God, my God is my own God. We need an airport here, for instance we have a Federal University in Oye Ekiti, there is Ekiti State University (EKSU) in Ado Ekiti, we also have one of the best private university here, Afe Babalola University (ABUAD).
People from different walks of life come to transact business in this state, must they first go to Ondo State before coming here. Any road, be it airport, seaport or whatever opens up a state for economic transaction. The airport will bring in many businesses and many investors can easily fly in and out of the state without passing through Akure which is about two hours to Ado Ekiti.
Will you say the economy of the state has improved in the last one year?
The general slide in the economy of the country has effect on the state because the revenue from the federal allocation dropped beyond expectation, coupled with the huge debts hanging on the state. It has not been easy. But Governor Fayose was not new to this kind of situation, he met a sorry state in 2003 and I want to tell you I was part of the government of Niyi Adebayo, who was popular for his common refrain of “zero allocation”. But when Fayose came in, we knew the resources of the state could be better managed and we stopped hearing zero allocation. Not only this, Fayose left N10.4 billion in the account by the time he was illegally removed from office.