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From The Valley To The Mountain Top - Governor Ayo Fayose

Posted by By Fola Adekeye on 2004/11/26 | Views: 2544 |

From The Valley To The Mountain Top - Governor Ayo Fayose

Governor Ayo Fayose, governor of Ekiti State, a deeply religious man, makes a huge success of his determination to succeed where others before him had failed

Governor Ayo Fayose, governor of Ekiti State, a deeply religious man, makes a huge success of his determination to succeed where others before him had failed

The Motto of Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State is "In God, we trust." And that is understandable. In his dream six years ago, he said God told him in Ibadan where he had lived all his years that he would govern Ekiti, his state from 2003. He obeyed God and relocated to Ado Ekiti , the state capital and joined the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. His arrival in PDP caused a little stir because the party lost by a wide margin to the then ruling party, the Alliance for Democracy, AD. Ekiti State was assumed to be an AD stronghold.

With divine confidence, Fayose took Ekiti PDP from the valley of defeat to the mountain top of victory through many self-financed, life-enhancing projects, which his campaign movements took to the people. Ayo Fayose Foundation ran mobile clinics, distributed potable water in lorries and tankers and reduced deadly incidences of typhoid in the state. These and other progressive activities of his political foundation and grassroots movements endeared him to the generality of Ekiti people who streamed out during the last gubernatorial election in the state to vote for him. Grateful indigenes and non-indigenes of Ekiti State queued behind him at the last gubernatorial polls in the state because he had distinguished himself as a credible alternative to the incumbent governor.

Although the gubernatorial contest was fierce in the state, Fayose rode on the crest of immense love and trust reposed in him by the good people of Ekiti State. Today, Governor Fayose is best described as a young man who has surmounted all political impediments and scaled all hurdles with a profound trust in God and the voting power of his appreciative people. Fayose is grateful to God. "God is the foundation of this administration and we are not ashamed of saying so publicly. And you know, if one is not ashamed of God, God will not be ashamed of him," he told Newswatch.

Instead of rolling out celebration drums to mark his 44th birthday this week, Governor Fayose was more desirous of independent and critical assessment by the media of his achievements. Hence he recently gave approval to the requests of journalists to tour Ekiti State and assess his achievements so far.

Going by the various projects he has successfully completed and many others he has begun in the state, Governor Fayose cuts the picture of a leader with tremendous conscience and a sense of compassion for his people, especially the down-trodden masses and he has various plans to lift them out of poverty and poor health. He has opened a new dawn in Ekiti State with his near-perfect plans to transform the young state into a model that will remain the envy of other states and a better place for indigenes and non-indigenes of Ekiti state. Today, Governor Fayose has disgraced sceptics and detractors to a complete end. Never has Ekiti State witnessed tremendous transformation in one and half year under any past governors. He left nobody in doubt about his mission in government when he miraculously increased the monthly internally generated revenue, IGR, of the state from N30 million to N100 million through a watertight fund management strategy. He has almost paid up the N900 million debt burden his administration inherited from the last administration in the state. Having paid gratuity and pension to pensioners, the Fayose administration now pays workers salaries on the 20th of every month.

The governor has transformed the state's health sector through the establishment of Health Rangers Scheme, HRS. The HRS scheme took off as soon as he assumed power with six new ambulances and drugs worth N60 million. The scheme has effectively taken health care delivery to the doorsteps of people in the rural communities. Late last year, the Fayose administration freely distributed cooking stoves to some downtrodden rural women and freely distributed more than 3,000 eyeglasses to people under a scheme named "Jigi Fayose."

As he was doing before he became governor, Fayose has sustained a dogged fight against typhoid fever, which has done incalculable damage to the general health of people exposed to waters from impure sources, through far-reaching interventions. First, he created an autonomous ministry for water resources with the sole aim of solving water problems in the state. The ministry has since restored the distribution of pipeborne water in the state capital. The ministry has six new water tankers in addition to refurbished ones. The Ado people now have adequate free access to potable water through the resuscitated water corporation, daily supply of water to more than 100 water points installed in strategic locations within the state capital.

Ekiti State, before Fayose administration, had no functional fire service station. The states, fire-fighting vehicles were grounded. Today, apart from building a new, ultra modern fire service station in Ado-Ekiti, the governor has purchased and given two new fire-fighting vehicles and refurbished one for the state fire service. The Fayose administration has also constructed veterinary control post and cattle market in the state capital to ensure proper testing of all animals and birds brought to the state. Governor Fayose has also earned commendation in the critical sector of education. His administration gave the University of Ado-Ekiti, UNAD, a 150-seater bus to reduce its transportation problems. The administration constructed classrooms and administrative blocks for the state's school of health technology in Ijero Ekiti. It also constructed two major lecture theatres for the state college of education in Ikere Ekiti. One of the lecture theatres takes more than 1000 students conveniently.

The Fayose administration has purchased 25 tractors for agricultural purpose and earthmoving, equipment such as pay loader, caterpillar etc for road construction. Today, the administration has rehabilitated and opened new roads in Ado Ekiti. Outside the state capital, the administration has aggressively embarked on road projects. Some of these roads are Ilupeju Ire-Igbemo Ijan road, Ikere-Igbara-Odo road, Otun Erinmope-Kwara border road, Aramoko-Erinjiyan-Ikogosi road, Ado-Afao road and Ikere-Emure road. The Ado-Ikere road is also being dualized to ease vehiclar traffic. The Fayose administration is also expanding five narrow bridges, constructed in the fifties by colonial masters. Although these bridges are on federal roads in the state, the Fayose administration is widening them to end fatal accidents on them. The administration is currently building an ultra modern state stadium in the heart of Ado Ekiti to boost sports and sporting activities. Inundated with praises after building more than 300 units of lockup shops in Ado-Ekiti, the Fayose administration has embarked on a 100 housing units on Afao road.

Poultry development recently caught the fancy of Governor Fayose for two significant reasons. It is aimed at boosting the economic base of both Ekiti State Government and the 16 local government areas and in providing job opportunities to not less than 5,000 youths within its first year of operation. The project would also provide government needed opportunity to patronise farmers in the state. Local farmers produce particularly maize and millet, which are the major grains, needed for the feeds.

Each of the 16 local government areas in the state contributed N25 million for each of the farm centre in each of the local government areas. The state government paid N100 million for the four designated centres and additional N300 million for the construction of the administrative headquarters.

According to Jide Egunjobi, the poultry site engineer, there are 20 farmhouse centers in the state. Ado Local Government has two centres. One along Matthew Street and the other was sited in the University of Ado-Ekiti. There are also two centers each in Ikere Local Government. One of the centres in Ikere is situated along Ikere-Emure road, a road that has been rehabilitated by the Fayose administration. This farmhouse is already stocked with chicks under the direct supervision of Jide Asubiojo, head of Biological Concepts and Head of Farm for the poultry. The other centre is at the College of Education, Ikere Ekiti, along Ikere-Igbara-Odo road, a road presently under rehabilitation by the Fayose administration. The other government-designated centres are in Ayede and Erio. The first two, cited in higher institutions, are to enhance carrying out agriculture practicals of the students while the last two are for strategic reasons. All the farmhouses are built the same way. Each has 2-bedroom bungalow to house the farm supervisor who stays on the farm, two 45KVA generators to ensure uninterrupted power supply and constant supply of water to the birds, two boreholes, six penhouses, each containing 5,000 birds, all broilers and six overhead tanks, one for each penhouse. Each farmhouse has a total of 300,000 birds and all the 20 centres in the state have 600,000 birds. The height of each penhouse is about 2,000 ft and 160 by 40 ft in size. The gap between two penhouses is 60 ft to ensure good ventilation. Five coal heaters heat each penhouse. The poultry project is run in partnership with Biological Concepts in the ratio of 54 percent to 46 percent. While the state government and the local government will jointly produce seed money needed for the take off of the project, Biological Concepts would provide professional service to ensure adequate, standard and optimum quality. On why the government has a lower sharing ratio in spite of having invested a lot of money, Egunjobi said the plan is for the government to gradually withdraw its seed money from the proceeds of the project. As at now, there are about 100 employees on the farm comprising of five farm area managers, twenty-five supervisors and farmers.

On returns on investment, Egunjobi said the chicks would be ready for dressing in about forty to forty-one days. By this time they must have weighed between 1.8 to 1.9 kg undressed and 1.2 kg dressed ready for consumption. In the short run, it is expected that the chicks would be ready for Christmas and individuals would be free to come to the farm to buy. But in the long run, the administrative headquarters at Afao would house the dressed chicks or supply to Mr. Biggs, Tantalizers etc.

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