Fayemi, Minister of Steel and Solid Minerals
Former Governor of Ekiti State and Minister of Steel and Solid Minerals Development, Kayode Fayemi (PhD) has issued the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government in the state ‘quit notice,’ as he issued red card to it at the weekend.
Fayemi who announced his intention to contest for the July 14 governorship poll in the state added that the pangs of poverty, frustrations and misery of Ekiti people “brought upon them by the present PDP government in Ekiti” since he left office in 2014 , has propelled him to the race.
He spoke to newsmen in his country home , Isan-Ekiti on Sunday. Fayemi earlier had a meeting on Saturday evening with members and state executives of the All Progressive Congress (APC) where he enjoined all aspirants and party members to shun acts of discord and work towards a common goal to wrest power from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in July.
Fayemi had while addressing the hundreds of his party men and women who thronged his Isan Ekiti country home on Saturday flaunted a red card which he said he was issuing the PDP government in Ekiti in place of the white paper that had earlier been issued against him by the Governor Ayo Fayose led government in the state.
He cleared air on his intention to run, saying: ” Do you need a rocket scientist to tell you that I am running? . I was very clear that l am a process person. I am not going to jump the gun because there are rules and guidelines for electioneering. The body responsible for that has stated the obvious, when you can actually start the campaigns. The fact that people are flouting the guidelines is the fault of INEC that it is not taking them up on it. That is my own attitude to this.
” This is purely a party matter, it is not a public matter yet. So, I don’t really understand the level of curiosity that is being generated on whether I am running or not. I have been very clear that what we have in this state today is not what the state deserves. I have also been very clear that whatever it takes, constitutionally, legally and legitimately to put our party in office in October 2018, we will do as a party. But l have also gone ahead to say that this meeting is our usual gathering not the one to declare my intention to run. But as to whether I am running or not, yes I am running , that is not debatable. You would all know when and will all be invited when I finally decided to formally declare within the ambit of the guidelines issued by INEC,” he said.
Also reacting to a number of other issues, including the allegations that he would not get the votes of Ekiti workers, especially teachers because he had allegedly dealt unfavourably with them in his first term, the debt profile of Ekiti and abandoned projects among others, he said:” Oh yes, I dealt with teachers very well and they never experienced the kind of positive support from any government as they did when I was in office.
” For the first time in the the state, teachers had their salaries raised three times within the period of three years. and for the very first time in the whole of south west, Ekiti teachers benefited, and I hope they still benefit, from a rural teachers’ allowance and which is twenty five percent of their salary, they also benefited from core subjects allowance, .which is another 25% of their salaries so 50 percent of their basic salaries come to them as allowances if you are teaching core subjects like English, Mathematics and Integrated Science or if you are serving in a place like Isan- Ekiti which by our definition is rural area , you get an additional stipend because you are not in the city.
” So when you talk, don’t listen to the echo chamber, go and talk to teachers directly. They would let you know what they benefited.
“What is often purported as my dealing with teachers, was the teachers’ needs assessment test. Needs assessment by its very definition means one thing; where are the gaps in your capacity that we need to brush up so that you can be better teachers to your pupils.
” It is not a dismissal test, It is not a competence test, it is a needs assessment test. And I believe teachers were not opposed to capacity building because we had the best capacity building programme for teachers in Ekiti when I was governor.
” For me, politicians are adept at playing politics with the lives of citizens, I don’t play opportunistic politics. What I am going to run on is my record and if you can controvert that record, then, let us go to the market place.
“Did I not run free education up to secondary school three level?, did students under my administration not enjoy free JAMB?, free payment for their WAEC? Did they not have laptop computers from JSS one to JSS three? Were all the schools in Ekiti State not fixed when I was governor?
” And if you go round, those that were unfortunate in the sense that they were not completed before we left are still like that . go to the roads, you would see that where we stopped in the rural areas is where you would find them; The palace, the town halls, hospitals and markets, the Pavilion, and civic centre where we left them, those that were not completed, that is where you would find them.
” And if you go and check local governments in Ekiti are being owed between seven to nine months now. I never owed any single local government worker one naira in my four years in office. The state government workers that I owed one month salary, I explained to them the context of that one month salary, because Ekiti receives its federal allocation in arrears. The money for that September came in October when l was living office when I was leaving office and it was not used to settle the salary of September. That is the only salary I owed.
” I have a record to defend , is it my social security benefit for the elderly, my empowerment programme, youths in commercial agriculture?, the youth volunteer scheme? the traffic management, the peace corps, health workers and ambulance , too numerous to refer to.
“And the other popular propaganda that they use is about debt. Take my word for it. The Debt Management Office has a website. Go to their website and get the information on the debt profile of Ekiti as at 2014 December, compare it with information on the DMO office on the debt of Ekiti as at 2017, December.
“As a matter of fact, a non governmental group just did that assessment and released a report where the indices of development in the whole 36 states were done. Ekiti has the best indices in health, maternal mortality, infant mortality and HIV prevalence in Nigeria, this is not my report. It is an independent organisation report.
” I did not borrow to pay salaries. The projects are very well known, they are scattered all over the place. I borrowed 25 million Naira bond. As at the time I was leaving Ekiti, the state had paid 14.5 billion Naira out of it. This is the public record not the propaganda that you get around here.
” I am prepared to defend my records and run on them. Frankly, The only reason why I am running has nothing to do with my ambition. God has been kind to me. The pangs of poverty that is still walking the land .The frustrations in the lives of our people. The bitterness of workers who found themselves in an unfortunate place in which somebody who should be their custodian has trampled on them irresponsibly.
” I think those are the issues we should deal with, not whether Fayemi is an elite, or Fayemi speaks English like a British man, not whether Fayemi is a professor, those are irrelevant points. I grew up here in Isan-Ekiti and went to school in Ado Ekiti. There is nothing l have become that any Ekiti child cannot become. But have we provided them with the opportunity to do that? That I think is what should bother us. All of these will be subjected to public engagement. But whatever is happening now is internal to our party, ” he said.
While speaking about his purported ban from contesting for any public office, Fayemi who described the State House of Assembly and Fayose who pronounced him banned and unfit as park of jesters said ” only an illiterate fellow will take them serious and take this as correct and believe in it”, added, saying ” let’s wait and see if , I am not qualified to contest, I will not be allowed to run by them, but I can assure you that I am eminently qualified to contest for any public position” he added.