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Ekiti: Thrills and frills of Fayemi’s swearing -in

By Gbenga Ariyibi
It was a historic moment for the people of Ekiti State; the dateline was  on Saturday 16ht October ,2010 when   the new governor of the state, Dr Kayode Fayemi and his Deputy, Mrs Funmilayo Olayinka  were sworn in as  governor and Deputy respectively at a colourful ceremony

Though, this is not the first time the people of the state  have witnessed  such  inauguration of new government for the 14 year old state, but the latest  inauguration  was unique and spectacular for one reason;the people of the state had endured for long, waiting in the past three and half years to see the person whom they voted for   to be at Oke Bareke Governors’s Office

It  was a celeberation galore  spanning two consecutive days ,starting  from   Friday 15 October, 2010 when the Court of Appeal , Ilorin Zone pronounced its judgement , nullifying  the election of Engr Segun Oni of the Peoples Democratic Party[ PDP] .People were seen clutching to their handsets monitoring the  court’s verdict

Immediately Justice Isa Salami pronounced his judgement and the whole  atmosphere  changed, people old and young, men and women all  trooped out in  large numbers celebrating the victory of the man who had won an election since 2007 but was rigged out  of office

The whole town of Ado Ekiti and indeed all the major towns and villages in the state   turned to festivities. Motor cycle   operators , otherwise known as okada riders  were riding their machines acrobatically;  in the evening of the particular day , all the joints and beer parlours were filled with people  drinking beer to their satisfaction

On  Saturday,October 16, during the inauguration, the people put on their best dresses to the Redeem Christian Church Acarde, along Iworoko Road, Ado Ekiti Venue of the inaguration ceremony, as a matter of fact the  ceremony could be  succiently described as   a large  single  assemblage of people ever witnessed in the state  in recent time;  family, friends and well-wishers both within and outside the state were not left out  as they trooped to the venue of the ceremony in their thousands

As at last count,  friends of Fayemi from Lagos  who  converged at the  venue came with no fewer than 60 luxurious buses, while  those from the neigbouring state of Oyo, Osun , Ogun and Ondo almost out-numbered people  from the home state who turned in for the occasion

*Gov. Fayemi

The epoch making ceremony was  witnessed by three serving governors, including Mr Raji Babatunde Fasola, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, Dr Rahmon Olusegun Mimiko   of Lagos , Edo, and Ondo State respectively

The presence of the former governor of Lagos State, Asijiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu  , the former governor of Anambra State, Mr Chris Ngige, former governor of Oyo State, Chief Lam Adesina , former governor of Ogun State, Aremo Segun Osoba, former governor of old Ondo State, Evang Dele Olumilua and   two former governors of the state,  Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo and Mr Ayo Fayose added colour to the ceremony

Also in attendance was the National Chairman of the ACN, Chief Bisi Akande, the former chairman,   Economic and Financial Crime Commission,[ EFCC ]  Mr Nuhu Ribadu

It was a moment of joy for the  duo of  Fayemi  and his Deputy , Mrs Funmilayo Olayinka , when they were ushered  to podium before   the  Acting Chief Judge of the state, Justice Silas Oyewole  for the oath taken  rites   and allegiance of office

First to take her oath was the Deputy Governor, Mrs Olayinka ,  amidst the presence of her husband,Mr Lanre Olayinka , then followed by the new governor, Dr Fayemi who was accompanied to the rostrum  by his wife, and his son , Folajimi

Clad in white lace material up and down with a green Awo cap to match, the new governor was hailed by the  huge crowd that witnessed the ceremony as the people’s choice who was ordained to salvage the people of the state.

In his acceptance speech, the new Governor, called on all the people to give him support and cooperate with his government, saying the state needed the joint support of government and individuals

In his speech titled ‘A New Dawn ” Fayemi promised not to run a government of recrimination or retaliation

Though, he promised to do what he described as ‘a comprehensive review of what had transpired in the last 42 months in the administration of the ousted governor, Engr Segun Oni, saying the exercise would be done without malice or witch- hunting

‘’We will undertake a comprehensive  review of what  had transpired in the last 42 months as should be expected, but this is  with  a view to strengthening the fabric of democratic governance and correcting the ills  of the past , not an exercise in witch_hunting

The new governor equally promised to bring a new leaf of life to the people of the state with the implementation of the people oriented programmers he had map out for ecxecution

He promised t  introduce free education programme to cover both primary and secondary schools in the state and introduce a health scheme  where  wher children at birth up to five years  of age , pregnant women, the physically  impaired and senior citizens would be exempted from paying medical bills in the government hospitals

The new government , would according to him  shall introduce  a social security scheme for  all the senior citizens  that are 65  and above within the shortest possible time

Fayemi who lauded the people of the state  and indeed  supporters of the ACN  for embracing  civility and  not taken criminality throughout the period he was robbed of his mandate ,saying he had always pledged not to rule over a dead subjects

‘For 42 long months after that election, you insisted on pitching your tent with the truth and decided on a new  politics for our time

‘’You did not respond by force of arm, nor result to criminality and brigandage, instead, you pursued  your conviction with dogged determination within the ambits of the constitution and the law.

‘’you  heeded my plea that l  do not want to be governor over dead compatriots and that we must pursue justice without shedding blood

While commending the people of the state for standing solidly behind him, Fayemi said Ekiti people  would no more  allow  a person that was not voted for to be  imposed on them as their governor

‘’Never again in the  history of the state of enlightenment shall a government not dully elected by the people be imposed on them

‘’You reflected  what  Ekiti history teaches us from the period of ancestors about resistance to oppression, about courage  of conviction and about justice as the first condition of our humility,

At a point the brazenness of the election thieves provoked our people to ask ‘ Kini a tia seyise, Ekiti Kete, But the response you gave to the challenge was outstanding

‘’ Let it be repeated by generations to come;that on this day, at this place and  in this historic time , a judicial verdict provided an opportunity for the light that is Ekiti State to shine again;the shining light which had been consecrated by those  who came before us; is today snatched from the jaws of defeat and delivered to the doorsteps of victory

To reach the promised land, Fayemi conceded that   the road may be rough , but with the cooperation of the people of the state that Ekiti , of the dreams of its forefathers would be achieved by his time

In a bid to begin a new process of  renewal, the new governor therefore directed all the permanent secretaries in the state civil service to revert  to their positions  as of May 28,2009 immediately and announced the suspension of what he described as irregular civil service appointments

One other unique thing that happened on the inauguration day was the presence of the former governor in the state, Mr Ayo Fayose, though , Fayose a leader of the Labour Party [PL] in the state, had never  pretended that he worked for the success of Fayemi during the  2009  governorship election re-run, his presence at the venue was greeted with a loud ovasion by the crowd, who were hailing him  with his pet name , Osokomole, Osokomole, Oshiomole
Fayose who took the microphone  by singing the anti Oni song, ‘’Ati le Oni wogbo, Atile le Oni woo gbo; Atile atile Ooni wogboooo

The students of the higher institutions in the state, especially the students of the  moribund University of Education, Ikere Ekiti [TUNEDIK] and University of Ado Ekiti [UNAD] whose school fees were  jerked from N19, 000 to N1,000  per session by Oni’s government were not left out,   with majority of their leaders spoke  one after the other detesting the government of Oni

However, due to the limited time available, only Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomole was opportuned out of the dignitries  to  pass any goodwill massage, Oshiomole  who clad in his usual trademark  of  pair  of up and Down  Conductor  attire , commended the people of the state for standing  firm  behind  Fayemi and the ACN  throughout  the time of  his tribulations

The former  number one Labour leader in the country  said Fayemi’s victory in the Court  of Appeal was not a victory for him alone , nor the people of the state , but rather ‘’ a victory for one man, one vote’’

The Edo state governor said it would be the last time such a odd thing would ever happen  in any part of the country, urging all Nigerians to continue to struggle for the success of democracy


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