Ekiti people must reject continuity of poverty, failure —Fayemi


THE road to the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti State is getting shorter as the various candidates in the election navigate the state to woo the electorate and canvass for their votes. Apart from nearly totally engaging the Ekiti airwaves with their radio and television jingles and programmes, the candidates and their supporters have also been nearly everywhere in the state in a bid to sell themselves and their manifestoes to the people.

The 35 or so candidates representing all the political parties in the contest have devised various techniques to approach the Ekiti electorate with their individual manifestoes. The size of their political parties or the personalities of the various candidates have not stopped them from the personal approach to the campaign.

For instance, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election is Dr Kayode Fayemi. He is the immediate past governor of Ekiti State and had also served in the Federal Executive Council as the Minister of Mines and Steel Development. He has been out on the streets of the state, visiting various communities, interacting with the people and telling them why they should vote for him to return as the governor of the state come October 16, 2018.

Since his emergence as the candidate of the APC in a keenly contested primary election, he has not hidden his desire to take over the reins of power in the state, after he was defeated in the June 21 2014 governorship election, which brought the incumbent government of Ayodele Fayose. Soon after his emergence, a former chairman of Ado Ekiti Local Government and a popular chieftain of the APC, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, was nominated as his running mate. To many observers, the announcement of Chief Egbeyemi on May 31, 2018 signaled the conclusion of the process of the primary election and raised the curtain for formal campaigns.

The ugly shooting incident at the party’s secretariat that injured the director-general of the John Kayode Fayemi Governorship Campaign (JFK Campaign Organisation), Honourable Opeyemi Bamidele notwithstanding, the APC has not been deterred. The party has said that Bamidele is recuperating well and it has also expressed gratitude that the director-general is being well represented by others in the JFK campaign train.

Fayemi started his campaign formally at Ekiti East Local Government Area of the state on Monday, June 11. His first port of call was Isinbode community, where he told the people his plans of how to reclaim Ekiti and restore the dignity of the people. At Ekiti East Local Government, he made a call on the people of the state to reject the by Professor Kolapo Olubunmi Olusola, the party’s candidate.

The APC standard-bearer while at Ekiti East campaigned at Omuo, Eda Ile, Kota, Araromi, Omuo-Oke, Ikun Araromi and Ilasa, freon where he moved to Ikole Local Government Area. At Ikole council area, Fayemi lamented the non-payment of workers’ salaries, a development, he claimed, had increased poverty in the state.

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He said: “Workers are owed months of unpaid salaries, yet children of these workers are also mandated to pay taxes. That is unheard of in any part of the country. So, when they talk about continuity, the question to ask them is: Continuity of what? Is it continuity of poverty, poor infrastructure, non-payment of salaries and government by deceit? Reject them and their continuity agenda and say no to continuity of poverty and failure.”

The day after, which was June 12, the Fayemi campaign train took the day off campaigns to participate in the activities to commemorate the June 12, 1993 election that was annulled by the federal military government of the era. The day after, which was Wednesday, he resumed campaigns at Ikole and continued at Gbonyin Local Government Area.

The multi-legged campaign shuttles took him to all the nooks and crannies of the state, including Iyemero-Ekiti with stops at Odo-Oro, Oke-Ijebu, Ara-Ikole, Ikole-Ekiti and other communities in Ikole Local Government Area. From there, the train berthed at Gbonyin Local Government.

At Gbonyin Local Government, he reiterated his call for on the people to vote for the APC, while the people also told Fayemi that their most pressing need was the restoration of electricity to the council area.

He promised to address the demands of the residents and listed the communities he visited during his first term, with a promise to restore all the programmes that were cancelled by Fayose, if elected, including providing fresh ones.

So far, the Fayemi campaign has visited Gbonyin, Ilejemeje, Irepodun/Ifelodun, Ekiti West, Efon, Ekiti South-West, Ijero, Ido/Osi, and the campaigns continue for the quest to return to the Ekiti governorship seat.

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