[email protected]: Governor Fayemi pays tribute to founding fathers, predecessors, others

Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Kayode Fayemi, says only God knows what his political future holds in the 2023 general elections.

Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on Friday paid glowing tributes to distinguished citizens who fought tooth and nail to ensure the creation of the state on October 1, 1996.

The Governor also paid tributes to military administrators, elected civilian governors and leaders who held the reins at emergency periods for their contributions to the growth, development and stability of the State.

Speaking during a statewide broadcast to mark the 25th anniversary of the creation of Ekiti State, the Governor restated the commitment of his administration to the dreams of the founding fathers of the state.

Dr Fayemi explained that heading the government “at this historic moment” has imposed a responsibility to strive and ensure that the wellbeing of Ekiti people remains the only reason for the policies and programmes of his administration.

The Governor showered encomiums on traditional rulers for leading the state creation diplomacy, traversing the corridors of power and doing everything humanly possible to make the state creation dream a reality.

He also hailed the Committee for the Creation of Ekiti State under the chairmanship of Chief Oladeji Fasuan for using their contacts and resources for the actualisation of the state.

The Governor equally commended the pioneer civil servants “for their doggedness, sacrifice and dedication in spite of the obvious challenges they faced” adding that “many of them sat under trees, some used their cars as offices while many simply operated wherever they could find a space to stand.”

Dr Fayemi used the occasion to pay tribute to all his predecessors including, the late Col Inua Bawa, Navy Capt. Yusuf Atanda, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Mr Peter Fayose and Chief Segun Oni, acknowledging their sacrifices and contributions to the Ekiti project which have seen the state rise to prominence in the Nigerian federation.

He said: “Let me also pay tribute to the founding leadership of the State who gave the leadership that ensured that the State was founded on solid rock. A special tribute to Late Col. Inuwa Bawa, the pioneer military administrator whose task it was to start a new state without a previous experience of how to start a new state.

“We remember with profound gratitude the role of Navy Captain Atanda Yusuf who midwifed the State through the transition to democratic order. Immense thanks to Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, CON the first democratically elected Governor of the state, for his service to the State. We acknowledge his historic role as a pathfinder and pioneer of many of the enduring state institutions of today. We thank Mr Peter Ayodele Fayose for his contributions to various aspects of Ekiti growth and development.

“I also pay tribute to Chief Olusegun Oni for his service to our state as Governor. Our State is also grateful to the memory of Late Major General Adetunji Idowu Olurin for his stabilising role at a moment of political uncertainty in the state.

“We acknowledge other leaders who have led the State at various times such as Late Chief Friday Aderemi, Rt. Hon. Tope Ademiluyi and Rt. Hon. Idowu Odeyemi. May God continue to water the seed of service that you all planted in our dear State.”

Dr Fayemi disclosed that his administration has chosen October 30 to celebrate those he referred to as “heroes and heroines of the State Creation movement” through the Ekiti Honours Rolls (Oni Uyi Award) crediting them with paying more than enough price “to have this beautiful state of ours.”

He spoke further: “When we look back now, we have every reason to thank God and the founding fathers who, in spite of the gruelling difficulty, refused to be daunted in their single-minded determination to see that Ekiti was created in the pursuit of rapid socio-economic development of a people who had fought different battles, including the Kiriji War.

“Our progress has shown that the vision which drove the movement for the creation of Ekiti State was not a misplaced one. An eloquent testimony to this is the fact that even though, Ekiti is one of the smallest states in terms of size, income and population, it remains one of the frontline states in terms of human and social development indices.

“It is one of the States with the biggest stock of human capital, social amenities, social investments and steady development paradigms. It is a thing of pride for us to look back at our humble beginnings 25 years ago and to see how far we have come across the various sectors of human development.”

As the nation marks the 61st anniversary of her independence, Governor Fayemi described Nigeria ad “an unfinished business which each generation will continue to work at.”

He said: “As we pay tribute to their service to fatherland, we are to renew our commitment to the task of nation-building and to begin to set objectives that will usher in a new direction on the journey of national development.”

Fayemi to build more model colleges to make up for schools released to missions

Shortly after the broadcast, Governor Fayemi, joined by top government functionaries commissioned the Deji Fasuan Model College, Ado Ekiti in commemoration of the 90th birthday of Chief Deji Fasuan, who chaired the Ekiti State Creation Committee. The elder statesman clocked 90 on October 1.

Dr Fayemi, the same day, said machinery had been put in place by his administration to build additional three model schools to accommodate pupils in view of the recent return of some mission schools to their original owners.

The Governor disclosed this during the inauguration of the Deji Fasuan Model College, Ado Ekiti as part of activities marking his third anniversary in Office, 25th anniversary of the creation of Ekiti State and commemoration of the 90th birthday of Chief Deji Fasuan who was chairman of the committee that coordinated campaign for the creation of the state.

Chief Fasuan, a retired Permanent Secretary, clocked 90 years old on Friday same day the state marked its 25th anniversary.

The inauguration, which was witnessed by the Wife of the Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; the deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi; Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Funminiyi Afuye; Chairman traditional Council and Onisan of Isan Ekiti, Oba Gabriel Adejuwon; Ewi of Ado Ekiti. Oba Rufus Adejuyigbe, and top government functionaries, was the fourth model school to be commissioned by the Fayemi within the last one year.

“The inauguration of this project today is yet another clear manifestation that our administration is fully committed to the ongoing transformation of the Education sector in Ekiti State and also completing all ongoing projects as we promised zero tolerance for abandoned projects.

“The project we are commissioning today is a one-storey 18 classrooms edifice with 42 toilets, chemistry, biology and physics laboratory, as well as ICT and Home Economics laboratories. Other facilities provided in the one-storey edifice include a large examination hall, staffrooms, administrative offices, perimeter fencing, football pitch, basketball court, parking space and water treatment plant amongst others.” He added.

Governor Fayemi disclosed that the intended three model colleges would be located in Ikere, Odo-Oro and Ado Ekiti to provide access to Junior Secondary School (JSS) education to primary school pupils who hitherto would have attended the mission schools recently returned to their original owners in Ado Ekiti by the State Government.

He said the government would still hand over more mission schools to their original once they meet the conditions set out by the government.

Speaking on the efforts his administration has put in place in the last 35 months to make school attractive and conducive for all school-age children, Dr Fayemi identified the re-introduction of free education up to SSS3, abrogation of education tax, payment of matching grants of over N7.3 Billion to UBEC which covers the period 2015 to 2021; provision of instructional materials to schools; payment of running grants to all public primary and secondary schools in the State; massive rehabilitation of school infrastructure and construction of additional school buildings as part of government’s investments in education in the state.

Other initiatives taken according to him, included the introduction of aggressive training and retraining programmes under which over 15,000 teachers, school administrators and school support officers have been trained in the last three years, payment of teachers’ salaries as and when due, recruitment of over 1000 teachers and fostering greater synergy with development partners, the Universal Basic Education Commission and the Federal Ministry of Education amongst others.

Earlier, Chief Deji Fasuan, in his remarks recalled how in his early years as a student in Christ School, he used to trek bush paths, risking attack by wild animals in an attempt to access education, glorified God who had made him to witness and benefit from the dramatic change that has taken place in the area.

He said the new model school would be of immense benefit to hundreds of parents and students who reside in areas spanning Oke-Ila, Iso in Ado Ekiti to Afao and Are in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government of the State.

Also, the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Dr ( Mrs) Olabimpe Aderiye commended Governor Fayemi for providing the necessary impetus to enhance compulsory and qualitative education for all school-age children in a safe and conducive environment.

Dr Aderiye also commended the wife of the Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi for introducing the anti-Gender Based Violence Club into all Ekiti schools to complements efforts to trash child and other gender-related abuse in the State.

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