Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun agreed to visit Ekiti state which marked its 20th anniversary since creation on Saturday. He is one of the few politicians in the All Progressives Congress (APC) who is publicly in good terms with Gov. Ayo Fayose, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) firebrand governor of Ekiti who scorches the ruling party at every given opportunity.
Aregbesola spoke on ‘the imperative of unity.’ However, he and Fayose disagreed on the most topical national issue: Should the government of Nigeria sell off some of its national assets in order to shore up its reserves and fund its budget?
Fayose said NO, that would mean auctioning the country; Aregbesola said YES, the idle assets should be sold and functional ones retained.
Aregbesola said the country is faced with only two options: to sell off its idle assets or borrow from the international capital market. He said that holding onto assets with no economic viability would not profit the country.
But Fayose said during his own remarks “if we sell the assets because the country is in recession, what would be left of Nigeria? What would we call our own? Selling of assets is like moving the country backward.”
The Ekiti governor wondered what the country would sell next year if it sold off its assets to finance this year’s budget.
“The Federal Government should look beyond its party and assemble economists and financial experts that would assist the President in his drive to bring the nation out of the present economic quagmire,” he said.
The two governors however agreed on the fact that the South West and Yoruba people need to cooperate and integrate.
“It is high time the Yoruba nation and indeed the South-West united in terms of integrating our development strategies in education, commerce, economy, agriculture and tourism among others. There is no reason we should not unite for the best,” Aregbesola said.
“The truth is that no Yoruba state, with the exception of Lagos State, can survive alone without collaborating with sister states. Therefore, we have to come together, pull together our abundant human and material resources.”
The governor described Ekiti people as men of integrity and courage and urged them to continue to support their governor for the “development of the country, your state, our state. You fought the Ekiti Parapo War which is an indication of unity of purpose. There is strength in unity.”