The Former Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, has formally taken over as governor of Ekiti State.
At his inauguration on Tuesday in Ado-Ekiti, Fayemi delivered a surreal speech which sounded like it was a page torn out of his predecessor, Ayo Fayose’s inauguration speech four years ago. Below are 4 takeaways from the speech today highlighting the similarities in tone and content between the two.
- Bad governance and bad reputation – Fayemi said that Ekiti has experienced underdevelopment and financial crisis due to bad governance under Fayose. He described the last four years in Ekiti as an “error”. “As much as today marks the beginning of a new phase… it also signals the end of an era, or more appropriately, the end of an error. Without a doubt, Ekiti has been through a wilderness experience in the past four years. Our reputation as a people have been sullied and we have become the butt of jokes, due to the crass ineptitude, loquacious ignorance and ravenous corruption masquerading as governance in our state during the past administration.”
It was similar to what Fayose said four years ago when he replaced Fayemi. “We were seized in the jugular by power mongering demagogues,” Fayose had said. “The ship of state drifted with neither a compass nor a navigator. Our state witnessed many tragedies… there were waste and expenditure of huge sums of money, considerable slowing down of progress, and incalculable sufferings and deprivations.”
- Debt burden – According to the new governor, the immediate past government left a debt of about N170 billion whilst committing the state to needless projects. “Independently verifiable preliminary findings indicate that we have been plunged into a debt of over N170 billion with commitments to innumerable white elephant projects; an average of eight months salaries owed across government entities, many state assets unaccounted for,” Fayemi said.
Recall that when Fayose took over four years ago, he said: “My heart bleeds today as I report to you, that our state has been plunged into a heavy debt dungeon of over N49 billion by our own brothers and sisters…”
- What has God got to do with it? – Fayemi spent a good portion of his speech invoking God’s role in bringing him back four years after his defeat. “Our most high God who rules the affairs of humankind, has so determined that I should have the rare honour of assuming this office for the second time, to the glory of his name. Indeed, it is the Lord’s doing and it is marvellous in our eyes. I am truly grateful to the people of Ekiti for being the instruments through which this divine mandate has been given, and it is my solemn promise to do right by my people and honour that oath as God helps me,” he said.
It was a similar song four years ago by Fayose. “Today marks the epoch of my inauguration as governor the second time, under the same umbrella of the PDP, at this same venue before the same good people of Ekiti. The total glory of these unusual dynamics in history, which are too precise to be taken away from divinity, does to the Almighty God, the Alpha and Omega… I am inclined to believe that as salvation came to the Jews and Gentiles through one man, God shall help me to use my own favour and grace to liberate the people of Ekiti from the shackles of poverty, want and retrogression. I promise to serve you far more than I did during my first term.”
- To continue from where he stopped – Just like Fayose four years ago, Fayemi said he will continue from where he stopped the other time. He acknowledged the challenges and pleaded for patience. “I plead for the patience and understanding of all Ekiti sons and daughters who are very eager to once again feel the impact of purposeful and egalitarian government. We assure you that we are well prepared to get off the block from day one. We take full ownership of the challenges ahead of us and together we strongly believe that we shall overcome.”
On his part Fayose had said: “…the challenges before this governemnt are enormous. We are however not rattled by them. We have the capacity and determination to surmount them all. We have done this before and we shall do it again… I call upon you to join hands with my government to usher in another era of restoration – of meals to tables, of smiles to faces, of money to pockets, of soundness of body and mind…”