The Bishop of the Diocese of Ekiti, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, the Rt. Rev. Christopher Omotunde, has stated that Ekiti State witnessed regression under the administration of former Governor Ayo Fayose.
Omotunde described the tenure of Fayose as “four wasted years in which life became unbearable for the people and in which hunger ravaged the land without any concrete effort to alleviate people’s poverty.”
According to him, “the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had a golden chance to make a difference in the lives of Ekiti residents but abused the opportunity to the extent that the people became slaves under them.”
The clergyman warned the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration to learn from the mistakes of the immediate past government and never disappoint the teeming masses looking up to it for good governance and redemption.
Omotunde stated this in his sermon on Sunday during a thanksgiving service held in honour of the new Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, at the Emmanuel Anglican Cathedral, Okesa, Ado-Ekiti.
The bishop said Fayose’s unrelenting criticisms and opposition to President Muhammadu Buhari denied Ekiti of many benefits while other PDP governors succeeded in attracting projects to their states and got financial support from the Federal Government because of their good relationship with the President.
Omotunde, who described himself as “a father of all politicians” because all members of his church are in all political parties, said he was duty bound to speak the truth when the need arises.
He said God has given Governor Kayode Fayemi another chance to make the difference in the lives of Ekiti people and must not fail to do that because “the expectations are very high.”
The bishop advised Fayemi to choose people who will be faithful in translating his dreams for the development of the state into reality and not those who will be advancing their personal and selfish interests.
While likening Fayemi to the biblical Nehemiah, Omotunde said the President had so much trust in the governor (Fayemi) by releasing him from the federal cabinet to come and repair Ekiti allegedly damaged by bad governance.
Omotunde said now that Fayemi’s party, APC, is in power at the federal level unlike what obtained during his first tenure, the Federal Government must grant all the requests of the governor to repair Ekiti and assist the state financially for its people to be relieved.
The service was attended by the wife of the governor, Mrs. Bisi Fayemi; wife of the deputy governor, Mrs. Margaret Egbeyemi; Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Mr. Adeniran Alagbada; his wife, Mrs. Kike Alagbada; former deputy governor, Prof. Dupe Adelabu; Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji; Chief of Staff, Mr. Biodun Omoleye; Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Adeyemo Adejugbe and other traditional rulers.
Omotunde said: “This our God is a God of another chance, he gave PDP another chance also but unfortunately they abused the chance to the extent that people became slaves under them, they rendered everybody hopeless under them.
“They bewitched everybody that our eyes were closed, they bewitched us that we called evil good and the few that their power of bewitchment had no effect upon prayed and God looked down from heaven and visited this state again opening another door for fayemi’s government.
“Your party (APC) is in power now, let them know that I said, it’s a government of another chance and God will try you again and see whether you will be faithful or not. It is left for you to prove yourself.
“Tell me of one youth that the immediate past government empowered even though they called it a government of okada riders; how many okadas did he buy for the youths?
“I was watching the television recently and Ebonyi State governor was listing his achievements in agriculture, he gave the Federal Government credits for his success and my (former) governor was also a PDP governor.
“In many states, Buhari had many achievements and successes to show but the only achievement here was the repair of Ado-Itawure Road but our (former) governor would not give him room to work.
“The whole four years (under Fayose) was wasted; we were retrogressing, going backward. Many states were given opportunities in agriculture, nothing was given to Ekiti and all we needed was for the governor to give them land and banks were ready to finance the projects.
“With hunger ravaging the land, the former governor was collecting N1,000 from each pupil. What did he use the money to do? We did not see what they did with the money.
“Our people are hungry and they are suffering financial difficulties. They have been thrown into poverty so that they will become slaves to the ‘rock’ but God brought somebody who knows how to break the ‘rock’ into pieces.”
Addressing the congregation, Egbeyemi called for the prayers and support of Ekiti people for the new government, saying: “the welfare of the people remains the focal point of this administration.”
According to him, the Fayemi administration will put the people first and carry them along in the execution of its policies which he said are meant to improve their standard of living.
The deputy governor promised that more people in Ekiti will be employed and empowered to reduce the rate of unemployment, hunger, political thuggery and other vices.
Egbeyemi further assured that the Fayemi administration would execute more projects in the grassroots to reduce rural-urban migration.