Governor, Ekiti State, Nigeria. Ado-Ekiti – Friday, October 01, 2021.
1. Ekiti Kete,2. It is my delight to address you on the special occasion of our nation’s 61st Independence Anniversary celebration. On this day some six decades ago, the Union Jack which represented the colonial authority of Britain over Nigeria was lowered while the Green-White-Green flag of Nigeria proudly rose up and confidently flew to the admiration of Nigerians wherever they were.3. Sixty One years ago, Independence meant for our people, the birth of a new nation and the rise of a giant on the continent of Africa. Nigeria held a lot of promises and our founding fathers were unrelenting in pursuing the dream of a new super power on the black continent. They never however deceived themselves that the job of nation building was a picnic. It is an unfinished business which each generation would continue to work at. They understood the enormity of the challenge and took bold steps to frontally confront them. And I dare say, they made their marks given the circumstances under which they operated.4. As we pay tribute to their service to fatherland, we are to renew our commitment to the task of nationbuilding and to begin to set objectives that will usher in a new direction on the journey of national development.5. For us in Ekiti, today’s event like every Independence Day celebration is even more profound. Today marks the 25th anniversary since our dear State was born. We recall with nostalgia the uproar of joy that erupted on the streets of every Ekiti town and village when the military government of Gen.Sanni Abacha announced the creation of the State in the national broadcast marking the 36thanniversary of the country. With the creation of Ekiti and five other States, Nigerian States became 36 on the occasion of the 36th anniversary of our Independence. For our founding fathers and our people at home and abroad, it was a dream come true.6. 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 Ekitiwas created in the pursuit of rapid socioeconomic development of a people who had fought different battles, including the Kiriji War 0f 1877-1893.7. 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 investmentsand steady development paradigms.8. 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. We have every reason to thank God for his goodness to us as a people.9. It is for this reason that the Ekiti Honours Roll (Oni Uyi Award) this year, which will take place on October 30, 2021 will be dedicated to celebrating the heroes and heroines of the State Creation movement who paid more than enough price for us to have this beautiful State of ours.10. I pay tribute to our traditional rulers who led the State Creation diplomacy, traversed the corridors of power and the hallways of our communities and did everything humanly possible to have the State created. We cannot forget the many sacrifices made by the State Creation Committee membersled by nonagenarian, Chief Oladeji Fasuan, notable Ekiti compatriots who used their contacts and resources for the actualisation of the State.11. We thank the pioneer civil servants who literallycreated an oasis in the desert. We pay tribute to their doggedness, sacrifice and dedication in spite of the obvious challenges they faced. Many of them sat under trees, some used their cars as offices, while many simply operated wherever they could find a space to stand. It was in this difficult circumstance that they created a civil service that is one of the most dynamic and progressive in the federation today. 12. Let me also pay tribute to the founding leadership of the State who gave the leadership that ensured that the State was founded on a solid rock. 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. Yet, he made a spectacular success of his work with enduring legacies that still bear his signature. We remember with profound gratitude the role of Navy Captain Atanda Yusuf who midwifed the State through transition to democratic order. 13. Immense thanks to Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, CONthe 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.14. 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.15. Ekiti kete, twenty five years is little in a state’s journey, but it is also a good time to take stock of our trajectory. Let us use this moment to reflect on the progress and pitfalls that we have had as aState. While we appreciate the progress we have made as a people, we need to take some deep introspective look at where we have not done aswell as we should. We must set a new bar for ourselves as we reimagine a new future of ourdesire and ensure that our development trajectory remains consistently on an upswing. We must also continuously review our place within the context of developments in our region and the nation. Our goal of making Ekiti the destination of choice for people to live, work and enjoy a life of dignity must be the constant watchword in our governance framework16. As your government at this historic moment, we will continue to strive and ensure that your wellbeing remains the only reason for our policies and programmes. We remain committed to the dreams of our founding fathers and we will ensure that their dream of a proud and prosperous Ekiticontinue to drive our leadership. While the little acorns at birth are now maturing into sizeable oaks, I ask all to join in this historic journey because the work goes on and the journey to greatness continues and we must not relent in our quest for progress and development. 17. I congratulate us all. This is wishing you a happy anniversary celebration in moderation and introspection.18. Alale Ekiti a gbe a.
Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON
Governor, Ekiti State, Nigeria
Ado, Ekiti – Friday, October 01, 2021