Despite scathing criticisms from the Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), there seems to be a consensus among vast majority of people that the second coming of Governor Kayode Fayemi has redefined governance and brought smiles to the residents’ faces.
This was evident in the presence of thousands of people that converged on the newly refurbished Ekiti Parapo Pavilion in Ado Ekiti to celebrate his first year in office, tagged “JKF 2.1.”
Ekiti politics is unique in several ways. The people seem to measure a leader’s achievement by his ability to win their hearts, as they cherish interpersonal relationship and identifying with the culture, language and their ways of doing things. Perhaps, the lack of this was responsible for Fayemi’s defeat in 2014.
Although, Fayemi was not accused of non-performance, he was “rejected” for allegedly “losing contact with the people.” So, Fayose, known for his peculiar type of politics and believed to be street-wise, was considered a better alternative to the “academic and bookish” Fayemi.
Indeed, Fayemi must have learnt some lessons, which no school of politics could teach. From his campaign to emerging victorious in the last election, he spoke not only the Yoruba language, but also Ekiti dialects to the people and danced “Legbe-Legbe,” a local music that involved twisting his waist to the people’s admiration.
His second coming has enabled him continue with some of his projects and programmes jettisoned by the last administration. The re-launching of the social security scheme for the elderly, also known as Owo Arugbo during celebration of his first year in office elicited tears of joy from many elderly people, probably because the programme was cancelled during the last administration.
Fayemi had launched the scheme in 2011 with about 20,000 elderly paid N5, 000 monthly. It was a scheme that initially looked impossible, but he kept faith throughout his first term in office.
At the re-launching of the scheme, he said: “You would recall that when we started the programme, it was the first of its kind in sub-Sahara Africa. It attracted criticisms and commendations alike. I am glad that many, including the Federal Government, have taken a cue from us in the realisation that social security for the vulnerable segment of our population is the way to go. It is on the premise to cater for our people that made social investments to be one of our five-point Agenda.
“To expand and make the scheme better than it was during the first term, we are now in partnership with the World Bank in carrying out this laudable programme. This partnership dated back to our first term in office, when we commenced the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO). Through YESSO, a single register of poor and vulnerable households was created from a survey of communities across the 16 local councils, using internationally accepted standards of poverty indices.
“From the register, a total of 13,813 elderly citizens and physically challenged adults, who are 18 years and above, representing the first batch, have been selected as beneficiaries of the grant. Each beneficiary will receive a quarterly grant of N20, 000 and payments will be through their bank accounts. We will however not stop at effecting and ensuring payment. We will follow up on these indigent citizens with other welfare schemes and monitor the use of the funds to ensure productivity and maximum impact on the beneficiaries…”
While giving account of his stewardship in the last one year, Fayemi listed his achievements to include fulfilling the promise of “restoring values and dignity, tackling infrastructure decay and developing the economy through the five pillars of this administration, namely: Governance, Agriculture and Rural Development, Social Investments, Knowledge Economy, and Infrastructure and Industrial Development.”
source: The Guardian