The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on Wednesday resumed his visits to his supporters in a multi-legged campaign shuttle that will take him to all the nooks and crannies of the state to sell his manifesto ahead of the July 14 poll.
Wednesday’s visit started at Iyemero-Ekiti with stops at Odo-Oro, Oke-Ijebu, Ara-Ikole, Ikole-Ekiti and other communities in Ikole Local Government Area of the state and parts of Gbonyin Local Government, where residents regretted that they had suffered neglect by Governor Ayodele Fayose, including living in the dark for years, bad roads and hunger, since Fayemi left the government in 2014.
Gbonyin Local Government people complained that pleas to Fayose for three years to help restore light to the local government had fallen on deaf ears, while also regretting that the governor never considered the local government for Executive Council appointment.
Fayemi promised to redress the sufferings of the residents, but reminded the people that Fayose never promised them anything during campaigns, hence his nonchalant attitude to their welfare.
He listed his achievements in the communities he visited during his first term with the promise to restore all the life-lifting programmes that were cancelled by Fayose, if elected, including providing fresh ones.
Fayemi regretted the hard conditions under which Ekiti people live under Fayose in contrast to the goodies, including free education, social security for the elderly people, pay for expectant mothers and youth empowerment schemes.
He also listed payments for public examinations and scholarships for the youth, among other supports for young people while he was governor between 2010 and 2014, regretting, however, that Fayose had cancelled all to impose hardships, including forcing school children to pay taxes.
He urged the people to reject Fayose’s continuity agenda plot to bequeath sufferings to Ekiti people through anti-people policies, including “forced closures of private businesses, such as GTB, Ecobank, Cocacola, Gossi Water, Ikogosi Resort, which provided jobs for hundreds of Ekiti people while I was governor”.
He lamented that all development projects he initiated were still at where he stopped in 2014, even as he promised to restore local council development areas that Fayose cancelled, including free computers for students, special pay for teachers, road safety agency, peace corps, YCAD and most importantly restoration of peace and security that were prevalent when he was governor.
He urged the people to work in their units for effective mobilisation to ensure APC’s victory.
He also urged the people to beware of the lies being spread against him by Fayose, including claims of debts and allegation that he would sack teachers if elected.
Fayemi said he never planned to sack any worker “because they did nothing to warrant such punishment as my father was also a teacher”.
He explained: “Is it the teachers that I increased their salary three times in four years, paid their core and rural posting allowances as the only state in Nigeria doing so and who I rewarded with brand new cars for hard work during Teachers’ Day celebration that I will sack?
“Were they the ones you heard their voices on the Captain Koli audio tape talking about how they criminally manipulated my election in 2014?”
Fayemi promised to pay pre-budget visits to all the communities like he did during his first term to obtain first-hand information on the projects they need in their communities.
At Odo Oro-Ekiti, PDP Ward Chairman, Ajewole Olufemi, led over 70 Peoples Democratic Party members to defect to APC, citing anti-people stance of Fayose’s administration.
Other PDP leaders and members followed suit in all other communities visited.
At Ijesa-Isu, an old woman, who described Fayemi as her husband, said she spent savings from the former governor’s social security stipends to establish a trade to take care of herself and children after losing her husband.