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News for November 2004

Court of Appeal sits in Ado-Ekiti Students’ attack on poly unprecedented – Dep Rector
Ekiti political machine roars into life Principal suspended for abusing Fayose
Ekiti ex-commissioner seeks political reforms Now, the Yorubas Are in the Mainstream of a Worse Life
Atiku in Ekiti, urges self-help for communal growth Ekiti to give loans to farmers
2,000 get free glasses in Ekiti 'Ekiti people should close ranks'
...Another attacked in Ekiti Fayose wades into poly students’ crisis
Ekiti tasks NEPA on irregular supply of electricity ‘Ekiti determined to give education a boost’
Fayose Wants to be Pastor After Governorship Gov. Fayose's democracy dividends through agriculture
Ekiti gives N94m for accreditation of tertiary institutions Man abandons wife, quadruplets after delivery in Ekiti
Tribunal upholds PDP's victory in Ekiti council polls Falegan condemns expulsion of Olowoporoku from PDP
Emulate Awolowo’s ideologies, Fayose advises politicians Former govs commend Fayose's administration
Fayose must not return in 2007 - Ojudu Fayose to hold quarterly meetings with ex-governors
Taps run dry as NLC strike bites harder in Ekiti Ekiti crisis: Fayose begs for forgiveness
Monarchs urge govt to wade into Ayede-Ekiti crisis World Bank donates N20m ambulances to Ekiti
Ekiti averts Police, Prisons clash over demolition Warders, task force, disagree over demolition of illegal structures
Court rejects Ekiti's objection to suit by ex-officials Ekiti elders petition govt over FERMA funds
Avert strike, reduce fuel price, ruler tells Govt Ekiti disburses N40m loan to farmers
The alternative to dialogue is rebellion Fayose's Home Trouble
Mr. Femi Falana, accuses the Ekiti State governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose, of misruling the state Fayose give us the dividend of democracy in Ijelu-Ekiti
Ayede Ekiti chieftaincy crisis deepens as youths loot Oba's palace Ekiti elders accuse Ogunlewe of abandoning federal roads
Mob attacks Ekiti monarch, destroy palace Expelled Olowoporoku sues PDP for N1bn
Ekiti workers threaten strike over unpaid allowances Govt to spend N1.5bn on dualisation of Ado-Ekiti road
The Fayose Family Police ransack Ekiti AD chief's home over alleged inciting documents
Aluko identifies factors hampering health care delivery Ekiti police arrest suspect over anti-Fayose documents

Court of Appeal sits in Ado-Ekiti   Back To Top

The Punch, Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Akin Oyedele, Ado-Ekiti

A panel of four Justices of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division, on Monday arrived in Ado-Ekiti, headquarters of the Ekiti State Judiciary, for a five-day special court session.

During the period, the panel members will adjudicate on appeals arising from cases decided by the state high courts.

Apart from Presiding Justice Saillahi Muntaka-Coomassie, others that will be holding sessions between Monday, November 29 and Friday, December 3, included Justices Aboyi Ikongbeh, David Adeniji and Tijjani Abdullahi.

The Ilorin division of the appellate court had held two similar proceedings since the state was created in 1996; first in July 2000, while the second one was held two years ago.

In his opening address, the presiding justice sought the cooperation of counsel that would appear before the panel to enhance quick dispensation of justice.

He said the session was designed to bring justice to the doorsteps of appellants and their counsel “to lessen their suffering and tension.”

Muntaka-Coomassie added that, “We, on our part, will not tolerate any unnecessary delay coming from some counsel by way of applying for uncalled for (frivolous) adjournments.

“To succumb to this type of application is to defeat the purpose for which this special session is holding. We thank the Chief Judge (Justice Oyebisi Omoleye) for allowing us to use her court and chambers.”

In her remarks, Omoleye restated the need for the location of a division of the appellate court in the state.

She noted that such gesture would herald more federal presence in the state, adding that she was equally expectant that a Federal High Court would soon be established in the state.

Omoleye called for a collaborative effort between the federal and the state governments in this regard, going by the mutual benefit derivable from the establishment of a division of both courts in the state.

The CJ was not, however, unmindful of possible “surmountable hindrances” on the way of realising the lofty dreams, especially lack of infrastructure.

Students’ attack on poly unprecedented – Dep Rector   Back To Top

The PUNCH, Monday, November 29, 2004

Akin Oyedele, Ado-Ekiti

The Deputy Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, Mrs. Taiwo Akande, has described last Thursday’s vandalisation of the administrative complex and 11 cars belonging to principal officers of the institution by protesting students as unprecedented in the annals of the polytechnic.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with our correspondent on Friday, Akande, whose office was also not spared in the attack, including the toilet, described the incident as “absolute chaos and an unprecedented mayhem.”

Relieving her experience further, she said the action of the students was a “deliberate attempt to destroy everything on sight,” adding that prior to the incident, there were no clear-cut disagreement between the students and the school authority.

Akande explained that the authentic leaders of the students’ union, led by the President, Mr. Bolander James, who at the time were about holding a scheduled meeting with the management of the institution, were equally jolted by the turn of events.

She said, however, that the management gathered from the grapevine that the students were allegedly at daggers drawn with the school authority over the non-payment of field trip allowance to non-academic members of staff, which the students claimed had deprived the staff of their legitimate right.

Another school of thought, according to her, suggested that students that were screened out from contesting the forthcoming students’ union election, on account of academic incompetence, mobilised their supporters and external forces to vent their anger on the authority.

Another angle to it was the alleged inadequate preparation of the students for the second semester examination scheduled for December 6, believing that their action would force the management to postpone the exams.

Akande added that suspected cult members among the students were also said not to be comfortable with the Chief Security Officer of the school, who the deputy rector said had succeeded in putting an end to their activities.

She commended the police for shielding them from the rampaging students, without which she said lives would have been lost going by the mien of the students, allegedly led by one C.T. Ayeni a.k.a. Igwe.

She added, “The students held us hostage inside the building and nobody could venture outside in the face of a hail of stones being hurled at every direction. The police later forced their way in and rescued the principal officers who unfortunately were deliberately targeted for the attack. The students even attacked the policemen because they used minimum force.”

Ekiti political machine roars into life   Back To Top

The PUNCH, Monday, November 29, 2004

By Bolade Omonijo, Deputy Pol. Editor

THURSDAY, November 25, was a special day in the life of Vice President Atiku Abubakar. The man turned 58. To some, 58 is not a landmark and is therefore, expected to be celebrated quietly with family members only. Others choose to celebrate such occasions with supplications to God and quiet introspection. Those who know the vice president very well had expected a big bash that would unofficially announce that indeed the battle for Aso Rock 2007 has started. They were all disappointed as Alhaji Atiku Abubakar rather chose to visit a rustic, rural area in Ekiti State.

Vice President Atiku Abubakar arrived the Akure Airport into the waiting arms of the Ekiti State governor, Chief Ayo Fayose who had made an elaborate plans to lead him into the state fondly called the Fountain of Knowledge. On hand to join the state governor and the vice president in making the day a memorable one were five other state governors. They were the governor of Borno State, Senator Modu Alli-Sheriff, Dr Peter Odili of Rivers State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola of neighbouring Osun State, Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi of Kaduna and Bukola Saraki of Kwara State. Also on hand to add colour to the day’s celebrations was the deputy governor of Oyo state, Chief Alao Akala.

The task of setting the ball rolling fell on the host Governor Ayo Fayose who pointed out that the state had decided to hold two launchings on the same day to underscore the determination to lift the state out of the morass of ages in four short years. In his view, those who are comfortable enough have a duty to help the underprivileged which informed the decision by his wife, Mrs Feyi Fayose to start the Feyi Fayose Trust Foundation. He explained that the foundation would be devoted to helping the less privileged with the basic things of life such as education, health and being usefully engaged.

The second event, Governor Fayose pointed out, would be taking place in the little known town of Afao where another N500 million fund raising drive would hold. The Afao Day celebrations and fund-raising was similarly scheduled to generate money for general development of the town.

Having set the ball rolling, the vice president was called upon to do justice to the first occasion. Vice President Atiku Abubakar, now a consummate politician, explained that he had been dragged to perform a very unfamiliar task that he was not prepared for. He explained that he had been told to come over to Afao to help in raising fund for the development of the town and to felicitate with the governor. He, however, lauded the governor and his wife for their concern for the less privileged and for realising that the primary calling of elected leaders is to lift up the poor.

A mild drama followed as the vice president invited the Chief Launcher, Governor Peter Odili of Rivers State to send down the naira rain, a role which Odili politely turned down because "it contravenes protocol." Odili would rather the vice president announced the donation of his friends and associates first. The vice president, feeling cornered and alluding to conspiracy between his host and the chief launcher, obliged them by announcing a donation of N10 million.

Thereafter, Governor Odili, taking a cue from the vice president, and in order not to breach protocol, announced a donation N3 million less. At that point, the First Lady of the Federation, Mrs Stella Obasanjo moved in with the siren fully blaring. The vice president promptly announced his departure for Afao where, according to him, he had business. All the governors present, except Governor Modu Sheriff who was chairman of the Feyi Fayose launch, left with the vice president.

Perhaps unwittingly, the vice president’s departure at the point that the First Lady made her entry gave the impression that he was not happy with her late arrival and was unwilling to share a platform with her. The departure of the governors, including the host, had the immediate consequence of downgrading the event at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium.

Afao-Ekiti is the home town of the Ekiti State governor. As an aide explained, the event was planned to afford the governor the opportunity of saying a public thank you to his own people. President of Afao Development Council, Dr Samuel Omoyeni opened the flood gate of encomiums showered on the governor whom he described as "young, progressive, dynamic, ebullient, patriotic, amiable, humane and God chosen."

The vice president reiterated the point when he reminded the audience that his presence and that of the governors was made possible because Afao had succeeded in producing the governor of Ekiti State. He called on the people to support the governor who he believed had good plans for the state at large. There was a replay of the drama that took place at the stadium as the Chief launcher, Governor Modu Sheriff who was represented by Governor Fayose, again pleaded protocol and refused to announce his donation until the vice president had taken the front stage. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar promptly announced a donation of N2 million after hinting that his contribution has been slashed owing to the role he had been made to play at the launch of the Feyi Fayose Trust Foundation. The Chief launcher and the Rivers state governor followed suit with similar donation of N2 million each. All other governors present or represented donated N1 million each. At the end of the exercise, about N20 million was realised.

Governor Fayose was obviously happy at the turn of events as it served to consolidate his hold on the grassroots. The local government areas in the state, traditional rulers, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, were among those who turned up in large numbers in solidarity with their governor. The presence of his brother governors, the vice president and the First Lady in Ekiti State was an event that filled him with joy, signalling that more could come out of the event of the day.

Politics in the air

Beyond the pomp and panoply of the day, it was obvious to analysts that 2007 was one of the major reasons the major gladiators on the political scene turned up in Ekiti State. Although all the governors and the vice president tried to avoid any mention of political development in the country, some groups came up to add political colour to the occasion. Both at the stadium and Afao, the Atiku political movement in the state tried to demonstrate that they had been holding forte in the state. No less than 25 men and women went about with placards that sought to impress on the people that their mentor would be the most suitable to rule after president Olusegun Obasanjo. Although it would be difficult for anyone to gauge the standing of the group in the state by the action of the men and women, it at least showed that PDP in the state reckons with them. They had colourful banners proclaiming the presidential bid of Alhaji Atiku boldly pasted round the town.

Investigation by Vanguard indicated that the Ibrahim Babangida group is also prominent in Ekiti State. Organised by a respected Alhaji Adebayo Bello, the group is believed to have attracted the support of prominent members of the PDP and the Alliance for Democracy. However, the move suffered some set back when AD recently forbade its members from identifying with the presidential bid of anyone and threatened to deal with any erring member. It is believed that most of those working for the realisation of the presidential dream of the former president were from the AD.

Although still on a low key at the moment, it is equally believed that Brigadier General Buba Marwa is set to make a good show in Ekiti State. His men are believed to be working very hard to benefit from the fall out of an imminent showdown between the vice president and the former president. Marwa’s supporters are quick to point out that he represents the fresh face of politics in the country.

Some politicians in the state who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity explained that the vast majority of politicians in the state are non-aligned so far because they do not yet know the disposition of President Obasanjo. A prominent member of the PDP in Ekiti West Local Government said: "The president, as far as I am concerned, is the father of the party. What he says will determine what we do here. There are a few who have made up their minds and have openly identified with one camp or the other. Good luck to them, but those who know how politics is played would realise that it is a group game. The leaders will decide at the appropriate time.

Have you asked yourself why the governor has not identified with any camp. That is the poser."

Long after the Fayose show on November 25, tongues will continue to wag on the real significance of the turn out of dignitaries on the occasions. How was the governor able to draft people of known divergent political interests such as the vice president and governor Odili to that occasion? On what side of the divide is Governor Bukola Saraki? Why did Governor Olusegun Agagu stay away? As the country prepares to move into the mid term year, what is the political agenda of Governor Fayose? Did he call the parade to demonstrate that he has put the controversies of the past 30 months behind him?

Time will surely tell. The steps he takes in 2005 will show how he intends to plot his way to 2007. The events mark the arrival of a man who knows that a master strategist is one who manages to keep in the news and gets things done in a way that heads would keep turning.

Principal suspended for abusing Fayose   Back To Top

The PUNCH, Monday, November 29, 200

A secondary school principal in Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State, has been suspended indefinitely by the Teaching Service Commission for launching verbal assault against Governor Ayo Fayose during a session with the students at the morning assembly.

Our correspondent gathered that the principal, who had never hidden his disdain for the governor for undisclosed reasons, had last week taken the governor to the cleaners while addressing the students in the morning before departing for their classes.

Unknown to the principal, some of the teachers and students were not happy with his disparaging comments and they were said to promptly bring the incident to the attention of the TESCOM boss, Chief Gabriel Falayi, who consequently ordered full-scale investigation into the allegation.

Satisfied with the outcome of the preliminary investigation, which indicted the principal, he was said to have immediately suspended the errant principal for “gross act of insubordination.”

A source informed our correspondent that Falayi was particularly piqued that a school principal could stoop to the level of abusing the governor in the full glare of secondary school students.

The source told our correspondent that the principal was later whisked away by policemen for being a “bad example of the qualities a leader should posses.”

Meanwhile, the state has announced a new education policy in the public schools, which would now make school heads to get involved in class activities.

A statement by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Alhaji Yakubu Sanni, indicated that secondary school principals, their assistants, including head teachers of primary schools would now teach a number of subjects per week.

Taking a cue from the private schools, the statement directed that students in primary and secondary schools be given assignments on a daily basis, which would form part of their continuous assessment.

To this end, the statement directed that the scores so recorded should be sent to the ministry’s Continuous Assessment Division for record purposes, especially scores for SS1 and SSII students and the 1st and 2nd term scores for the SSIII students.

Ekiti ex-commissioner seeks political reforms   Back To Top

The Guardian: Monday, November 29, 2004

From Ifedayo Sayo, Ado-Ekiti

FORMER Commissioner for Finance in Ekiti State, Mr. Bayo Aina, has called for political reforms that will ensure that only the best persons occupy political offices in the country.

Besides, he said the political reforms should evolve means of reducing the cost of contesting elections in the country to ensure that money-bags do not hijack future polls.

Aina, in a statement at the weekend, said though the economic reforms of the Federal Government was a welcome development, economic reforms without political changes will not get the nation out of its current socio-political and economic problems.

Essentially, he noted that the anti-corruption programme of the President Olusegun Obasanjo has not achieved much because of the presence of money-bags in governments at all levels. He added that many of these money-bags have only one ambition in government and that is to get back all that they spent on their elections.

Stressing that the President means well for the country, he said the anti-corruption crusade of the Federal Government should be strengthened to ensure its success.

He cautioned that unless the President turned the search-light of the anti-graft commission on the activities of political office holders working with him, many would not take him serious on the crusade.

Also, he advised that the anti-graft commission should not be used to witch-hunt perceived political enemies to give it the necessary credibility.

On the economic reforms, he said it has brought much pains to many Nigerians and urged the President to give it a "human face".

According to him, contrary to the belief of the President, there is abject poverty in the country, adding that the economic reforms have contributed to the pains of many Nigerians who cannot afford two-square meals.

He also appealed to the Obasanjo to address the high level of poverty in the country, maintaining that any reform that does not address the scourge in the country is bound to fail.

Now, the Yorubas Are in the Mainstream of a Worse Life Principal suspended for abusing Fayose   Back To Top

ThisDay, Saturday, November 27, 2004

Akin Oyedele,Ado-Ekiti

He sat pretty relaxed on an office sofa behind his glass table, with a laptop computer and a micro tele-printer by the side. He was reading an autobigraphy on former President Shehu Shagari—Beckoned to Serve. He looked simple—with a flying designer short-sleeve shirt atop an ash colour pair of trousers. He seemed a man at peace with himself and environment. The effusive air of business and haste was absent. A few of his aides were in an outer office. It is a different era for Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, the first civilian and immediate past Governor of Ekiti State. With little public visage, he has embraced his family business and adjusted his social programmes to reflect his present status. With a compact family of three children and a wife, he says: “I am lucky I don’t have a large family to contend with and so being out of office has not affected our life style”. In this interview with Eddy Odivwri, the former governor explained the problems associated with the Alliance for Democracy (AD), the future plans of the party, the harsh economic policies of the PDP-led federal government, as well as his successor in office.

Your party, Alliance for Democracy (AD) has been in the news recently and the INEC gave them up to October to put their acts together and after your convention about a month ago, it doesn’t seem that the problem within the party has been settled. Would your party be de-registered or would it survive?

I believe that the party is on the proper track now. The major problem we’ve been having is resolving the issues of the convention and you know very well that we held the convention. It was a unity convention and most of the aggrieved party members who belonged to another faction at a time, came back and joined us at that convention. Originally, the first convention that was held, the original convention planning committee was split into two but by the time we held this convention out of the 15 members of the convention committee, 13 had come back to join hands together to hold this convention. It was a properly held convention, in accordance with the constitution of AD and INEC was represented at the convention. And I hope they will come back with the reports that recognise our party as that which did everything in accordance with the constitution.

You are looking at the perspective that there are still one or two persons who would still claim some things but the fact is that there is no political party in Nigeria today where you would not have a few disgruntled elements who would claim one thing or the other about their own faction. But when you are in a situation where two or three people are running around telling you that they don’t agree with what has been done, I don’t think that one is enough for you to call them a faction.

Frankly speaking, I see them as two persons that are disgruntled elements and who have migrated but they are being to reached out to, with a view to bringing them back in but if they decide not to come back then we would do without them.

But we are also worried that one of the outcomes of your new moves is severance of your relationship with the Afenifere.

No, it is not severance of relationship. What happened was that the central working committee of Afenifere called a national congress of Afenifere. At the national congress, it was agreed that Afenifere and AD should be separated with regards to political affairs. Members of Afenifere are still members of AD and we will continue to take advice from Afenifere. Advice not instruction.

What role has Pa Abraham Adesanya been playing? Is it advisory role or instructive?

Well, Papa Adesanya would tell you that he is a statutory member of the AD. We had cases where office holders in Afenifere are also office holders in AD. We are trying to do away with that so that AD can run a full fledged national political party which it was set up to be.

How would you describe the relationship between Papa Adesanya and the AD?

Papa Adesanya, I am sure, would tell you that he is a member of AD.

Are the party members still loyal to him?

We have some members in Afenifere who are not in AD because if you remember at the last election, there were some people who contested under the platform of PAC. They are members of Afenifere but not of AD. So, what we are saying is that we do not want to create a confusion in the minds of the electorate. It is better we severe that direct association for the fact that people would understand that Afenifere is a socio-cultural organisation for Yoruba people. People who believe in the creed of Afenifere can belong to it, but that does not mean you must belong to AD.

With all the crisis within the party, there appears to be loss of focus or loss of interest in 2007. Would the AD die or survive to face the 2007 challenge?

I think you don’t really realise what is happening, you look at what has happened in the convention you would see that AD has started to gain focus, you would notice that we have a national chairman who responds to national issues, we have executive members who are now responding to issues concerning the polity. Basically, what we are trying to do is putting our party back on track, a position which is credible opposition to the present government and we are trying to position properly, so that come 2007, we would be in a position to actually challenge the ruling party and that is what we are working and strategising on.

Are you saying you are looking forward to contesting the presidency? Do you have a presidential material?

Our party is a good party and we are working on increasing membership. We are reaching out to other parts of the country, we are reaching out to other political interest groups with a view to building a strong and virile political party. Hopefully, by the end of next year, I believe that we will reposition to be able to move forward and give credible challenge towards the 2007 election.

As for the polity, you are considered as a statesman, having been a member of the ruling class. What is your assessment of the polity?

Unfortunately, it is obvious that the majority of Nigerians are not satisfied, with the way things are going there is a lot of hardship in the land. We are told by the government that there must be hard times before good time can come but this is as a result of ill economic policies. Yes, it is a bitter pill which we must swallow now so that we can enjoy in the future, but as much as the Federal Government said that, I believe also that you may want to provide a situation where life is good in the future when you put in place structures, reforms and things that will make a stronger economy in the future.

However, I don’t believe that one should die because you want to make sure your children have a good life. I look at it from the perspective of a father and a son. Yes you want your children to benefit in the future, you want them to have a good life in the future.

You are not going to kill yourself, just because you want to have a good life for your children in the future, so I believe that government should in as much as possible try to put in place infrastructural reforms that will have a human face, according to Obasanjo when he was not in office.

Therefore would you say that the PDP government has failed Nigerians?

Well, it is obvious... When one looks at it from any perspective, if you look all over the country, I don’t think there is any part of the country where people are enamoured by the PDP government. I can say categorically of South West where I relate with a lot of people. Apart from Lagos State, I don’t think there is any South West State where people are happy with the government. And the reason why people in Lagos State are happy is because they have an AD government. The PDP has tried all sorts of things to destroy the AD government in Lagos State, luckily the people are in love with the government. In the rest of the South West, they rigged themselves into office. They felt and were gloating that they are now in the mainstream of Nigerian politics. But the question now is what is the mainstream? You say you are taking people to the mainstream to better their lives then you have taken them to a situation whereby their lives are worse. When you look at the amount of money collected by various states in South West with the people involved you will be amazed that they don’t even have anything to show for it. And that is difficult for the people. The people are not happy, there is no development. Nothing is moving forward.

The information we have is that the only surviving AD government i.e Lagos State Government, is also working towards moving the AD machine to join hands with the possible fellow who will emerge from the PDP?

This is an allegation and blackmail by certain faction of the Afenifere who started this battle. I am always amused when I hear this allegation because I have discussed it with the governor himself and he has said there is no such thing in place. You see, there are certain political permutations. What we in the AD are trying to do is to put together certain coalition of progressive unions in the country such that all the progressives would come together under one umbrella and contest for presidency in this country. Like it was done during the SDP era. That is exactly what we in the AD are trying to do today. If you look at what is going on you would discover that everything is going in the right direction because there seem to be a belief by progressives all over the country and this cuts across party lines.

There was a time that the former AD governors seemed to have concluded plans to join hands with IBB as a way of…

(cuts in) That was a blackmail. Because there was no time we sat down together to say we were going to support IBB. It never happened.

Over one and a half years now, you have been out of office, what has been engaging you?

I have been involved in my wife’s business. As I have always said, before I got into office, my wife was a property consultant. So when we left office we went back to the business and she appointed me chairman of the company. I am also trying to get back to my legal practice.

I remember I spoke to you shortly after the election, you said you will go back to your legal practice. Why is it taking you so long?

We are restructuring the office.

For one and half years?

Yes. The office is going through a restructuring and it is not something I can just go back into. Remember I have partners, we have to restructure the place with a view to expanding to Abuja, because we want to have an office there (Abuja).

So, when do we expect to see you in the court?

The kind of practice I undertake is not one that takes me to court, I have always been involved in the commercial aspect of service, I am not a court-going lawyer.

So your chances of seeing me in court is very low. In fact, I am more of a solicitor than a barrister.

We also noticed that, out of office your visibility has also dropped a little as regards social functions and all that. Was it that it was social duty that was taking you out to parties so much then?

Yes. There are many times I was asked this question, and I had explained that my attendance at social functions were as a result of my social responsibility to those who invited me. Now, I do get invited to social functions but luckily I don’t get invited to as many like when I was in office. So, the people who are inviting me are those who are very close to me. Another reason is that I travel out of the country most of the time so that might also contribute to why I do not attend many social functions. I believe I have a responsibility to the people, and whenever they invite me, I try to do my best.

While in office, expectedly there would have a been large retinue of friends. Has the volume of your friends also dropped, have you learnt any lesson? How do people now relate to you?

Luckily for me, I have my father’s experience to guide me and I was able to make sure that the old friends that I had before I went into office were the same friends I retained while I was in office. Understandably, yes, those who I didn’t know before would come up with certain business and government transactions. That is life. People who are my real friends have remained and I still relate with them today.

Do you have any problem relating with them now?

Not at all because even while I was in office my relationship with them was the kind of relationship before I got into office.

Now, look at Ekiti, after you left office and the new government came in there have been rounds and rounds of unpleasant stories and developments. How would you access what has been going on in your state?

Honestly, I hate to disappoint you. I do not want to comment on the present government in Ekiti. A lot had come out of the press and I am sure members of the public themselves can make up their minds about the situation in Ekiti. But honestly, I am very up set, very disappointed, and disgusted about what is happening in Ekiti State.

What are your next political steps?

Well, the reason why I went into politics, I have not exhausted them. So, I believe my participation in politics will enable me to be of assistance to my fellow Nigerians. I believe I still have a role to play in that region. But in what capacity and role, I really do not know yet. But rest assured I intend to still be active in politics because I believe I still have a role to play in shaping the future of this country.

Out of office, do you have any regrets?

Yes, regret in the sense that I started the job which was to put Ekiti on the right path. We were able to get the job to a certain point. Unfortunately, today, a lot of the things we did at the time are being destroyed. That I find painful. I would have liked a situation where I got the jobs to a level where they can no longer be destroyed. But apart from that, I am quite content with my life. Despite the fact that I enjoy politics very much, there is a private side to my life and now I begin to enjoy that private side more than when I was in office.

What is this private life about?

Private life in the sense that now I am not so much in public life and I spend much time with my family and spend more time with my friends without the eyes of the world being on me.

Are your family members happier with you now?

Yes, my immediate family (my wife and children) are all very relieved, especially my children. We believe in our name and in doing the right thing. My family find it very hurtful when allegations are made against me which were not true. I had to try to explain to my children that unfortunately that is the way politics is played in Nigeria. We have not got to a stage where we can separate abuse from criticisms in terms of politics. I think right now my children are very relieved that I am no longer in public office. They enjoy me now more than when I was in office.

I recall that while you were in office there was this scandal about a property at Ojo-Olobu in Lagos. I know you made a lot of efforts to take the case to your accusers, to say if at any time in history your father owned the property you will resign. But no proof was made, but still with this new government, there have been allusions to the fact that the matter would still be re-opened...

I find it funny because they actually set up a probe panel and the issue came up in the panel and the person who sold and owned the property is Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar, the chairman of the property company. He sent his lawyer to the probe panel and the lawyers showed the owner and directors of the company. They showed them the certificate of incorporation of the company and others. These are part of the things that disillusion people when they get into politics in Nigeria. Just because you are looking for something to discredit somebody you just tell lies. I don’t believe that is the way politics should be played. If I did something wrong in office, criticise me based on that but don’t come out and fabricate lies just because you want to get into the office. It is unfortunate but then when you look at the character of the present governor and what the family members are saying about him, well, you can understand that kind of a person. It all has to do with his background. We were raised with sound moral background. Not like people who now talk flippantly. My father took the matter to court because he was affected. I believe that at the end of the day we will see the court ruling.

Has the panel made any invitation to you?

Not at all. In fact, I understand they advertised on the newspapers that members of the public should send their memoranda by the time the panel started sitting ... they themselves confessed that they have not received any memorandum from members of the public against my administration. Ekiti State is renowned for petition writers. Not one petition has been written against my government. I understand the panel used the query by the state auditors and that is what they are relying on to conduct their investigation and I find it amazing because audit queries are as a result of state accounts that have been published. If they have published an account that means you have accepted it, you cannot then come and say that after accepting an account then you use it as a basis of a probe. You see they are just looking for something to do. Like I said, I have tried not to say much about this government but honestly we cannot run away from it because I look at situations like these as a way for them to hide their inadequacies. By the time they finish with probing in the next six months then they will come back and say forgive us we have not been able to perform because in the last one year, they have been involved in probes. And that will be two years wasted. Because in the first year they said in they could not perform because the AD took them to court over the election. The government that knows what to do will not waste its time in all these distractions.

There was a time they also talked of seizing your house, properties along with some other peoples’s own in Ado-Ekiti GRA?

No, no, no, I was not involved in that. What happened was that the state government, when I was in office, was desirous of developing the GRA. So we decided to allocate those plots of land to people in the society who would be able to afford to develop the place in time. It was the people involved that took the matter to court.

You are not involved?

No, but my wife was given an allocation there and they have revoked the allocation and we have not bothered about it. My wife is from Lagos. She can get land in Lagos.

The AD is struggling for survival?

It is not struggling for survival we are back on track.

In terms of recapturing its old holds?

We never lost our old holds, we were beaten out of them but we will get them back because it is either we have true and proper democracy in Nigeria or we do not. We agreed that in the interest of democracy, in the interest of the survival of this country, we will not fight. When Bode George opened his mouth and said if it was true that we were not beaten in South West we would have been fighting. Does he know the steps he took to avoid violence in South-West? He just opens his mouth like somebody having verbal diarrhoea. We have done our best and resolved that if by not being governor of the state is the sacrifice I have to make for democracy in Nigeria, I accept it, and that is what the rest of my colleagues did. But now the people are getting to a point whereby I don’t think they will accept anymore.

So, what are you going to do sir?

It has nothing to do with me. It is the people because the feedback I am getting from the people is that next time there is election that is not true and proper, they will not allow anybody to be foisted on them. That is what they are saying.

But was it all not achieved through mutual agreement between the AD and the PDP?

There was no way we would have reached any agreement that they should send the police and the army to help rig elections.

But you had some agreement?

The agreement we had was such that he said, since we didn’t have any presidential candidate we were prepared to support President Obasanjo for a second term on the ground that we would have a level playing field in the elections. There would be no rigging against us and there would be no use of security agencies against us.

But that was betrayed?


After the betrayal did you people have any forum of meeting Obasanjo again?

No. Not to discuss the issues. What is there to discuss again?

Did you all feel collectively betrayed?

You put yourself in our shoes how would you feel?

Yes, I would feel so, but I would also confront him.

What is the point? As politicians, tomorrow is another day. We need to fight again.

Atiku in Ekiti, urges self-help for communal growth   Back To Top

The Guardian: Friday, November 26, 2004

From Ifedayo Sayo, Ado-Ekiti

THE need for accelerated communal development through self-help projects was again emphasised by Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

Speaking at the yearly Afao-Ekiti Day yesterday, Abubakar said if all communities developed the spirit of self-help projects, the nation would be better for it, adding that government at all levels have limited funds, which are often grossly inadequate for developmental projects.

The Vice President was accompanied to Afao-Ekiti by Governors Olagunsoye Oyinlola of Osun State, Idris Ibrahim of Kogi State, Bukola Saraki of Kwara State and the deputy Governor of Oyo State, Mr. Bayo Alao Akala.

Commending the spirit of self-help in the South West, the Vice President advised other parts of the country to embrace the culture of self-development to move the country forward.

According to him, the culture of community development through self-effort had paid off in Yoruba speaking areas, which had enabled the establishment of community schools and health centres.

He praised the Afao-Ekiti community, which is the birthplace of the state governor, Ayodele Fayose for their self-help projects and for producing the state governor despite the fact that it is a very small community.

At the ceremony in which about N20 million was realised for developmental projects in the community, Vice President Abubakar praised Fayose for his achievements in office in the past 17 months.

He said what he had seen in the state capital, Ado Ekiti in terms of development projects showed that the votes for the governor in the last election were not misplaced.

He called on the people to forget their differences and come together for the good of the state, adding that they should rally round their governor for more democracy dividend.

Also speaking at the launching of the N500 million in aid of the governor's wife's non-governmental organisation - Feyi Fayose Trust Foundation at the Olayemi Kayode Stadium earlier in the day, Abubakar urged the rich in the society to always come to the aid of the poor for the betterment of the society.

At the ceremony attended by the wives of governors of Ogun, Edo, Borno, Adamawa, Oyo, Benue, Rivers and Osun states, the Vice President warned that the Nigerian society could only be said to be just when the rich do not allow the poor to suffer, adding that the disabled must be given a sense of belonging by coming to their aid at all times.

Also at the launching were the wife of the President, Mrs. Stella Obasanjo and the wife of the Vice President, Chief (Mrs.) Titi Atiku Abubakar.

The chairman of the ceremony, Governor Ali-Modu Sheriff of Borno State and the chief launcher, Governor Peter Odili of Rivers State called for financial support to the Foundation.

Speaking at the occasion, Mrs. Fayose said she set up the Foundation to lend a helping hand to the needy, and the less privileged, especially women, children and the disabled.

She noted that these people make up a weak human constituency for no faults of their own, adding that besides being dis-empowered, they are vulnerable to the scourge of HIV/AIDS.

Ekiti to give loans to farmers   Back To Top

Daily Independent:Thursday, November 25, 2004

By David Atalese, Special Correspondent, Ado-Ekiti

Ekiti State government has promised to give loans to farmers to cultivate maize on large scale in order to supply the required feed for its integrated poultry project.

Governor Ayodele Fayose gave the hint at Igbemo Ekiti during the celebration of the Igbemo Day 2004 and fund raising for the completion of the Onigbemo’s palace.

Fayose stated that the large quantity of maize required to feed the birds could not be sufficiently produced in the state and assured the farmers that maize produced would be purchased from them.

The Governor congratulated the people on the celebration of the Igbemo Day 2004 and assured that all the roads leading to the town would be rehabilitated. He also promised to ensure the supply of pipe-borne water to the area, adding that government has purchased rigs to boost water supply across the state.

The National President of the Igbemo Development Association (IDA), Mr. Samuel Olowosejeje, thanked Fayose for undertaking the rehabilitation of the Iworoko-Igbemo-Iluomoba road and the Igbemo-Ire-Ilupeju road among others.

At another event, the celebration of Ise-Ekiti Day 2004, Fayose urged all Ekiti indigenes to cooperate and be united in the task of developing the state.

He praised the Arinjale of Ise-Ekiti, Oba Adetunji Ajayi and commended the Local Government Chairman, Mr. Oluwole Ogunlade and his other colleagues for their impressive performance at improving the standard of living at the grassroots.

In a related development, the Deputy governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Abiodun Aluko, has assured the people of the state, that the state government would ensure even distribution of social amenities to all parts of the state.

Aluko gave the assurance at Ilamo Ekiti, in Ikole Local Government Area, when he presented the instrument of appointment and staff of office to Oba Adebayo Awoseyila, the new Alamo of Ilamo Ekiti.

He said the state government has been working hard towards ensuring that every community enjoyed stable electricity supply, potable water, good road and communication network to pave the way for the socio-economic transformation of the state.

He stressed the need for the people of the state to demonstrate understanding and cooperate with the government as well as live peacefully with one another so that there could be development in the state.

2,000 get free glasses in Ekiti   Back To Top

The PUNCH, Thursday, November 25, 2004

Akin Oyedele, Ado-Ekiti

Ekiti State Government on Wednesday distributed 2,000 pair of glasses free to people with eye defects across the 16 local government areas of the state under the Oju Ayo scheme.

This brings the total number of beneficiaries to 5,000, having been earlier distributed to 3,000 people when the scheme was inaugurated about six months ago.

Governor Ayo Fayose, who made the presentation, said the exercise would be repeated every six months following the success of the project.

He commended the Programme Coordinator, Dr. Samuel Omotosho, the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders for ensuring that the glasses got to those that were in need of them.

Fayose explained that the beneficiaries were chosen from those that enlisted for the screening exercise, saying it was devoid of political affiliation.

Stressing the importance of eye to the body, the governor said he was moved by the plight of indigent people in the society who he said suffered a double loss with their inability to source for daily bread.

The governor said his administration’s resolve to continually touch the lives of the average citizen remained unshakable, adding that the downtrodden occupied an enviable position in the affairs of the government.

Fayose said, “What salt is to soup, the eyes are to the body. Life will be meaningless for an individual with bad eyesight. We want people to see very well in order to appreciate government’s efforts better.”

The governor emphasised that any government that relegated the ordinary citizen to the background would not stand the test of time, especially when the chips were down.

He declared that good governance and achievements in office remained the criteria to measure the success of any government, noting that an average citizen was now wiser as to measure the performance of any government.

He urged those yet to benefit from the programme not to lose hope, saying government would not rest on its oars, as it would continue to execute programmes targeted at bringing smiles to the people’s faces.

In an address at the occasion, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sola Babalola, noted that total or partial blindness had profound human and socio-economic consequences in the society.

'Ekiti people should close ranks'   Back To Top

The Punch, Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Former military Administrator of Ekiti State, Navy Captain Atanda Yusuf (rtd), who handed over power to the first civilian governor, Chief Niyi Adebayo, told IFEDAYO SAYO in Ado-Ekiti that the state has benefited immensely from democracy. Excerpts:

YOU handed over power to the first civilian governor of Ekiti. After over five years, what is your evaluation of the progress in the state?.

I am impressed with the level of development. There is the presence of government through various developmental projects. A quiet revolution is going on in the state as visible projects dot the state. In the company of former governors, Chief Akin Omoboriowo, former deputy governor of old Ondo State, retired Admiral Oladeinde Joseph, retired Commodore Kayode Olofinmoyin former governors of Ogun State, retired Air Vice Marshal Ernest Adeleye former governor Rivers State I toured the state. We saw tangible projects. The Ajilosun Shopping Complex, used to be a garbage dump and erosion ravaged dumpsite when I was in the state. I was impressed by the waste to wealth strategy of the present administration. Today an already completed 300 shopping mall edifice with adjoining facilities - a police post, fire service now stands in place of what used to be an eyesore in the state capital.The road development programme should be commended too.

The Federal Government is promoting the non-oil sector particularly agriculture to address the issue of food, and poverty. Where do you see Ekiti in this plan? Ekiti is basically an agrarian state. So any government that is well meaning must of course allocate a reasonably chunk of public expenditure on the agriculture sector to enhance food production, job creation, poverty alleviation, which will culminate in good governance.

Following the ban on imported poultry, livestock, by President Olusegun Obasanjo, Ekiti designed a strategy called an Integrated Poultry Scheme, whereby 20 centres were established in the 16 local council and four designated centres stocked with a hybrid with a maturity period of 40 days. Each centre has the production capacity of 30,000 birds with a feed mill. The two special centres are located in the University of Ado Ekiti and the College of Education to provide practical experience for agric students. The point is to enable them be self reliant rather than look up to government for elusive jobs after graduation.

The Poultry Scheme is in tandem with the backward integration philosophy of the Federal Government. At the end of the day, 5,000 people will be provided jobs, the rural-urban drift will be curtailed and government will be brought closer to the people.

When you multiply 30,000 birds by 20 centres on the average of eight times a year, it adds up to over four million birds in a year.

The state continues to bemoan its lot as the least on the federation allocation table and it does not produce oil. The Integrated Poultry Scheme can make Ekiti a key player in the industrial and commercial hub nub of the nation. It is in response to the call by the Federal Government for less dependence on oil, and greater ingenuity in the improving internally generated revenue. Indeed these developments have started affecting the fortunes of the state for the better with the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) base moving from N30 million monthly to about 100 million.

The N1.2 billion Poultry Project has been criticised as a white elephant project designed to siphon money? That is not true. I saw four functional centres. I believe all the criticism about Fayose can be traced to his style of "business unusual." I mean if it had been "business as usual," then the story will be different. Look at the on-going dualisation of major roads in Ado Ekiti. When it is completed, Ado Ekiti will now join other state capitals with dualised roads though coming eight years after creation. Let me appeal to my fellow Ekiti indigenes that we will all have to pay the price of development since we cannot make omelette without breaking an egg. Those whose landed property will be destroyed in the course of the dualisation should take it as a sacrifice for development since we all clamoured for the creation of the state.

How do you feel coming back to the state you once administered and what brought you to the state? I am the Omowale 1 - a child has come back home - of Ekitiland. Though I am from Egbaland, Ekiti people adopted me. I am in the state to honour the invitation of my people to celebrate Ekiti day organised by a non-governmental organisation known as the Ekiti Progressive Front (EPT) in collaboration with the state government. I was here as military administrator and I feel I could still contribute towards the progress of the state.

Despite the projects, the governor has been having brushes with the political elite both within and outside his party. That is exactly why I am here. If I do not have an interest in Ekiti, I would not be here because my tenure is over. I want all Ekiti people in Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, and else where including notables like my father, Chief Afe Babalola, the first SAN in old Ondo State to please close ranks and build Ekiti. As a military administrator, they all supported me in achieving the much I could within my tenure. It was during my tenure that Ekiti State FM Radio and television stations were constructed and commissioned. A befitting state secretariat was also constructed, electrification of the state capital, establishment of a Bulk Purchasing Company in Ado, Igbara-odo water dam, purchase of computers for all secondary schools etc. The monthly allocation then was under N80 million. I had my quarrels too with some pockets of people who felt Ekiti was their personal property that should be milked to death at the detriment of the masses. Reformers the world over encounter stiff opposition but with God all things are possible for them that believe. But a tree cannot form a forest; all of us cannot be leaders at the same time. I have noticed that Fayose is changing his style and is stretching forth the Olive branch to indigenes outside the state through series of scheduled interactive sessions. It is also commendable that former governors of the state and the indigenes who governed other states during the military era and leaders of thought will be holding quarterly meetings in Ado to deliberate on the roadmap to development.

Looking back now at your tenure, what are the highs and lows? My happiest moment so far was on May 29, 1999 when I was handing over the baton of leadership to the first civilian administration, at the Oluyemi Kayode stadium. Usually leaders are often humiliated and jeered at whenever they are leaving, but in my own case, the people as a mark of appreciation of my service gave me a heroic departure. I was elated and each time I remember, I feel humble and honoured. ` My happiest moment so far was when I was handing over the baton of leadership to the first civilian administration, at the Oluyemi Kayode stadium. Usually leaders are often humiliated and jeered at whenever they are leaving, but in my own case, the people as a mark of appreciation of my service gave me a heroic departure. I was elated and each time I remember, I feel humble and honoured.

...Another attacked in Ekiti   Back To Top

Daily Champion: Wednesday, November 24, 2004

THE head of the clerk of the Ido/Osi local government area of Ekiti State (named withheld) was ripped open yesterday with a broken bottle by thugs following a failed bid by some councillors to impeach the chairman, Chief Akinola Aina.

Four of the councillors are in trouble as the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suspended them subsequently.

The mild disturbance led to the vandalisation of the legislative louver chamber.

The four councillors are Messrs Yomi Ayorinde, Oyeniran Abioye, Ilori Oreoluwa and Afolabi Olufunminiyi.

Chairman of the council, Chief Akinola told journalists at Ido-Ekiti that leader of the councillor, Hon. Afolabi Olufuminiyi imported some thugs into the council legislative chamber in an attempt to seize the chamber official hammer.

The thugs who wrestled with the assembly clerk to remove the hammer smashed the head of the clerk with a broken bottle and inflicted serious injuries on him.

The thugs, however, escaped but failed in their bid to impeach the council chairman.

Three thugs and five other lawmakers of the council were arrested and later bailed on personal recognition at the state police command in Ado-Ekiti.

Intervention of the state party however led to the suspension of the four council lawmakers indefinitely while investigation is being carried out

Meanwhile, the council chairman has linked the problem with external forces in the council.

Fayose wades into poly students’ crisis   Back To Top

The Punch, Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Akin Oyedele, Ado-Ekiti

It took the personal intervention of Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose, to soothe the frayed nerves of students of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, who staged a peaceful demonstration to protest their alleged harassment by commercial bus drivers.

The students had converged on Ijigbo area of the town as early as 8am and marched through the Old Garage and Ajilosun making bonfires on their way.

A similar action was replicated at the institution’s satellite campus at Omisanjana, where the students barricaded the roads thereby disturbing free flow of traffic.

The atmosphere, however, changed for the better on the arrival of Fayose at the Ijigbo junction, where he addressed the students on the need to maintain peace and decorum in pressing home their demands.

In his address, Fayose promised to donate a 50-seater bus to the students to ease their transportation problems, which he said would be delivered before the end of February, next year.

On the epileptic power supply to their main campus, which he identified as a nationwide problem, he promised to take up the matter with The Presidency and the Ministers of Education and Works, also on the bad state of the road leading to the campus.

Fayose said, “As a former Polyte, I share in your pains. But let us sit down together and find a lasting solution. Engaging in activities that will paralyse activities of the government and disturb public peace will not do us any good.”

In apparent demonstration of humility, Fayose served the students’ leader with drinking water and later apologised to the students for his earlier threat to order the arrest of unruly ones among them.

The police had initially shot tear gas to disperse the students, but this did not yield the expected result as the students later regrouped chanting solidarity songs.

But for the maturity of the combined team of riot and regular police, led by the Assistant Commissioner in charge of Operations at the state command, Mr. Mohammed Sule, the peaceful protest would have assumed a violent dimension.

The students had dared the police to “shoot us, we are ready to die. Enough is enough, we need more tear gas,” but the police who were face to face with them maintained a cool mien.

Speaking in an interview with our correspondent, the ACP Operations said no matter the level of provocation of the students, the police would not have recourse in shooting at them, saying he had children among them.

Ekiti tasks NEPA on irregular supply of electricity   Back To Top

ThisDay: Monday, November 22nd

By David Atalese,Special Correspondent, Ado-Ekiti

The Ekiti State government has expressed displeasure on the current epileptic supply of electricity to the state. Speaking when he paid a visit to the office of the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) in Ado-Ekiti, the Special Adviser to the governor on Electricity and Communication, Mr. Kehinde Odebunmi, said government was unhappy about the irregular supply of electricity to the state.

He told the authority’s Business Manager, Mr. Kayode Moyosade, that the erratic power supply to Ado-Ekiti is giving the state government a lot of concern. Odebunmi advised NEPA management in the state to find lasting solution to the problem to justify the huge amount of money the government has spent towards the provision of adequate supply of electricity to the state.

He said Governor Ayodele Fayose was particularly unhappy about the power outage most especially in Ado-Ekiti and urged NEPA officials to ensure that any fault detected should be rectified immediately.

‘Ekiti determined to give education a boost’   Back To Top

The Punch, Monday, November 22, 2004

Akin Oyedele, Ado-Ekiti

The recent commitment of about N160 million lifeline to the education sector by the Ekiti State Government was part of the renewed determination of the state government to give the sector the needed boost.

Governor Ayo Fayose’s Special Assistant on Information, Mr. Kola Ajumobi, stated this on Sunday in an interview with our correspondent.

He said the dilapidated condition of facilities at public schools across the state, including the higher institutions, was worrisome and that it would require a radical approach to bring them to the required standard.

To this end, he disclosed that N60 million was released for the procurement of chairs and desks for the public schools, as well as purchase of instructional materials.

Similarly, Ajumobi said the University of Ado-Ekiti also benefited to the tune of N50 million from the largesse; the College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti received N29 million; while N15 million was shared among the technical colleges.

With this gesture, he said, the fading glory of the state, touted as the “Fountain of Knowledge,” in the education sector would be revamped in no distant future.

The governor’s aide stated that government was paying adequate attention to the welfare of teachers by paying their salaries and fringe benefits promptly in order to give them a sense of belonging.

He therefore advised teachers to put in their best so as to justify the huge investment of the government in the sector by giving the students maximum qualitative education.

Ajumobi stressed that the fund released to the tertiary institutions was for the improvement of their facilities to meet the minimum standard.

Specifically, he explained that government was concerned about the non-accreditation of some courses in the schools by the regulatory authorities, saying such courses would be represented for accreditation at the end of the ongoing upgrading of facilities.

He added that Ekiti would no longer play the second fiddle to its counterparts across the country by the time the schools bounced back to their earlier glory.

Fayose Wants to be Pastor After Governorship   Back To Top

ThisDay: Sunday, November 21, 2004

From Dipo Okunmuyide in Ado-Ekiti

Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose, has expressed his desire to become a pastor after concluding his present assignment as the state chief executive, saying it is only a man that stay with God that would inherit God's kingdom.

Speaking while receiving the General Overseer of the Sword of the Spirit Ministry, Bishop Wale Oke, to his office in Ado-Ekiti, the governor said "a man who would be governor must expect people to fight him but I am a specially divine being who cannot be overcomed."

The governor, who insisted that there is no authority outside God's, added that "wealth would come and go, governors would come and go, President would come and go but God remains for ever."

He commended the Sword of the Spirit Ministry for its stable and commitment to the liberation of mankind, saying the visit of the Bishop is the beginning of good things that would come to the state.

Gov. Fayose's democracy dividends through agriculture   Back To Top

Vanguard: Friday, November 19, 2004

By Adedapo Akinrefon

In its resolve to improve agriculture in the state as well as cocoa production, the Ekiti State government took a gallant step by procuring 90,000 seedling for farmers as the planting season commenced.

Aside from procuring the 90,000 seedlings, the state government went further by slashing the sale of such seedlings, requesting the farmers at the cocoa nurseries in Ikere-Ekiti to purchase it at a reduced rate of N5 per seedling.

The Ekiti State Commissioner for Agriculture, Chief Boboye Olanipekun while making this declaration to farmers in Ekitit said "the move was to encourage our farmers to have a renowned interest in the production of cocoa which cultivation is gradually declining."

According to Chief Olanipekun, "it (was) a step forward to ensure that Ekiti State continues to emerge as one of the highest producers of cocoa in the country". He, however, assured that the government would continue to provide incentives to enhance the production of coca, which has been abandoned by the young ones to the old.

While lamenting the rate at which agriculture has been abandoned by the young at heart who now run after white collar jobs, the commissioner submitted that "this is an unfortunate development as most of the youths having more vigour to aggressively cultivate cocoa plantation are now shying away from the system".

Furthermore, he stated that "with the appreciation in the price of cocoa, youths and young adults have begun to realise that coca farmers are bound to be prosperous".

While revealing plans by the state government to increase cocoa seedlings by one million for distribution to farmers at the rate of N5 by next year, Olanipekun urged farmers not to be dissuaded from developing their cocoa plantation by way of expanding as well as planting. He assured that occasional fluctuations in prices of cocoa would be resolved.

He then noted that "efforts are in top gear at various level to process cocoa, locally in the production of beverages and with this, we will no longer rely solely on foreign buyers before we can sell cocoa to earn profit".

The commissioner explained that cocoa production was the main occupation of the farmers in the forest belt of the state noting that if the system was well managed and developed, it could satisfactorily offer jobs to over 70 per cent of the youths in the state.

Said he: "So, that is why the state government is now taking the production of cocoa serious because besides being an avenue for employment generation, it is still one of the major sources of internal revenue for the state government. Cocoa can still perform the role it played in the Western Region in the 1950s and 1960s and even 70s when it was the main source of revenue for the government to finance its free health and education programmes as well as the establishment of companies under the Oodua Group of companies".

In its own way to boost the morale of cocoa farmers in Ekiti State, Olanipekun pointed out that the state government had worked out modalities to sell farm implements and even chemicals for the maintenance of crops at cocoa producing councils. His words: "Cocoa nurseries will equally be established in virtually all cocoa-producing communities, as a way of making the seedling more accessible to farmers".

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries and also expressing gratitude, a cocoa farmer in Ado-Ekiti, Mr Gabriel Ogunleye, lauded the state government‘s efforts in encouraging farmers to produce more cocoa for the state urging that more local governments be introduced into the system.

According to him, "the seedling which they are sending to us is very good as it can begin to bear fruits after five years of planting. Besides, it is affordable at the rate of N5 per seedling. But I will like to advise that the government should send the seedling into more local government areas producing cocoa".

Ogunleye, however, pointed out that lack of labourers to recruit for the maintenance of cocoa plantations was the major problem facing cocoa farmers in the state. He explained that "most of the youths now feel shy or detest working on the farm. And some of them who claim to be cocoa farmers are not so, as they only specialise in marketing".

He further said that as a result of poor prices of cocoa beans in time past, most people are discouraged from having interest in cocoa cultivation especially since it requires intensive labour and time, as well as money to maintain such.

In this regard, Ogunleye urged that any impediment that could hamper regular increase in the annual price of cocoa be removed, adding that necessary chemicals for the maintenance of cocoa trees and pods should be made available by the government at affordable prices.

It should be noted that the price of cocoa now sells for N150 per kilogramme as against N200 at the beginning of the year and N190 last December.

In 2001, the selling price of 1kg of cocoa was between N150 and N200 and in 2000, the price of cocoa was between N100 and N120 and equally ranged between N90 and N100 in 1999. The increase in the price of cocoa in 2002 appeared to have encouraged the farmers to be aggressive in producing the crop in 2003.

In addition, the 2002 civil war in Cote d‘Ivoire, the largest cocoa producing country in Africa, resulted in the increase in the price of cocoa in the recent past.

Cote d‘Ivoire produces about 1.5 million tonnes of cocoa yearly while Ghana produces one million, Nigeria produces 500,000 tonnes annually. Again, with the present state of instability in Cote d’Ivoire, the price may again experience an appreciation but this would not be so sudden.

Meanwhile, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ayo Fayose, Idowu Adelusi, maintained that the commitment of the incumbent to the improvement of the lives of the people through many means, one of which is agriculture, is unrivalled in the annals of governance in the state. According to him: His excellency, Governor Ayo Fayose is committed to improving the lot of the people of Ekiti State and if you recall, even before he became governor, he had been philanthropic. And now as governor, he is doing more. In the same vain, the Personal Assistant to the governor, Mr Kola Ajumobi, reiterated the state government‘s readiness to encourage production plans in order to establish a cocoa processing industry for the production of beverages.

Ekiti gives N94m for accreditation of tertiary institutions   Back To Top

Daily Independent: Friday, November 19, 2004

By David Atalese, Special Correspondent, Ado-Ekiti

Ekiti state government has released N94 million for the improvement of facilities in state owned tertiary institutions as a way of regaining accreditation of some courses which had been withdrawn by relevant regulatory bodies. Governor Ayodele Fayose who made this known in Ado-Ekiti said N50 million was allocated to the University of Ado Ekiti (UNAD) while the College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti got N29 million and Technical Colleges collected N15 million.

He said government was committed to regaining the lost glory of the state in the field of education and to improve the living standard of the people of the state. In another development, the state government has also released N60 million for the purchase of chairs and desks for all public schools in the state.

The state’s education commissioner, Dr. Esther Fabusuyi, made this known during a one-day workshop organised by the World Bank and the state government in Ado-Ekiti.

She described education as a veritable tool of socio-economic and technological development stressing that the state could not underscore the importance of UBE-World Bank projects.

She praised the initiatives of the federal government for instituting the concept of Universal Basic Education (UBE) as one of the means to alleviate poverty in the country.

Man abandons wife, quadruplets after delivery in Ekiti   Back To Top

ThisDay: Friday, November 19, 2004

By Gbenga Ariyibi

ADO-EKITI —EKITI State Police Command is on the trail of the father of multiple births, Mr. James Ajayi a resident of Iyin-Ekiti as he allegedly dumped his wife and the quadruplets shortly after his wife had been delivered of the babies.

Vanguard reliably gathered that the timely intervention of the wife of the governor of Ekiti State, Mrs Feyisetan Fayose had saved the lives of the innocent quadruplets, as she has personally taken up the responsibility of the children.

Mrs. Fayose, Vanguard further gathered was moved when she saw the condition of the mother and children and was said to have mobilized for the proper care of the quadruplets.

Mrs. Ajayi and her children were said to have been referred from the State Specialist Hospital Ado-Ekiti to Obafemi Awolowo Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife where the woman later delivered, as there is no incubator in Ekiti State.

Friends and relations of the family were said to have raised the hospital bill after spending about one and half months in the hospital. Few days after the woman returned to her Ilawe-Ekiti family house, the husband was said to have fled, as there was no way he could take care of the new babies, including the four elderly ones.

The Police Public Relations Officer of the State Police Command, Mr. Emmanuel Iyang was not available to confirm the story when Vanguard visited his office, but one of the senior police officers who spoke under the condition of anonymity told Vanguard that the father of the quadruplets is yet to show up after about a week after her wife returned from the hospital.

Meanwhile, a detainee in the custody of Federal Prisons, Ado-Ekiti, Mrs. Sikirat Adebayo has delivered a baby girl after spending over six months in the prison custody.

Tribunal upholds PDP's victory in Ekiti council polls   Back To Top

The Guardian, Thursday, November 18th, 2004

From Ifedayo Sayo, Ado-Ekiti

EKITI State Local Council Election Petition Tribunal has upheld the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Ekiti South-West Council, Mr. Joseph Omolase, in the last council election.

Giving its ruling yesterday in separate petitions filed by the Alliance for Democracy (AD), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and National Conscience Party (NCP) against the victory of Omolase, the tribunal, headed by Chief Magistrate A. Samuel, said the petitioners were unable to prove beyond reasonable doubts their allegations of rigging, falsification, non-counting and signing of the election results and hijacking of ballot boxes by soldiers and mobile policemen led by the state Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose.

The petitioners had brought 15 different allegations against the PDP and Omolase, which were dismissed one after the other in the over seven-hour judgment.

The tribunal noted that no matter how "gory and alarming" the criminal allegations, the proof of its occurrence was more important than the mere demonstration of how it happened.

He added that the alleged malpractice committed during the election was perpetrated by a third party.

He said the PDP candidate's victory could not be nullified because it had not been proved that the third party was acting for and on the instruction of Omolase.

Samuel also dismissed the allegation that the state governor had disrupted the election, quoting the evidence of the police investigation officer.

He also held that the allegation of undue influence on the part of the governor was denied by the respondents' witnesses, adding that the onus of proof, therefore, rested on the petitioners, which they failed to prove.

On the alleged hijacking of ballot boxes by soldiers and mobile policemen, Samuel said the petitioners could not mention the name of any of the soldiers or policemen responsible for the alleged action.

He maintained that the evidence of the two junior policemen on the alleged hijack of ballot boxes at two polling units was untrue.

On the alleged falsification of results, the tribunal's chairman said before a result could be declared falsified, there must be two results, one fake and the other classified as genuine.

He said in this circumstance, the two results were not presented by the petitioners.

"Throughout the trial, the petitioners did not invite any polling agent or electoral officer to say why the results were signed or why they allegedly flouted electoral regulations like non-collation of results, among others", he said.

Samuel further added that the allegation of disenfranchisement of lawful voters as put forward by the petitioners was very cogent, but noted that they (petitioners) did call a single voter to prove how, where, when, why and who prevented them from voting.

He, therefore, agreed with the counsel to Omolase, Mr. Dele Omotosho, that the election was "free, fair and done in accordance with the electoral regulations".

Quoting a Supreme Court's ruling, he said even if it was found that party members of a candidate had committed malpractice during the election, the ground was not sufficient to nullify the election of the candidate except if proved that the candidate actually sent them.

Reacting to the judgment, counsel to the AD, Chief Afolabi Ojuawo, commended the tribunal for touching all the allegations levelled by the petitioners, but requested for timely release of the copies of the judgment to proceed on appeal to a higher tribunal.

Falegan condemns expulsion of Olowoporoku from PDP   Back To Top

Daily Independent: Thursday, November 18th, 2004

By David Atalese – Ado Ekiti

Chairman of the Movement for Justice, a group within the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State, Chief Gabriel Ojo Falegan, has accused the party’s national executive committee of treading on dangerous grounds by expelling Senator Bode Olowoporoku from the party last month.

Addressing a news conference in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday, Falegan noted with concern that by expelling Olowoporoku the party wanted to use the state for a bad experiment.

He accused the party of abandoning its constitution by taking the decision, which he described as as irrational, because of the reason best known to the party’s executive.

Falegan described the present situation in the PDP as “a dog being wagged by its tail, instead of a dog to wag its tail”. He called members to learn from the example of former Senator Waku who condemned the action of President Olusegun Obasanjo but all efforts to unseat him failed.

He told reporters that the movement was unhappy with the performance of the state governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, for his failure to implement the terms of the agreement reached at the end of the two peace meetings they held with him.

Falegan stated that the movement employed the services of a consultancy firm to access the popularity of Olowoporoku and that he scored 73 per cent in the Ekiti South-West Senatorial District.

Emulate Awolowo’s ideologies, Fayose advises politicians   Back To Top

The PUNCH, Wednesday, November 17, 2004.

Akin Oyedele, Ado-Ekiti

Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose, on Tuesday advised political leaders to emulate the philosophies and political ideologies of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

The governor made the call while fielding questions from newsmen as part of activities marking his 44th birthday.

Extolling the sterling qualities of the late Premier of Western Region, Fayose said he was working towards being immortalised like Awolowo, who he described as “a political icon and extraordinary statesman.”

Little wonder, he added, the politician’s name had become a household name in the country, with politicians across political divide striving to be identified as an “Awoist.”

In his lifetime, Fayose said the late premier was the quintessence of prudence, accountability and commitment to selfless service to humanity.

These, he said, singled him out among politicians of his time, noting that the legacies he left behind had etched his name in gold among the few elder statesmen that had left indelible footprint on the sand of time.

At 44, Fayose thanked God for his modest achievements in life, saying his election as the governor was an icing on the cake.

Reflecting on his life in the past one year, the governor said, “God has been kind to me by guiding me through the difficulties and vicissitude of life.”

Among his trying moments within the period, he said, was during the tortuous court proceedings in the petition filed against his election by the Alliance for Democracy, which terminated at the Court of Appeal

He singled this out as having taken a heavy toll on his psyche, adding however that he had put the matter behind him and was forging ahead to justify the mandate given to him.

On the wrangling within his extended family circle, which had pitted him against his younger siblings, the governor said it was one of the bitter experiences he was yet to come to terms with.

Although he disclosed that one of them was still singing the discordant tune, he explained that others had since realised the futility and “folly” in their actions and had since apologised.

Fayose listed his achievements in office in the past one year to include the eventual take-off of the dualisation of the Ado-Ekiti main township road, the controversial poultry project and improvement on the social infrastructure among others.

Former govs commend Fayose's administration   Back To Top

The Punch, Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Former military governors and administrators of and from Ekiti State have commended the state Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose, for what they termed the governor's enviable achievements in his 18 months in office.

The former military men who are citizens of Ekiti State, according to a statement by Fayose's Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, gave the commendation during the Ekiti Day celebration last Saturday.

Acording to the statement made available to our correspondent on Monday, Fayose was commended for the level of development witnessed in the state since he came into office on May 29, 2003.

The former military leaders who gave the pass verdict were Air Vice Marshal Ernest Adeleye (Governor of Rivers State); Commodore Olabode George (Governor of old Ondo State); Admiral Oladeinde Joseph (Governor of Ogun State); Navy Commodore, Kayode Olofinmoyin (Administrator of Ogun State); and Navy Captain Atanda Yusuf (Administrator, Ekiti State).

According to the statement, the ex-military men commended Fayose for the construction of an ultra-modern shopping complex in the state capital, Ado-Ekiti, construction of a stadium, the poultry project in the 16 local governments, the construction and rehabilitation of several roads and many other projects that they inspected before giving the commendation.

They said it was not surprising that Fayose was quite popular among the people, noting that this was attested to by the spontaneous display of affection for the governor everywhere they (the military men) visited during the inspection of the projects.

They therefore urged Fayose to treat any negative publicity against himself and his administration as the handiwork of people who were yet to see the good work being done in the state or who were biased for no just cause.

Fayose must not return in 2007 - Ojudu   Back To Top

The Punch, Tuesday, November 16, 2004

olumide iyanda, assistant editor, features

Managing Editor of The NEWS magazine, Babafemi Ojudu has described as "utter rubbish" allegations that the magazine was attacking Governor Ayo Fayose because he (Ojudu) has his eyes on the Ekiti State gubernatorial seat.

Speaking with Saturday Independent during the week, Ojudu described the governor as a failure and disclosed that he would join forced with others to make sure that Fayose did not return to office in 2007. "That man must not return in 2007," he charged

Ojudu was reacting to a newspaper advertorial credited to Chief Bisi Aloba, the former chairman of Ikere Local Government. The advertorial had accused The NEWS of publishing stories about the governor that border on "slander, blackmail and outright distortions."

Particular mention was made of an edition of the magazine with the lead story entitled "Fayose: The looting of Ekiti State." Aloba's statement noted "The NEWS Magazine, perhaps in haste to paint a picture of a corrupt environment, fraudulently designed or printed a fake letterhead, purporting to be that of the office of the Governor."

But speaking in defense of his organization, Ojudu said neither he nor The NEWS had anything personal against the governor. He said that it would only appear as if he is the one championing the course because he is from Ekiti and is privy to a lot of the goings on in the state.

According to him, "some of my friends are in government in Ekiti as civil servants, directors and judges and so on. When they come across some of these documents I am naturally their first port of call."

He promised that the magazine would continue to write about Fayose the same way it would do about ny other corrupt leader. On the allegation that he is eyeing the government house, he said, "I am not interested in being a governor. I have my ideas of how to run the state but I have examined myself and I know I can't lie to people".

Ojudu said he and his organization have been fighting bad government since 1993 and not once did any of them contemplated to run for election. "When I was sent to jail about ten times under president Ibrahim Babangida and General Sani Abacha, was it because I wanted to be president," he queried, "or is it because I also have my eyes on becoming president that we write about Obasanjo," he added.

Asked if he had ever had any personal encounter with governor Fayose, Ojudu said he met him only once shortly after "Fayose won the 2003 election to become governor." "Immediately after the election, a yet-to-be-sworn-in Fayose was said to have traveled out of the country," Ojudu added.

According to the editor, "I got a piece of information that the bill of that trip was picked up by the state government.

"I then called a mutual friend of ours and asked that why did Fayose not wait to be sworn in before he started spending state money," Ojudu said and stated that a meeting was finally arranged between Fayose and Ojudu at the Lagos travel Inn on Toyin Street, Ikeja. "When I told him what I heard, Fayose replied, 'egbon what are you talking, about after all the money they gave me was N2 million,'" Ojudu stated.

Fayose to hold quarterly meetings with ex-governors   Back To Top

The Guardian: Tuesday, November 16, 2004

From Ifedayo Sayo, Ado-Ekiti

EKITI State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, will hold quarterly meetings with former governors of the state to enable them make input into the administration of the state.

Fayose, who disclosed this at the weekend during the yearly "Ekiti-Day" celebration, said he was involving prominent indigenes in the affairs of the state to ensure its unity.

At the ceremony attended by the former administrator of the state, Navy Captain Atadan Yusuff, South-West Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olabode George, retired Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Bishop J.A. Adetiloye, former Administrator of Ogun State, Commodore Kayode Olofinmoyin.

Fayose recounted the achievements of his 17-month-old administration and concluded that the state was making steady progress.

He pleaded with his "detractors" to give peace a chance and co-operate with him in the bid to develop the state, noting that the interest of the state was bigger than any individual interest.

He said his administration had embarked upon road projects for easy movement in the state thereby promoting industrialisation.

Some of the road projects included the N1 billion dualisation of Ado-Ekiti town ship roads, Ikere-Igbara-Odo, Igbara-Odo-Ikogosi, Erijiyan-Ikogosi-Ipole-Ilaro; Ado-Ekiti-Afao-Iluomoba and Afao-Are-Igbemo-Oworoko.

Expected at the quarterly meetings with the governor are the state's first military administrator, Col. Mohammed Bawa, his successor, Yussuff and the immediate past Governor, Otunba Niyi Adebayo.

Fayose enjoined the people of the state to see themselves as one, adding that they should strive to make the state a model.

The governor noted that it was only in an atmosphere of peace that the state could develop. He called on the people to eschew bitterness and rancour in their dealings with one another.

Also speaking, Yussuff said he was happy that the state was making steady progress, especially with the dualisation of Ado-Ekiti township roads was long overdue. He urged the people to support the state government in all its activities.

He pleaded with those whose property were lost in the course of the exercise to see it as a sacrifice for the good of the state.

Chief George said he was happy that the PDP-controlled state had been able to make a difference in the past one year and called on the people to give the governor the necessary support to succeed.

He called on indigenes of the state who use their influence in the media to attack governor Fayose to desist from such acts, pointing out that unnecessary distractions could affect the progress of the state.

Taps run dry as NLC strike bites harder in Ekiti   Back To Top

The Punch, Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Akin Oyedele, Ado-Ekiti

He reaffirmed the resolve of ASUU to collaborate with the organised labour in order to “ensure that the strike record a major success and bring the FG to its knees.”

On the local strike, which entered the third day in the state, Chairman, JNC, Mr. Kayode Ogundele, said there was no going back in the event that the nationwide strike failed to hold.

Ogundele insisted that the government opted for the strike instead of concluding the negotiation it initiated with the workers’ representatives, having got to the stage of endorsing the agreement.

The impact of the local strike spearhead by the Joint Negotiation Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress in Ekiti State since last Thursday was biting harder as the taps continued to run dry as at Monday.

A visit to the state secretariat and other offices indicated that the workers were still observing the strike called to press home their demand for the payment of 2003 leave bonus, car and housing loans among other demands.

Station Head, FedEx, Ado-Ekiti, Mr. Adeola Olojede, in an interview with our correspondent expressed mixed feelings about the potency of the strike in achieving the desired result.

Meanwhile, as the nationwide strike called by the Nigeria Labour Congress to protest the hike in prices of petroleum products was postponed on Monday, commercial activities peaked on Monday in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State capital with residents making last minute shopping.

Similarly, a visit to the commercial banks in the town revealed an unusual presence of anxious customers wishing to make last minute withdrawal.

At the Standard Trust Bank, customers jampacked the banking hall, especially students wishing to collect cash sent to them through money transfer.

So was the case at the Union Bank and the United Bank of Africa, where customers outnumbered the seat provided for those waiting to be attended to.

The Oja Oba Market witnessed an increased tempo in activities of shoppers, a good number of who were in the market to buy foodstuff and other essential needs.

He said NLC ought to have consulted with “eminent” Nigerians to intervene and persuade President Olusegun Obasanjo to revert to the old prices instead of having resource to strike.

Olojede said, “The economy will be at the receiving end in the event that the strike hold as planned. The crippling effect would be too much for the country to bear. I therefore appeal to NLC to shelve the action and engage in further dialogue with the Federal Government.”

Ekiti crisis: Fayose begs for forgiveness   Back To Top

Daily Independent Online: Monday, November 15, 2004

By Paul Mumeh, Senior Correspondent, Abuja

Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State at the weekend in Abuja took stock of the political crisis bedevilling his administration since he assumed office in 2003 and pleaded with opponents to sheathe their swords and join him to develop the state.

Addressing a cross session of the indigenes of Ekiti State resident in Abuja, on his travails, Fayose said, "I apologise and ask for forgiveness if I stepped on toes in the course of my assignment.

"I am sorry. Forgive me. To err is human and to forgive is divine. I have also forgiven all those who have offended me so that we could all join hands to move the state forward.

"We should end this media war, because no progress can be made in a chaotic environment."

Apparently referring to the political impasse between him and Senator Bode Olowoporoku on one hand, and his predecessor, Niyi Adebayo, on the other, Fayose promised not to attack any of his foes but to face the task of developing Ekiti.

The Governor however counselled those nursing governorship ambitions in 2007 to come out to pursue their interests maturely rather than mounting a campaign of calumny against him and his administration in the media.

He dismissed as false rumours making the rounds that he was plunging the state into penury and slavery by borrowing huge sums of money from the banks.

“This administration has not committed the state into any loan or debt and we are not owing any contractor. We have enough cash backing for all the ongoing projects and none will be abandoned," he said.

The governor noted that the state is not a poor one as many believed, adding that the internally generated revenue has increased from N31million per month to over N100 million since he came on board, assuring that efforts will be geared towards improved infrastructure especially on roads in 2005.

"All that is needed is to tap the abundant resources in the areas of agriculture and used them wisely," he added.

Responding on behalf of Ekiti indigenes in Abuja, the Senate Deputy Chief Whip, Senator Clement Awoyelu, called for co-oporation of all to develop the state.

Monarchs urge govt to wade into Ayede-Ekiti crisis   Back To Top

The Guardian: Monday, November 15, 2004

From Ifedayo Sayo, Ado-Ekiti

FOLLOWING the unsuccessful bid by some youths to evict the monarch of Ayede Ekiti, Oba Joseph Orisagbemi, from his palace last week, some traditional rulers have called on the state government to help restore order to the ancient town.

The traditional rulers including Onisan of Isan, Oba S.O Ajiboye; Oloye of Oye, Oba Oluwole Ademolaju; Onitaji of Itaji-Ekiti, Oba I.A. Babalola; Iwatapa of Itapa-Ekiti, Oba Adeyeye Ali and Apeju of Ilupeju, Oba Olaleye Oayelu, at the weekend, decried the attack on their colleague, the Atta of Ayede-Ekiti over who should be the rightful occupant of the throne of Atta.

Oba Orisagbemi in the past one year has been facing stiff opposition from some elite in the town who are contesting his appointment as the monarch of Ayede-Ekiti.

The tussle over the throne, however, took another dimension when his half-brother, Prince Lagunju Oba, challenged his appointment in the law court.

Lagunju, however, won the case at both the Ado-Ekiti High Court and the Court of Appeal in Ilorin, where the appointment of Oba Orisagbemi was nullified.

Oba Orisagbemi appealed to the Supreme Court, claiming that the courts did not say he has no right to the stool of Atta of Ayede-Ekiti.

While the Supreme Court was yet to sit on the appeal, some youths in the town tried to forcefully eject Oba Orisagbemi from the palace, which resulted in its destruction.

Some of the attackers were, however, arrested by the police who later released them after the intervention of some influential individuals in the state.

Rising from their meeting at the weekend, traditional rulers from Oye Local Council regretted the way and manner the suspects were being released from police custody shortly after their arrest.

According to the traditional rulers, the action of the police "has not given room for a change of heart among the youths".

The rulers added that the rampaging youths also vandalised the personal car of the Onisan of Isan-Ekiti, thus sending ominous signals to other obas in the council area.

The obas called on the state government to take decisive actions that will ensure a lasting peace in Ayede-Ekiti, saying the course of justice should not be perverted in any form as the Atta of Ayede still has the grace to defend his position at the Supreme Court.

World Bank donates N20m ambulances to Ekiti   Back To Top

The PUNCH, Thursday, November 11, 2004.

Akin Oyedele, and Yinka Oladoyinbo

Seven local government areas in Ekiti State have benefited from the World Bank Assisted Health Systems Development Project, with the donation of ambulances estimated at N20 million.

This was in furtherance of the partnership agreement between the state government and the bank towards the improvement of the health care delivery system in the state.

The bank had earmarked N500 million for the health sector from which nine councils had benefited from the ambulance project during the first phase of the project about three years ago.

Signing the Memorandum of Understanding with chairmen of the seven councils, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sola Babalola, commended the bank for his relentless efforts aimed at improving the health status of the population.

At the ceremony, Babalola restated the renewed commitment of the state government at taking health care to the doorsteps of rural dwellers.

He called for the reinvigoration of the primary healthcare sector to enhance the life expectancy of an average rural dweller in the face of the biting economic realities.

Apart from the ambulance scheme, he said the state government recently purchased drugs worth N20 million for the drug revolving fund project, targeted at the local communities.

The commissioner appealed to the chairmen of the benefiting councils to make judicious use of the ambulances, which he said would be under the supervision of the PHC coordinators for better management.

While the state government and the Bretton Wood institution donated the ambulances, the councils would be expected to take charge of their maintenance as well as the insurance scheme.

In a related development, the Ondo State Government has announced the introduction of health fund designed to enhance health care delivery in the state.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Oluremi Akinbobola, stated this on Wednesday at the opening of a two-day workshop on the Implementation of the State Strategic Health Plan.

According to him, the state Health Fund involves the contribution of N100 monthly by individual members who wish to benefit from the service of the fund.

He explained that the Health Fund was one of the strategies put in place to reduce financial barriers to health care delivery to the people.

Akinbobola stated that the programme was one of the eight components of the proposed reform in the state health sector.

Ekiti averts Police, Prisons clash over demolition   Back To Top

The Guardian: Wednesday, November 10, 2004

From Ifedayo Sayo, Ado-Ekiti

THE prompt intervention of Governor Ayodele Fayose's Special Adviser on Lands and Housing, Dr. Bode Ajewole, prevented a bloody clash between men of the Prisons Service and some policemen in the demolition team of Ekiti State government yesterday.

The men of the Federal Prisons Service were protesting the plan by the state government to demolish some illegal structures around the Ado-Ekiti Federal Prison.

It was gathered that on arrival at the promises of the Federal Prison located along the road to the state Government House, the prison warders challenged the demolition team and stopped them from carrying out their assignment on the land.

They started throwing stones at the demolition team to prevent them from carrying out the exercise, prompting a retaliation by some officials of the state government on the team.

But after several minutes of argument and the intervention of Ajewole, the warders grudgingly allowed the illegal buildings and make-shift shops to be pulled down.

Ajewole explained that it was not befitting that make-shift shops sprang up around the State House, saying the government in its bid to make Ado-Ekiti clean would not allow illegal structures on its major roads.

He said it was disappointing that the warders could challenge his team when they had earlier been notified of the plans by the government to rid the state capital of illegal structures.

He maintained that no serious government would allow structures to spring up without complying with the laid down rules and regulations, adding that the state government was more determined to make Ado-Ekiti a beautiful town that could be called a state capital.

He said hundreds of illegal structures have been pencilled for demolition in the town, maintaining that their owners have been duly notified of the plans by the state government to pull them down.

He asked owners of illegal shops to move into the Erekesan Market where available shops would be rented out to them, saying they should not think that the government was joking with its decision to demolish illegal structures in the state capital.

Ajewole wondered why many of the illegal shops had not been vacated before now, given the long notices of about nine months issued to their owners, pointing out that nobody would be treated as a sacred cow in the bid to make the town a befitting state capital.

Warders, task force, disagree over demolition of illegal structures   Back To Top

The Punch, Wednesday November 10, 2004

Akin Oyedele, Ado-Ekiti

As the demolition of illegal structures begins on Tuesday in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, warders at the Federal Prisons Service, Ado Ekiti made a futile attempt to stop the demolition squad from pulling down blocks of shops built around the prison fence.

Our correspondent who visited the Federal Prison Service at Okesa, gathered that the warders had a heated argument with the Special Task Force, which insisted that the structures must be pulled down.

When this failed, the warders were said to have retreated to a safe distance where they hurled stones at the task force members before the situation was brought under control after the intervention of the Special Adviser on Lands and Housing to the governor, Mr. Bamidele Ajewole.

Apart from the shops and kiosks built around the place, a newly-constructed mosque, opposite the complex was also reduced to a pile of rubbles.

Regular and riot policemen attached to the task force had earlier overcome the initial resistance of the warders who were spoiling for a fight, leading to the eventual demolition of the kiosks and other structures classified as illegal around the area.

The warders were said to have claimed that the land on which the kiosks and shops were built belonged to them and that they had existed there for many years.

Fielding questions from newsmen at the scene of the incident the special adviser described the action of the warders as unbecoming.

He said the shop owners were given a year notice to relocate from the place, with a constant reminder through radio jingles.

Reminded that some people would have been thrown into the unemployment market by the action, he insisted “It would be wrong to whip up unnecessary sentiments over an exercise on which the affected people had been notified several months back.”

Ajewole maintained that the structures were illegal in the first place as they contravened rural and urban planning laws, adding that similar structures in other areas of the town that were already marked for demolition would also be pulled down.

He added, “Anyway we have vacant stalls at Erekesan and Bisi Markets where we advised these people to move to. If the stalls in these markets become fully occupied, then we will relocate the remaining people to other areas.”

He declared that the state government was planning to beautify the state capital and rid it of structures that were built without approval, especially kiosks and shanties, stressing that the exercise would continue as scheduled.

Court rejects Ekiti's objection to suit by ex-officials   Back To Top

The Guardian:Wednesday, November 10, 2004

From Ifedayo Sayo, Ado-Ekiti

THE Court of Appeal sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State, has rejected a request by Ekiti government to stop the case instituted against it by former members of the state Civil Service Commission.

The court also castigated the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Chief Duro Ajayi, for his "poor outing" before it.

Ruling in an appeal filed by the state government against a ruling of an Ado-Ekiti High Court over the sack of former members of the state Civil Service Commission, Justice Aboyi John Ikongbeh said Ajayi had not shown any regard for the cause of justice.

He added that the appeal was "frivolous and should not have come out from any lawyer's office, not to mention coming from the office of the chief law officer of the state".

Former members of the state Civil Service Commission including the Chairman, Chief Ibidapo Awojolu, Chief Gabriel Babalola, Mr. Jonathan Adeyemi Alade, Mr. Samuel Oluwole Ojo and Prof. Akinola Fatile, had sued the appellants, seeking declaratory and injunction orders against them.

In a notice of preliminary objection, the attorney-general claimed that:

the suit was incompetent since the writ was not filed without obtaining the leave of court which is a condition precedent before such a step could be taken;

that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit as there was no proper service of the writ of summons; and

as there was no certificate of service of the writ of summons endorsed by the bailiff. But the court over-ruling the objection, noted that the service of the court process was the statutory responsibility of the sheriff and bailiffs and other court officials over whose activities the plaintiff had no control. It added that it would run counter to good reasoning and justice to penalise them.

Dissatisfied with the ruling, the defendants went to the Court of Appeal, Ilorin and formulated four grounds of appeal, which were argued by the state attorney-general and commissioner for justice.

Upholding the ruling of the lower court, the Court of Appeal said the case should have been allowed to go to trial on merit, thereby saving time and resources.

The court said: "It is calculated to thwart the plaintiffs in the pursuit of what they perceived to be their legal rights. The preliminary objection and the ensuing appeal are clearly designed to shut the plaintiff out, at least to delay them as long as possible in their quest.

"Such objectionable tactics should never be associated with the office of the attorney-general who is the chief priest in the temple of justice. It detracts from the reasons for designating his ministry, the Ministry of Justice.

"The learned attorney-general ought to know that the mere showing of the occurrence of non-fundamental irregularity in procedural steps, without at the same time showing the miscarriage of justice, does not move the court to nullify proceeding".

Justice Ikongbeh, whose ruling was supported by Justices Muhammad Muntaka Coomasie and David Adedoyin Adeniji, also ordered the appellants to pay costs to the tune of N10,000 to the respondents

Ekiti elders petition govt over FERMA funds   Back To Top

The Guardian: Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Ekiti Council of Elders has called in the Federal Government to investigate the activities of the Federal Emergency Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and how the money being pumped into the agency is being spent in the state.

A communiquZ issued at weekend at the end of its meting in Ado Ekiti noted that the agency was virtually non-existing in the state, saying "the activities of this agency are so much shrewd in secrecy that nobody seems to know what is going on thereby making any monitoring difficult." The council therefore called on the minister of Works, Chief Adeseye Ogunlewe to look into the activities of the agency in the state and find out what it has done with the over N80 million it has collected in the last eight months.

On the Ado Ekiti-Otun-Omuaran road, the council in the statement signed by its protem secretary Chief Idowu Odeyemi, appealed to President Olusegun Obasanjo to ensure that only competent contractor is given the road and not a local inexperienced construction company as being widely rumoured.

The council noted that the road is very dear to the people of the state and should therefore be awarded to an experienced reputable road construction company.

On the alleged looting of the stage purse through the state Integrated Poultry project, the council said it was embarrassing that the state governor Mr. Ayodele Fayose has not confirmed his alleged involvement in the monumental fraud thereby fuelling speculations that the allegation was true.

A news magazine had alleged that the state treasury was looted through the N1.4 billion integrated poultry project, saying the state government paid the sum of N1.4 billion to a company executing the project without following due process and with virtually nothing on the ground to show for it.

But the state deputy governor, Mr. Abiodun Aluko has denied the allegation of looting the state treasury through the poultry project, maintaining that due process was followed in the execution of the project.

He attributed the allegation to the handiwork of the enemies of the state government who were jealous of the achievements recorded by the state government in the past one-year.

However, the state Council of Elders has called on the state House of Assembly to investigate the allegation, saying the criminal silence of the state legislators is of great concern to indigenes of the state.

On the bid to recall Senator Bode Olowoporoku, the council appealed for cautioning in the handling of the sensitive process, which would be long tedious and bitter.

"While the council does not intend to hold brief for Senator Bode Olowoporoku, it nevertheless believes that the action is too extreme and certainly capable of heating the polity particularly when it is remembered that Dr. Olowoporoku played a very prominent and positive role in the creation of the state.

Avert strike, reduce fuel price, ruler tells Govt   Back To Top

The Guardian:Wednesday, November 10, 2004

THE traditional ruler of Ekiti Mgboko Umuanumu Community Obongwa Abia State, His Royal Highness Ene Ngozi Ibekwe has urged the Federal Government to avert the impending strike called by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) by reducing the pump price of petroleum products.

Eze Ibekwe said doing so would demonstrate that the government cares about the welfare of the citizens, is ready to listen to their yearnings and reduce the hardship of the masses.

Addressing a press conference in his office at No 18, Afariogun Street, Ikeja, Lagos on Monday, the traditional ruler said the downward review of the fuel price as demanded by the NLC will show that the government is sincere in its pronouncements of having the welfare of the people at heart.

"The Obasanjo-led government must make the masses happy this Christmas period by agreeing with the NLC to bring the fuel price down. The year remains barely 10 weeks and it will be very bad for government to precipitate the strike by not hearkening to the voice of the people." The traditional ruler said the Federal Government should stop embarking on wasteful projects such as the Senate House Extension, expected to gulp N20 billion.

"The project for now is unnecessary and wasteful. We need the money to repair the refineries or subsidize the fuel price as obtains in other oil producing countries of the world," he said.

Noting that without the people, there cannot be any nation called Nigeria, Ibekwe said: "No one person is bigger than the nation. The President must listen to the people. All Christians and Moslems should pray for the nation. All traditional rulers in the country should join their voices and plead with the Federal Government to bring down the price of fuel, which as the NLC insists, will reduce the present hardship among ordinary Nigerians." He, however, called on the NLC to consider favourably whatever concessions the Federal Government will make with regards to the downward review of fuel prices in order to avert the strike.

Ekiti disburses N40m loan to farmers   Back To Top

The Guardian: Tuesday, November 09, 2004

From Bethrand Nwankwo, Abuja

A TOTAL of 1,600 farmers from Ekiti State have so far benefited from a loan scheme under the rural integrated poultry farming programme initiated by Governor Ayo Fayose.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development in the state, Mr. Boboye Olanipekun, disclosed this in an interview with reporters in Abuja.

The commissioner, who accompanied the Deputy Governor of the state, Mr. Abiodun Aluko, to a function in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), stated that under the scheme, N40 million had been disbursed to the farmers through their various local councils at little or no interest, with each farmer receiving up to N20,000.00.

He said: "The loan is N40 million to farmers and we are making sure that it goes round all the local councils so that no none of them is left behind because Ekiti is a belt where the cultivation of various crops is possible".

According to Olanipekun, when completed, the poultry-farming scheme will create youth empowerment in the state.

He added that 40 per cent of the people were into agriculture and that the state government was doing everything possible to encourage the farmers and even the youth to go back to land.

The commissioner stated that a lot had been done by the state government especially in the area of cultivation of arable crops, such as maize, cassava, cow-peas, among others. "We are also encouraging key crops production such as cocoa, rubber, cashew, among others.

"We are also making sure that we have an integrated poultry scheme that will employ so many people. That is both forward and backward integration of it", he said.

He stated that after the normal poultry scheme, farmers would be encouraged to plant maize, which he said, was the backward integrated aspect of the poultry programme.

Under the forward poultry scheme, a lot of marketing would be done in the production of poultry business.

Olanipekun stated that about 14,000 people would be involved in agriculture to generate maize needed for the poultry production which would run into more than 18,000 metric tons in a year and another 14,000 metric tons of soya-beans.

On mechanisation, Olanipekun noted that the state government had ordered for additional 22 tractors, bringing the number to 42 tractors being used in the state to help the farmers.

He said that more tractors were ordered to discourage the use of hoes and cutlasses in farming and encourage the youth to venture into agriculture.

The alternative to dialogue is rebellion   Back To Top

The Guardian: Monday, November 8, 2004

Former National Conscience Party governorship candidate in Ekiti State, Mr. Femi Falana, says civil disobedience is an alternative

THE alternative to strike is dialogue. But the NLC cannot talk to itself. The other alternative is armed rebellion, Like Dokubo Asari and others are doing. What is becoming increasingly clear is that as long as oil flows in Nigeria, government has no regard for anything.

If the government wants to douse the tension already generated by the notice of strike, it can move quickly by either reversing the hike or enter into dialogue with labour. And there is no justification for the arrogance of the government.

Ghana, has no oil, in fact it depends on Nigeria for her oil needs. Their president, John Kuffour made the point clear in July this year that he would not increase the prices of petroleum products. And that was in response to the demand of the liberal economists in Ghana that the Kuffour regime should hike the prices of petroleum products because of the high prices in international market. The man said 'no, that it would wipe away all the gains made in the last four years.'

Our own president has just given $40m loan to Ghana so what is the excuse of the government in the circumstances? contrarily, government is provoking labour and the masses by increasing fuel prices five times in five years, by abolishing the PTF set up by the late Sani Abacha.

All the time the government says, the gains are supposed to be made from the increases are going to be ploughed in improving social services in the country. But the services are getting poorer, while people are paying more and more. There is increasing graduate unemployment youth restiveness, and increasing violence. Yet our country is the seventh largest producer of oil in the world.

On the deadlock

There is no room for arrogance on the part of a supposedly elected government. For some time the Obasanjo regime has been talking of reforms, you cannot engage in reforms to the extent that the people are dead. How will they enjoy the benefits of the reforms?

Obasanjo was once in the forefront of the campaign for ameliorating the social effects of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP). He in fact coined the phrase 'SAP with a human face.' This government has become the surrogate of imperialism.

How to get out of the structure; is strike the only way out?

You cannot talk to yourself. The government is intransigent. We are out going back to deregulation, because they are not deregulating.

How long will strike remain the instrument of resistance?

It will remain as long as the government is not ready and willing to engage in meaningful and productive dialogue.

Look at the govt palliative committee. Even the name of the committee suggested that government has made up its mind on the price increases, so there is no going back. Labour was persuaded to go there, it went, initially government said, 'discuss everything including the prices of petroleum products.' But when government lost the argument there, the president wrote a letter to the committee, asking it 'who asked you to discuss prices of petroleum products.'

As soon as labour pulled out and served a strike notice, the president now told the committee, please discuss price increases. Are they dealing with children?

We are toying with the life of a nation. Because of the strike and the vacillations of government, investors are staying away. This is a huge price.

Effectiveness of strike as a weapon

Strike and civil disobedience in many instances in the past in this country had been effective. Strike gave us democracy. If we had not embarked on strike, or civil obedience and allowed the military establishment to continue to rule the country, dictatorship would still be on the agenda of Nigeria by now.

Left to Abacha, Obasanjo, Yar'Adua and others would have been killed after their phantom coup trial. It was the human rights community that got the information that the trials had been concluded. We did not want what happened to Vasta and co to happen again so we cried out. The whole world joined and the story is different today.

Fayose's Home Trouble   Back To Top

The Guardian: Sunday, November 7, 2004

By Reuben Abati

It is easy to appreciate why publications notably The Nigerian Tribune and The News have devoted much attention to the feud within the Fayose-Oluwayose family of Ekiti involving the Governor and his siblings. It is a man bites dog kind of story, quite sensational in its unusualness, grossly entertaining, human in all its essential dimensions and definitely of public interest. It is the kind of story that sells the paper.

It has also brought in advertisement income, as the gladiators moved from the news pages to the advert section. Of all the many troubles, in form of objections by the opposition and criticisms by the public that Governor Ayo Fayose has encountered since he showed up in Ekiti Government House, nothing is as serious as the home trouble in which he has now found himself. Home trouble can be exasperating. Fayose is like a man on the hill-top running a race. Going to the top is arduous; going back is even more trying.

Two of his siblings, from the same mother and father with him, are threatening to deal with him, expose him, fight him to the finish, pull down his government, embarrass him and open a can of worms. Otunba Emmanuel Fayose, younger brother to the Governor was the first to grant an interview, alleging that his brother is threatening to kill him, because he has been critical of his personal style as Governor of Ekiti state. Emmanuel Fayose would later apologise in a paid advertisement, blaming the "devil", who appears to be making use of many Nigerians these days, for the rift between him and his brother. But Emmanuel had hardly dropped the baton when another sibling, Mrs Bimpe Sorinolu, better known as Queen and director of a public-spirited NGO, BISOCHIN which looks after disadvantaged persons picked it up.

She granted an interview to The News: "My Brother is wild and cruel" (November 8). It is the most shocking, irresponsible, self-destructive and contradictory interview that I have read in a long while. Mrs Sorinolu begins by saying that she does not want to use the interview to disgrace the Fayose family, but that is precisely what she has succeeded in doing. Completely unrestrained, she chooses to wash all dirty linens in public. Nobody is spared: her father, elder sister, brother, uncles and aunties, community elders, the Governor's associates, his wife, her own husband and in-laws, are paraded before the public in unflattering light. The News must be ready to entertain a number of libel suits, on account of Mrs Sorinolu's defamatory outbursts. She is obviously a wounded woman, proving the maxim that "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned".

She is on a revenge mission without limits; according to her, her Governor-brother has destroyed her marriage of 12 years by "snatching" her husband away from her, turning him into one of his propagandists. Her case is not helped either by the fact that immediately after her interview, there is an advertorial by her husband: "My apologies to Governor Fayose" by Dapo Sorinolu. It is actually a disclaimer, making Bimpe Sorinolu appear as an irresponsible wife. This aggrieved woman faces the risk of being used by the media and her brother's opponents. She needs better advice. She and her other aggrieved brother are unwittingly endangering themselves.

In these days of politics of hate without borders, what if a Fayose enemy decides to seize the initiative and eliminate one of them, knowing that a simple-minded public would simply assume that it is the Governor or any of his supporters who has ordered the deletion of his own sibling. Again, if she was looking for sympathy and hoping that more people would hate the Governor after reading her interview, I think she achieved the opposite effect. She has also done some damage to her own persona. Better known for her NGO work, she has now drawn attention away from that to send a fresh and unedifying message to the public about her background, marriage, personal circumstances, and sense of values. Whatever she seeks to gain has been lost in the process. She has my sympathies, with the hope that she would learn in due course that media attention is a double-edged sword.

However, Mrs Sorinolu articulates Governor Fayose's home trouble, much better than Emmanuel Fayose did. She says she and Emmanuel worked hard to make Fayose Governor; they supported him, mobilised people for him, took him round media houses, stood by him, encouraged him, and when their brother became Governor, they were truly happy that God had chosen to compensate their long-suffering mother, one of six wives, by making one of her children Governor. Mrs Sorinolu did not hide the fact that all Fayose siblings expected that as soon as their brother became Governor, he would carry all of them along, and they would all govern Ekiti together as a "family affair".

But as soon as Ayo Fayose became Governor, he, according to his sister, "turned wild and cruel". And so she tells us: "my brother does not merit that position, but because God wanted to pay our mother back for what she has suffered, he became Governor...This is a brother that will not listen to his family, not even his mother. If I go to his office to discuss personal issues, he will just shout: "Say what you want to say. Say it now, I 'm in a hurry." So everything you want to tell him must be said in the public. He is the only Governor that has no privacy. All his aides enter his bedroom. At the end of the day, the secrets of the family are all over the place. The sycophants he surrounds himself with tell him all sorts of things." The Governor and an elder sister are further accused of envy, jealousy and blackmail.

On the sister, Sorinolu says: "My sister was in England ahead of us with her children and my son was with her. I went to pick my son from her. I went in a chauffeur-driven limousine. Obviously, she was green with envy. She said na wa o. She was wondering that with all these frustrations, how did I do it?". And on Governor Fayose: "At a point, my brother said I competing (sic) with his wife, that his wife's NGO is not as successful as mine, that I'm parading myself as the first lady of Ekiti state. Petty jealousy! When I got a honourary doctorate from Enugu, they said I'm competing with my brother who had just been conferred with such title. The last straw that broke the camel's back was when I was conferred with a title at Araromi-Ekiti. My brother said I had come to launch myself politically (may be I have ambition). But if the Governor is doing very well, he will not fear but unfortunately, he's running when no one pursues him. My brother has not been fair on us and he knows, that is why we have all these crises." Destructive sibling rivalry is the stuff of legends: Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, the children of Eli, and now Fayose and his siblings. The whole incident is a bad advertisement for polygamy and family values. Pa Fayose has six wives and 27 children. He is having problems controlling one branch of the family; he has granted interviews criticizing his own children and threatened to disown them. This family saga could develop more interesting sub-plots if the children of the other five women decide to get into the fray and demand that one branch of the family should not destroy the family name just because one of them is Governor. If there are elders in the Fayose family, there is work for them to do. They should step in to stop "the devil" from taking control of their family. They are not the first family to produce a Governor, but they are the first to turn "ogun idile" into a matter of state politics.

Mrs Sorinolu makes a number of moral statements that are nevertheless admissible. She is right when she says that her brother should not use his position to oppress members of his own family, and that he should try and carry them along. She talks about being used and dumped: well, it is not good to use people and dump them. She says her brother tells a lot of lies. I also think that a Governor should not tell lies under whatever circumstances. She is also asking that other people should leave her family alone and allow them to sort out their problems. I am sorry that is no longer possible.

The Fayose family has walked naked into the market; their business has become our business because they have made it so. Governor Fayose has a duty to make peace with his family. The "home trouble" that he is engaged in is distracting the attention of the government and the people. The people of Ekiti want to hear about government policies and attempts to transform their lives. Their purpose is not in any way served by useless stories about how the Governor is not taking good care of his mother, or how his brother-in-law batters his wife. The people of Ekiti must speak up and insist that the Fayose family should stop disturbing other families. The only man with a constitutional mandate to rule is Ayo Fayose, not the entire family.

And this is Ayo Fayose's saving grace. Whatever may be his shortcomings, he has sent out the strong message that he is not willing to turn over Ekiti state either to his mother or his ambitious siblings. He is in trouble because he seems to be doing something unusual in Nigerian politics. The only other man, I know who behaves in a similar manner is President Olusegun Obasanjo. Members of his family, friends and associates know that he will not allow them to take undue advantage of his position as President of Nigeria. He is a strict disciplinarian who draws the line between public service and private life. If this is the good example that Fayose is following, he deserves public support. He should not oppress his siblings because he is Governor, but they must be made to realize the difference between Fayose who is their brother, and Fayose, the Governor. And they must respect that difference.

Part of the problem with governance in Nigeria is that many of our public officials do not draw the line between their personal lives and public mandate. In attempt to please family members, many Governors have gone overboard. In one state, the Governor's mother is as powerful as the Governor. In another state, the cabinet and support team is composed of relations, in-laws, girlfriends, best men and ladies, and sycophants. One Governor appointed his wife a Special Adviser, elsewhere, the Governor's brother is Chief of Staff, and in many states, the Governor's siblings are mini-Governors, contractors, and facilitators at public expense. They use sirens, and appoint their own personal assistants. Local council chairmen also behave in a similar fashion. This "privatization" of government is a major threat to democracy. However, if Fayose's goal is to run a "spotless" government in Ekiti state, he must do so in every material sense. He must not be seen to be gathering worms by his own family while he sermonises to the public. Otherwise, they may well open that can of worms.

Mr. Femi Falana, accuses the Ekiti State governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose, of misruling the state   Back To Top

ThisDay: Saturday, November 6, 2004

In an interview with THISDAY last week, human rights activist and politician, Mr. Femi Falana, accused the Ekiti State governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose, of misruling the state. In this e-mail interview with Oke Epia, Chief (Mrs) Bunmi Olujimi, a PDP member of the House of Reps from Ekiti State, defends the Fayose government and accuses Falana of being a bad loser.

Mr Femi Falana recently alleged that there is a killer squad in Ekiti State. Could this be true? It is shameful that Africans and indeed Nigerian politicians are bad losers, who refuse to to accept their fate in the face of losing an election to persons chosen by God. Falana is a politician who can be described as a man that is full of himself. Falana is now a broke and a "legal politician", neither here nor there and needs to make loud noise for him to be relevant. Hence, his interview in which he made very uncomplimentary and rude remarks about Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State. The issue of an official killer squad is just a figment of the imagination of impossible critics of the government of Ekiti state like Mr Femi Falana.

After his bid to become the governor of Ekiti failed woefully, he has not been able to veil his bitterness which has beclouded His caustic criticism. He has not been able to see anything good in the giant leaps of development embarked on by the governor.

Mr Falana has found it convenient to throw the ethics of his profession to the winds whereby a man is presumed innocent until proved guilty.

He referred specifically to the Fasuba case...

As far as Mr Fasuba's Case is concerned, can Falana name a man or woman that has been killed or maimed in any of the last three elections... for which his party and himself lost woefully? Can he give us data to that effect? I only see Falana's allegations smirk of deep-seated anger and frustration. It is not enough to slaughter truth on the altar of bitterness.

There is no killer squad in Ekiti and there will never be. I am not prepared to join issues with Mr Falana on the Fasuba issue. Femi is not a PDP Stalwart and I will rather see Falana as a busy body if he claims to be more informed than the PDP on the meeting between the President and the Governor. Without gain saying I can say categorically that Mr Fasuba was at the South senatorial district meeting and we all had a good outing.

By the way, who is the National Chairman of NCP? Who is the Ekiti state chairman? Even the NCP candidate who lost to me in the last bye election in Ekiti South 2 constituency has since decamped to PDP. Mr Falana is standing alone. He has no party, no followers.

The governor himself has been in the news lately following some fued with his siblings. Isn't this a negative development?

I must commend Governor Fayose for his very firm stand against any form of blackmail in the feud with his siblings. This simply confirms his uprightness in the handling of the finances of Ekiti State even when it affects his own immediate family.

He never compromises. Femi and his likes should borrow a leaf from his accountability profile.

I owe nobody apologies for my commitment to Ekiti and Governor Ayo Fayose and same goes for all Ekiti members of the PDP at the National Assembly. The education of a man is the totality of his being, his disposition, his ability to accept leadership positions and handle it appropriately. Today, it has pleased God to make Governor Fayose the leader and father of all Ekiti people which includes Mr Falana it is the will of God and we can only learn to accept what we cannot change. Mr Falana should join honourable men of the legal profession such as Messers Olanipekun and Adeosun formerly of the MBA who offer advice to this Government and are solidly behind it.

What's your message to the Ekiti people?

My message is to thank all well meaning Ekiti people who have stood by the government of Governor Ayo Fayose in the last seventeen months and to promise that the government will not relent in its efforts to bring the dividends of democracy to the people of Ekiti .

The government will not dissappoint the people of Ekiti and to Mr Falana there will be a time to prove his political mettle again soon.

Fayose give us the dividend of democracy in Ijelu-Ekiti   Back To Top

Saturday Punch, November 6, 2004

I want to draw the attention of Governor Fayose of Ekiti State to the poor condition of residents of Ijelu-Ekiti. Ijelu is located in Oye Local Government Area of the state, and we are the largest producers of yam in the L.G.A.

We have been neglected by successive governments. In fact, we lack all social amenities, such as pipe-borne water, health centre, electricity and good road. Our electrification project has been awarded since 1991 but up till now, it has not been completed.

The governor has been saying that he would make life meaningful for the people of the state, so we are looking forward to his administration to bring development to our community. I strongly believe that we are the only community left behind in our local government.

We are using this medium to appeal to the governor to please remember us in the 2005 budget, and to tell him that the people of Ijelu-Ekiti supported his government because we believe that he is a man of his word.

Adeayo E. Lanre,19, Otunjelu Street,Ijelu-Ekiti.

Ayede Ekiti chieftaincy crisis deepens as youths loot Oba's palace   Back To Top

Vanguard: Friday, November 05, 2004

By Gbenga Ariyibi

ADO-EKITI—THE chieftaincy crisis rocking the ancient town of Ayede Ekiti yesterday took a new dimension, as some youths invaded the palace of the traditional ruler, the Attah, Oba Adeleye Orisagbemi and looted and damaged property worth millions of naira.

The youths who were said to have been acting on the rumour making the rounds that the Appeal Court, sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State had in its judgement delivered a couple of months ago compelled Oba Orisagbemi to vacate palace.

Briefing newsmen in Ayede Ekiti yesterday, Oba Orisagbemi who was installed in 1992 said he was away to Ado-Ekiti when he received a distress phone call from one of his sons, Lanre that some youths had invaded the palace.

The monarch said before he returned to his domain the youths had caused a lot of damage there, vandalizing the palace, even as they completely damaged a Merzedez Benz saloon car parked in the garage inside the palace, while his grand mother’s residence, which he uses as a private residence was torched, likewise, some chiefs personal houses were not left out.

He added that the youths, who gained entrance through the back door to the palace forced open the automatic save in his inner chamber’s and carted away the sum of N250,000,00 and certain vital documents like the C of O and a will of one of his family kept in his custody.

Oba Orisagbemi further stated that the youths decided to take laws into their hands, as they held the palace and its vicinity hostage for three consecutive days.

The monarch, however, vowed not to be intimidated by the antics of his opponents, stressing that he has a mission to use his connections to develop the town as one of the best in the state.

Meanwhile, police have arrested 14 leaders of the youths who were said to be causing the crisis in the town, just as the police are keeping vigil on the palace to prevent possible break down of law and order.

The Police Public Relations Officer of the state police command, Mr. Emmanuel Iyang confirmed the arrest of the 14 youths.

Ekiti elders accuse Ogunlewe of abandoning federal roads   Back To Top

Daily Independent: Friday, November 5th, 2004

By David Atalese Special Correspondent, Ado-Ekiti

Ekiti Council of Elders has accused the Minister of Works, Adeseye Ogunlewe, of abandoning federal roads in the state. They also called on him to look into the activities of the Federal Emergency Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) in the state, saying that its impact was not being felt.

In a communiqué at the end of its meeting on Thursday in Ado-Ekiti, the elders noted that in spite of the N10 million being pumped into the state every month for the maintenance of roads, there was nothing being done to rehabilitate the federal roads in the state.

The council appealed to President Olusegun Obasanjo to ensure that the repair of the Ado-Ekiti-Omu-Aran road was given to a competent construction company and not to an inexperienced contractor as it has being widely rumoured.

The elders appealed to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to treat the expulsion of Senator Bode Olowoporoku with caution, stressing that action was too extreme and certainly capable of heating up the polity.

Mob attacks Ekiti monarch, destroy palace   Back To Top

Daily Independent: Friday, November 5th, 2004

By David Atalese Special Correspondent, Ado Ekiti

The Ilorin zone of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) declared on Tuesday that it would join the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and other civil societies in the next phase of the nationwide industrial action scheduled to commence on November 16.

In a communiqué at the end of its one-day meeting in Akure, the union expressed deep concern over the continued anti-government policies, which it said had contributed to wrecking havoc on the downtrodden masses.

The communiqué signed by the union’s zonal coordinator, Dr. Eddy Olanipekun, assured that it would join hands with other progressive groups in the struggle against the unpopular policies of the Obasanjo-led administration in this regard.

The union praised the House of Representatives for its decision to conduct a public hearing on the labour reform bill and implored the house not to pass the bill, as Nigerians were now aware of the intention of Obasanjo for sending the obnoxious bill to the national assembly.

The union condemned the injustice of the non-reinstatement of its 49 colleagues at the University of Ilorin who it claimed were unjustly sacked by the authorities of the university.

It stated that the refusal of the Minister of Labour and Productivity to refer the union’s objection to the industrial arbitration panel’s award to the national industrial court as stipulated by law “is a further testimony to the fact that this government has no respect for the rule of law and we are calling on Nigerians to resist this totalitarian tendency of the PDP controlled federal government.

Expelled Olowoporoku sues PDP for N1bn   Back To Top

Daily Independent: Friday, November 5th, 2004

By Paul Mumeh and Adetutu Folasade-Koyi

For expelling him from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) a couple of weeks ago, chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Senator Bode Olowoporoku has sued the party and its officers for N1 billion, insisting “I am still a bonafide member of PDP until the court pronounces otherwise.”

He also accused vice chairman of the party in the southwest, Chief Bode George and Governor Ayo Fayose of the diabolic plot to expel him from the party and declare his seat vacant.

Olowoporoku told a press conference in Abuja on Thursday that his disagreement with the duo led to the grand plot to expel him from party.

Reacting for the first time since he was expelled by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, on October 21, Olowoporoku urge his supporters to ignore the ranting of the party.

According to him, “I must enforce my fundamental human rights that every Nigerian and institution, whether governmental or not is bound by the rule of law and by their respective constitutions and above all, the constitution of Nigeria.

“Therefore, where anybody or institution or agency behaves as if it is a cult and that it is lawless, such lawlessness must be subjected to the jurisdiction of the courts. The PDP is a product of the Nigerian constitution hence it has to submit itself to the rule of law.”

He remarked that he remains a senator elected to represent Ekiti State Senatorial district, saying that a cabal which is a faction of the PDP in Ekiti State has no power to declare his seat vacant.

In an emotion-laden voice, Olowoporoku stated: “This struggle is not mine alone, rather it is for the survival of democracy in Nigeria. It will be a sad moment and a tragedy for this republic if a group of people can just gather and expel a senator from his political party.”

He said: “It is sad that Bode George has been allowed to be the Alpha and Omega and sole administrator of PDP in the southwest of Nigeria.

“George is a sadist, who is visiting the vendetta of my disagreement with him when he was the military governor of Ondo State. He did not rule Ondo State well”.

Olowoporoku said George was using his official position as the vice chairman of the party in the southwest to take a pound of flesh from him for contributing to his removal as governor then.

He insisted that it was the active connivance with governor Fayose that George was able to influence his expulsion from the PDP.

Olowoporoku alleged that his disagreement with the governor and possible political decline before 2007 necessitated the plot to make him politically irrelevant before 2007.

“The duo, he alleged, had planned a recall process, which failed before they organised to expel him in order not to have a platform to operate”, he stressed.

Ekiti workers threaten strike over unpaid allowances   Back To Top

The Guardian, Thursday, November 4, 2004.

From Ifedayo Sayo, Ado-Ekiti

EKITI State workers on Tuesday handed down a seven-day ultimatum to the state government to pay them their 2002, 2003 and 2004 leave bonuses or face strike action.

The workers, who are also asking for car loans and other entitlements, have earlier given a 14-day deadline to the state government to meet their demands.

At the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum, a delegation of the state government met with the leadership of the Joint Negotiation Council (JNC) last week Wednesday to resolve the issue.

However, at the end of the meeting, the two parties were unable to reach an agreement on issues raised by the workers.

It was in the light of the disagreement between the two bodies that led the JNC leader, Mr. P.K. Ogundele, to issue a fresh seven-day ultimatum.

The JNC in a statement on Tuesday said there was no going back on the strike if the state government failed to meet the workers' demands.

The council also dismissed a statement credited to the state government and the state council of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) that the demands of the workers were being looked into.

The council asked the workers to disregard any statement either by the state government or the NLC on their demands.

The JNC assured the workers that their interest would not be compromised and that the refusal of the state government to accede to their requests for improved welfare would be met with industrial action.

Govt to spend N1.5bn on dualisation of Ado-Ekiti road   Back To Top

The PUNCH, Thursday, November 4, 2004.

Akin Oyedele, Ado-Ekiti

The Ekiti State Government has awarded a N1.5 billion contract for the dualisation of Ado-Ekiti main township road.

The Deputy Governor of the state, Mr. Abiodun Aluko, disclosed this on Wednesday at a news conference in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital .

He disclosed that the dualisation project would begin by January next year.

He stated that the 6.8-kilometre road project to be handled by JMK Construction Company would be completed within a 12 month period.

Aluko stressed that the award of the contract had laid to rest insinuations by members of the opposition Alliance for Democracy that the contract was awarded to a younger sibling of Governor Ayo Fayose.

He said a Federal Government appointed consultant worked in collaboration with the state government before arriving at the cost of the contract.

This, according to him, was part of the criterion set by the Federal Government to qualify the state for reimbursement of the amount, since the road belongs to the Federal Government.

Aluko explained that the dualisation project would begin from the Omolayo axis on Ikere Road and would pass through the Old Garage, Oke Iyinmi, Okesa and Fajuyi Park before terminating at a stretch of 800 metres along Iworoko Road.

The deputy governor allayed the fears of residents of Ado-Ekiti whose property might be demolished for the project.

He said they would be adequately compensated.

He declared that shop owners in this category would be allocated shops at the new Ajilosun Shopping Complex, while owners of buildings would be quartered at the new Housing Estate under construction in Ado-Ekiti.

Aluko however explained that to be so qualified, the affected people must provide evidence of having complied with the state urban and rural planning laws before erecting the structures.

He revealed that the planned visit of President Olusegun Obasanjo to the state might be delayed till February next year to enable the state complete some on-going projects.

The Fayose Family   Back To Top

The Guardian: Wednesday, November 03, 2004

SIR: The letter titled: "Fayose family crisis" in The Guardian Newspaper of Tuesday October 19, 2004 signed by Mrs. Bimpe Sorinolu provides a conduit pipe into the life and conduct of the first extended family of Ekiti State. A cursory look at the family name(s) makes it so easy to decipher why the siblings of the governor are at his throat. While the patriarch of the family and his warring son Emmanuel bear Oluwayose, the governor's surname is Fayose. One can read between the lines.

It is not common with the Yoruba for siblings to be harbinger of hatred and confusion for one another because of the cultural allegiance to the umbilicus. The type of situation found in the Oluwayose or Fayose or Olufayose family is indeed abominable and it will be better for them to close ranks and block the hole of future rancour, otherwise the family root of Pastor Oluwayose may be threatened in future.

Moreover, the media war is unnecessary and shameful. A word is enough for the wise.

Rasheed Ojikutu, University of Lagos, Lagos.

Police ransack Ekiti AD chief's home over alleged inciting documents   Back To Top

The Guardian: Wednesday, November 03, 2004

From Ifedayo Sayo, Ado-Ekiti

FOR allegedly being in possession of incriminating documents, policemen on Sunday night ransacked the house of the Ekiti State Assistant Legal Adviser of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), Dare Owotomobi.

The police officers allegedly arrested Owotomobi's four younger brothers when he was not found at home.

The state Police Command on Monday denied the arrests, saying they were only invited for questioning.

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Emmanuel Inyang, confirmed the search of Owotomobi's residence, saying the police were acting on information that Owotomobi had incriminating documents in his possession.

He added that the police have since found that the information was false and that the issue remained closed until fresh information was received by the police.

But Owotomobi claimed on Monday that the invasion of his house had political undertone, pointing out that he had in the evening attended a meeting of the Ekiti Solidarity Movement, which may have informed the action of the police.

He explained that the body was not an opposition group but a gathering of well-meaning indigenes who stand for good governance in the state.

Narrating the incident, he said he had on arrival from the meeting gone out with a friend to a nearby restaurant where he stayed until about 11.00 p.m. when one of his younger brothers came to inform him of the police invasion of his home.

Quoting his brother, he said the policemen arrived at about 10.10 p.m. and demanded to see him. But when they were told that he was not in the house, the officers ransacked it.

They moved from one room to the other, up-turning chairs, tables and beds in search of the sought documents.

He said when they found nothing incriminating, they allegedly harassed and assaulted his pregnant wife for challenging their mission in the house.

Owotomobi added that the policemen queried his brothers on his whereabouts, asking them whether they were aware that he attended a meeting earlier in the day where political issues were discussed.

He said the policemen later arrested four of his younger brothers and took them to the command headquarters where they were interrogated.

He added that his brothers were later released by the police at about 12.30 a.m. on Monday when they (police) found out that they were not making any headway with their investigation.

Insisting that the invasion had political undertone, Owotomobi said the policemen were led to his house by an Ekiti State government vehicle, a Honda Civic.

He said from the conversation of the policemen who carried out the raid, the informant who misled them was a government official.

However, Inyang explained that the police would always be on the lookout for troublemakers in the society, saying that the action of the police should not be misinterpreted to mean victimisation of the opposition.

Aluko identifies factors hampering health care delivery   Back To Top

The PUNCH, Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Akin Oyedele, Ado-Ekiti

Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Abiodun Aluko, has identified brain drain in the medical profession and neglect of primary health care as factors responsible for the country’s deplorable health status.

Aluko said this on Tuesday while receiving members of the Governing Board of the National Primary Health care Development Agency in his office.

He expressed concern that while qualified Nigerian medical practitioners and scientists were making waves globally, the local health institutions remained in want of adequate health workers.

The deputy governor therefore pleaded with the Federal Government to create an enabling environment and the necessary rapport with qualified professionals honing their skill outside the shores of the country to return home.

Similarly, he called on the Federal Government to establish more primary health centres across the country, making a particular case for the state, in order to enhance the health status of the citizens.

Aluko stressed that the five federal primary health care centres currently available in the state could no longer cope with the health needs of more than 200 communities in the state, 80 per cent of which he said were rural settlements.

As a young growing agrarian state, the deputy governor maintained that the primary health care would provide the settlers with adequate medical requirements and in the long run enhance the health status of its labour group.

In this regard, he said, the state government recently purchased drugs worth about N24 million which was made available across the 16 local government areas, under the drug revolving fund scheme.

Part of efforts aimed at improving public health care delivery, he added, was the collaboration of the state and the local governments, under the Local Government Joint Projects, to finance the public health sector.

On assumption of office in May last year, he said the Governor Ayo Fayose-led administration established the Ekiti Health Rangers Scheme, with the donation of six ambulances manned by a team of itinerant medical personnel combing the rural areas till date.

This singular gesture, according to him, had greatly improved the health status of settlers in the remote villages, who until then had no access to qualified medical personnel or safe drugs.

Also speaking at the occasion, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sola Babalola, said plans were underway for the establishment of a directorate of public health care.

The Chairman, Governing Board of the NPHCD, Dr. Akanni Sorungbe explained that the team was in the state on a two-day advocacy visit towards the revitalisation of the PHC system in the country as part of the FG’s millennium development goals.

Sorungbe also adduced shortage of essential drugs and medical personnel, as well as the preponderance of obsolete medical equipment in public hospitals as factors besetting the country’s health care delivery.

Ekiti police arrest suspect over anti-Fayose documents   Back To Top

Daily Independent: Monday, November 1st, 2004

Ekiti Elders Support power shift in 2007

By David Atalese, special correspondent, Ado-Ekiti

Clamours for power shift from the Ekiti Central Senatorial District to the North got a boost at the weekend, when elders of the state and chieftains of the existing political parties in the state resolved that power must shift to the north.

At a well attended meeting in Ise-Ekiti, they agreed that their decision to agitate for power shift was borne out of the fact that Ekiti Central Senatorial Zone has had enough share of the dividends of democracy.

They recall that the immediate past state governor, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo and the incumbent governor, Ayodele Fayose, hails from the Central senatorial district.

They argued further that the state was not created for the people in the central senatorial district alone but for all the three districts and since the duo are from the central senatorial zone they should allow others to take their turn.

Earlier, the Secretary General of the Elders Forum, Chief Idowu Odeyemi, said the call for power shift was not “aimed at witch-hunting our brothers in the central senatorial district, but since all of us struggled for the creation of this state, we must reap its sweat or bitter fruits”.

He explained that the performance of either of the two governors should not be yardstick for the retention of power in the central senatorial zone come 2007.

“What we are saying is that we are tired of concentrating power in a zone,” he added.

State assembly deputy speaker, Mr. Oladapo Karounwi, who is from the central zone, advised those clamouring for power shift to produce their best materials in the interest of the people of the state.

Former state health commissioner, Professor Joseph Oluwasanmi said “we must be battle ready, work harder, and relate with the people at the grassroots, if we are really serious about the power shift”.

He said the gathering was not a plot against the present government but a collective decision of the people of the state so as to ensure that no part of the state was marginalised.

It would be recalled that the state governor, Ayodele Fayose had said that when the time comes, his performance would speak for him, assuring that no section of the state would be left uncared for.

Ekiti Dot Com
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