Hon. Adeoye Aribasoye, is a prominent member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly. In this interview with Sola Popoola, he predicted that Biodun Oyebanji’s continuity agenda will transform Ekiti’s landscape and will consolidate democracy gains for Ekiti people. Excerpts:
Oyebanji’s Continuity Agenda will Transform Ekiti Economy- Aribasoye
The election has gone, the APC is now confronted with the reality of governance. Do you foresee better days ahead for Ekiti under Oyebanji?
Biodun Oyebanji winning the last election remains a watershed in history of Ekiti. This is what we have been yearning for because we knew what continuity has done to places like Lagos, Borno and some few states in terms of development, so we thank God that Ekiti had eventually actualised this. We have seen how Lagos grew progressively under Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to Raji Fashola, Akinwumi Ambode and now Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, with IGR of N600m to now N51bn monthly . If not for continuity, the situation could not have got to this level. Governor Kayode Fayemi had in his first term raised the IGR from N400m to about N830m. But when the immediate past government came, it reduced to between N400 and N450m monthly. But now, the state is making a sum of N850m with a projection of N1.5bn monthly and this will be actualised with the APC goverment still in the saddle of governance after the current governor.
Are you optimistic that paucity of funds won’t be a great encumbrance to Oyebanji?
Funding remains the best way to keep a government going. No government can perform any wonder without proper funding. But let me say this, a good governor shouldn’t just rely on the federal allocation alone. He must be someone who can think outside the box to generate money. Let me tell you this, if not for the financial dexterity of Governor Fayemi, Ekiti would have been grounded by now. He wouldn’t have been able to pay workers’ salaries and pension of retirees. But for his international connection, he was able to galvanise funding for Ekiti and run the government effectively. So, Biodun Oyebanji served as the SSG under the present government. He had received the right tutelage under Governor Fayemi. He already knew the road and I know that he will follow those paths for the benefit of Ekiti. Governor Fayemi helping to also pull the string will be of benefit to Ekiti and Oyebanji’s government. So, I have no fear that the next government will do well.
Governor Fayemi is embarking on many legacy projects. Is there any assurance that he will complete them before leaving?
Well, government is a continuum. No government can complete all the projects it started. But we thank God for this continuity. It makes the whole scenario looks good. Let me say this, some of these projects will be completed before October 15, 2022 final day. I am particularly happy that Governor Fayemi recently told Ekiti people that he will complete the Cargo International Airport before bowing out. The Knowledge Zone and many of the road projects are almost 90 percent completed, so no cauae for alarm. Again, apart from continuity that will enchance completion and sustenance of these projects, Governor Fayemi had signed the Transition Law, that forbids any government to abandon the uncompleted projects of the previous administration. Ekiti people has nothing to lose under the present administration, because it is the continuation of APC-led government and our state will be better for it.
Recently, the Ekiti First lady was decorated as the Yeyeoba of Erinmope. What is your take on this?
The installation of our First Lady, Erelu Bisi Fayemi as YeyeOba of Erinmope Ekiti was a right step channeled towards appreciating her liberation wars for Ekiti women and girls. Don’t forget that the Obaleo of Erinmope, Oba Sunday Aniyi, is a highly scholastic monarch, who doesn’t play to the gallery. The monarch knew that Mrs Fayemi is a development- driven individual, who has penchant for the building of human capital to reduce deep-seated poverty, oppression and inequality in the system. Let me commend the Obaleo for conferring the title on the first lady. This would send a signal to Mrs Fayemi that Ekiti people appreciated her landmark exploits in making the state a model to others. This is no doubt another colourful feather to the numerous fitted caps of the first lady that would spur her into action to be able to contribute more to her relentless war against gender ills after exiting office. Let me congratulate our mother-general for again having her cap adorned with another colourful feather.
The first lady had got many awards and chieftaincy titles. What actually made this special?
This is unique in so many way. This further substantiated the fact Ekiti people really appreciated her diligence and zealousness in ensuring gender emancipation in Ekiti. Under governor Kayode Fayemi, all manners of molestations against women like sexual exploits, domestic violence, subjugation of women’s rights for appointive and elective positions, child slavery, trafficking and deprived access to education have been dismantled through the instrumentality of the first lady’s committed services to humanity. Today in Ekiti, women and girls are being dignified and respected to the extent that Ekiti is now a model to others. I congratulate our mother for being decorated with this prominent title. Let me also appreciate the Obaleo-in-Council for its sense of judgement in arriving at such a right decision.