…absolves self from Ekiti Federal College of Education crisis, promises robust budget for 2024
The Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, on Tuesday warned public servants against embarrassing the state with fraudulent activities, stressing that he recalled the General Manager of the State’s Sports Council, Mr Adekunle Adeyemi from the National Sports Festival in Asaba, due to alleged corruption and gross negligence.
Gov. Oyebanji clarified that he approved a sum of N20 million to prosecute the ongoing seventh Junior National Sports Festival holding in Asaba, wondering why the kid athletes who were representing the state at the sports fiesta were poorly kitted by government officials.
The Governor also cautioned communities engaging in fierce squabbles over the siting of the Federal College of Education in Ekiti not to drag him into raging crisis between Omuo and Ilawe Ekiti, who have been embroiled in battle over the matter.
Gov. Oyebanji posited that the Federal Government enjoys the exclusive rights to site the Federal College of Education in any town it deems fit, stressing that as Governor,!he has no power to manipulate the process in favour of any particular town.
Speaking on Tuesday in Ikere Ekiti, during the second day of the Town Hall Meeting With Stakeholders in Ekiti South Senatorial District in preparation for the 2024 Budget, Governor Oyebanji pledged to critically consider all issues presented by representatives of all the local councils in a bid to make life more meaningful for the people.
At the interactive event, Prof Olufemi Babatola spoke for Ikere Council, Chief Olufemi Adigun for Ekiti East, Chief Gbenga Agbona for Ekiti Southwest, Oba Olatunji Olatunde for Ayekire, Elder Tunji Falana for Ise/Orun, Chief Akogun Abegunde for Emure, while Kayode Owolabi represented people living with disabilities.
Speaking on the sporting event in Delta State, Oyebanji said: “what happened was an embarrassment to us as a government and the people of Ekiti State. It occured just because some people wanted to make money for themselves.
“They came with a proposal of N25m, and I approved N20m, but they didn’t procure the kits they were supposed to purchase. As a way of deception, they provided kits for me as the Governor to make it looks as if they have done the right thing, when they didn’t purchase for those kids who went to represent the state. We also learnt they didn’t get good hotel accommodation for the children.
“How can you take children to Delta and mess up the whole show? if we sack them now, some people will start pleading for them.
“I am saying this because if we want to clean up the system, the Governor and his cabinet alone cannot do it. Help us to plead with those in government to have the fear of God. I was shocked that someone who called himself a father could behave that way. Though, the children are doing well because I had to send a Psychologist to go and speak with them”.
The Governor said decisive action would be taken on all those involved in the unfortunate development.
On the raging controversy over the siting of the Federal College of Education in Ekiti, Oyebanji stated: “We have nothing to do with the federal College of Education. It belongs to the federal government and Ekiti people shouldn’t be dragged into it.
“As Ilawe is laying claim to it, Omuo community is laying claim to it, so the way some people are speaking suggested that they are trying to drag me into the crisis, but I won’t be part of it. I know that the Federal Government has the power to site wherever it likes. But wherever it is sited, either Omuo or Ilawe, it is still Ekiti.
“Olomuo, Oba Noah Omonigbehin and Alawe, Oba Ajibade Alabi are brothers, the two communities should continue to live together in harmony. Nothing should be allowed to divide you. I know and I am confident that this matter will be resolved amicably”.
Speaking further, the Governor said the requests he is garnering from the communities and local governments is to get his priority right for prudent and accurate management of the paltry funds accruing to the state.
Gov. Oyebanji said his goverment will flag off the reconstruction of the deplorable Ikere-Igbara Odo road to mark the first year of his administration coming on October 16,2023, adding that the electrification project and reconnection of Ekiti East back to the national grid will start fully before the end of October 2023.
The Governor expressed confidence in the ability of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to reconstruct the Ado-Ikere-Akure road, promising that he will repair Ikere – Emure-Eporo-Emure Ile road up to Ondo State border to serve as alternative route pending the completion of the road.
He said all the bottlenecks stalling the execution of the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP) programme has been removed via robust partnership between the state government and World Bank, assuring that some of these roads will enjoy massive attention in the next dry season.
On water supply, Gov. Oyebanji said his government would take giant strides to shore up water supply and reticulation in some towns, stating that the consumers should also reciprocate by being ready to pay for the services rendered.
In the area of health, Gov. Oyebanji promised to employ more nurses and doctors into the system to strengthen health care delivery across the 16 local government, especially in government health facilities.
He emphasized the need for the collection of the database of people living with disabilities in Ekiti, so that their challenges can be tackled headlong and in an wholesome fashion.