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Why we shouldn’t sweep Senator Ojudu’s criticism of Governor Fayemi under the carpet

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By Moyosore Aguda

Analogies are usually employed for juxtaposing a point vividly or providing a clearer picture, not just for well-read opponents to understand, but to also explain things to laypeople. However, most people commit the cardinal sin of drawing false parallels and fuelling highly doubtful rhetorics when using analogies. They become too focused about feeding people the story in their head, rather than provide facts and let people come to their own conclusion without being influenced.

This is the case of an unnamed reporter or better put “a group of concerned citizens of Ekiti state” who have recently taken it upon themselves to ridicule Senator Babajide Ojudu –a veteran journalist and Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters. This misled camp of loyalists is hellbent on crucifying the honourable statesman for publicly calling out Governor Fayemi’s weak performance. Not only have these naysayers exhibited fickle knowledge about the history and politics of Ekiti State, they have also published a series of unmannerly opinions focused on tearing down Senator Ojudu, who has done nothing but hold the Governor to the standards on which he campaigned on.

Since Fayemi’s re-election into office in July 2018, he has been called out ceaselessly, especially by indigenes and residents of the state for being a theorist who lacks the political acumen and tenacity to implement his paper policies or deliver any of his empty promises to the people of Ekiti state. If there is anyone laying unfounded claims, then it is the illy-informed reporters and not a concerned statesman as he or she wants us to believe.

Senator Ojudu’s recent comments where he stated that “Fayemi has lost focus and is depriving the state of good leadership” is most likely the reason for the orchestrated counter blast he is facing from beneficiaries of Fayemi’s purse. They will go any length to drag Ojudu, who happens to be a friend to the governor and even played a critical role in his re-election.

Only a fool will be quick to label an honest and open criticism as anger and jealousy, then go on to draw a string of unrelated events in a bid to question Ojudu’s character and paint him as a bitter rebel with a lost cause. According to a reporter, Ojudu is frustrated and has decided to pick Fayemi as his victim.

Truth is Senator Ojudu has every right to call out Governor Fayemi for his unimpressive performance since he took over the reins of power for a second tenure. A man who isn’t blinded by his friendship with the Governor, but instead is holding him accountable for his responsibilities should be protected at all costs rather than being chastised.

This isn’t the first time Fayemi’s government is being tagged as ineffectual and one that is only great at delivering papers and lectures on how to make fortunes, improve the economy, increase the internal generated revenue which happens to be one of the lowest in the country, as well as other empty promises he is yet to fulfil.

Ekiti still faces developmental challenges and capacity constraints with very limited human and material resources. Almost two years since resuming office, nothing seems to be getting better especially for the people of Ekiti State who had high hopes.

There are still thousands of unemployed youths who are consistently being manipulated by the government to buy forms to secure jobs in state ministries but have still not gotten any jobs till today. He also has unresolved feud with the state university lecturers and basic education teachers in the state which speaks volume about his regard for education or advancement of lives.

Dr Fayemi has received over 21 Billion Naira from the Federal Government since January and he still finds it hard to pay workers’ salaries, or clear the ones left by the ex-governor – one of the promises, or better still lies of his gubernatorial campaign. All of these coupled with the incessant killings of commoners and insecurity within the state. Let’s not forget the Orin killings which is still fresh in the minds of many Ekiti State denizens, or the clash between the First Lady’s convoy and students of FUOYE who were protesting for good power supply, an incident that claimed lives of some poor, young chaps. a huge infrastructure deficit and the state’s dilapidated healthcare; yet he is always trying to finesse his way through.

The goveenor is yet to deliver on his infrastructural revolution blueprint. There’s only a few projects commissioned by the Fayemi administration that have been completed. Ekiti State still has serious drainage problems, especially in the metropolis of Ado-Ekiti and most of the roads he claims to be rehabilitating are covered with asphalts as opposed to proper construction that was budgeted for.

The agricultural revolution in the state is still a facade for many farmers. The state keeps boasting of loans and grants to boost the sector but the money hardly ever trickles down to those who are in dare need of it. Fayemi – who many thought would be a changed man after been ousted out of office in 2014 – is still making the same mistakes.

Ekiti may be accelerating its Internal Generated Revenue, which indeed is a good thing, but these ‘successes’ have no effects on people who live and work in the state. On top of that, Fayemi has refused to pay the new minimum wage of 30,000 Naira, insisting that the state cannot afford it. You don’t need to be a statistician to know that the maths don’t add up.

Rather than stay at home and run the affairs of the state, Fayemi has become a nomad, shuttling between Ekiti and Abuja, even at a time where interstate lockdowns are still active, a decision he led the FG to impose as chairman of the Governor’s Forum. He is also one of the governors who vehemently opposed the presidential order of financial autonomy to the legislative and judicial arms of each State in Nigeria.

Today, Fayemi is at loggerheads with his political leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and other prominent individuals like Senator Opeyemi Bamidele and Ojudu himself who supported him when he was disgraced out of office in 2014. Infact he was one of the very few that convinced Asiwaju to support his re-election bid. This same man stood with him until the polls, put his own name and influence on the line and urged Ekiti people to vote for him. You’re not wrong if you call Mr Governor a duplicitous fellow or a wolf in sheep clothing.

Contrary to what they want us to believe, Ojudu isn’t under the mercy of Fayemi neither is he a benefactor of the administration. As a man who currently acts in the capacity of advising the presidency on political and state affairs, and a seasoned journalist whose work in Nigerian media, right from his coverage of military dictatorship in the 80s which caused him jail time, to his days at the African Concord where he critiqued General Babangida and was countlessly coerced to tender an apology which he never obliged to, Ojudu has shown that he does not compromise and is also a man of his words.

Instead of working hard at tarnishing his legacy and patriotism, the real issue is with Governor Fayemi, who is too insecure to accept his flaws and take advice that will help him propel the state forward, rather than deem everyone as an enemy.

Moyosore Aguda is a Human Rights Activist , APC Member and Commentator based in Ado-Ekiti .