Former Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, Tuesday formally took over the reins of power as governor of Ekiti State, with a vow to probe the administration of his predecessor, Ayo Fayose, in the next 100 days.
Fayemi also told the mammoth crowd at the Ekiti Parapo pavillion, venue of his inauguration in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, yesterday, that Fayose left behind N170 billion debt for the state.
He was sworn in, amidst great jubilation, at 12:24 p.m., inside the heavily secured Ekiti Parapo pavillion.
Clad in resplendent white Agbada, with brown ‘Awolowo cap’ to march, Fayemi attracted constant greetings from the cheering crowd while he was sworn-in by the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ayodeji Daramola.
Earlier, his deputy, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, took the oath of office and allegiance at 2.20pm.
Fayemi lamented that the state is indebted to the tune of N170 billion, being loans incurred on some projects by Fayose’s administration, but quickly assured that this challenge won’t impede his government from delivering dividends of democracy.
The former minister of Mines and Steel Development assured that Ekiti, under him, will not slide and degenerate to the level of making school children pay various taxes in their quest to receive formal education and also, promised that his government shall re-introduce the N5,000 social security to the elderly and make positive impact in agriculture, social investment and economy.
According to him, “In the last four years, Ekiti was governed by a rudderless, inept and egregiously corrupt government, which was led by those who deceived our people through the instrument of stomach infrastructure.
“In this context, never again will Ekiti slip into the hands of those who knew nothing about governance, never again shall we allow our school children to pay taxes, never again shall we abandon the burgeoning resources at Ikogosi Warm Spring to waste, never again shall we allow our judiciary to e debased by draconian government and never again shall the most educated state like Ekiti be apostle of stomach infrastructure that has made us laughing stock.
“As of today, the debt profile and other financial commitment hanging on the state look challenging, but, with your support, we shall overcome.
“The light shall shine again. We shall celebrate our core values of scholarship, knowledge, hardwork, unity and strong characters bequeathed to us by our founding fathers.
“We appreciate our fathers, who fought for the creation of this state in 1996 and, I want to assure them that we shall keep the flag flying and make sure we don’t disappoint them by fulfilling their dreams and aspirations; within the next four years.
“We shall network with the Federal Government and other local and international bodies to bring dividends of democracy Ekiti people deserve to their doorsteps,” Fayemi assured.
Earlier, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, expressed confidence about Fayemi’s ability to deliver democratic dividends to Ekiti people.
Buhari added that the new governor will “redirect Ekiti to the path of greatness and abundance, in terms of economic prosperity.”
Fayemi was declared winner of the July 14 governorship poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission, after he defeated the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Prof. Kolapo Olusola Eleka, with 19,028 votes.
Dignitaries at the ceremony included former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande, National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, immediate past All Progressives Congress national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun as well as former Ekiti governors, Otunba Niyi Adebayo and Bamidele Olumilua.
Governors at the inauguration were those of Ogun, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Oyo, Abiola Ajimobi, Kebbi, Atiku Bagudu, Kadina, Nasir El-Rufai, Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode, Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu, Bauchi, Mohammed Abubakar, among other Nigerians, and members of the Diplomatic Corps.