Good people of Ekiti State,
I give thanks to the Almighty God for conducing this opportunity for me to address you on this significant milestone of a New Year 2018.
This milestone is significant to me, as you are aware, that this will be my last New Year address to you as Governor of Ekiti State. To God be the glory now and forever more.
I am grateful to you my good people of Ekiti State for giving me the rare opportunity to govern this State for a second term. It has afforded me the opportunity to consolidate on the achievements of the past and correct some erroneous impressions and deliberate mischiefs peddled against me towards the twilight of my first coming.
I thank our Royal Highnesses, Elder Statesmen, Community and Religious Leaders, Market Women, Artisans, Okada Riders, Members of the Transport Union who turned out enmasse to vote for me in the election that produced me as Governor, a second time, after eight years of forced exit.
I thank the Public Service, members of the Organized Private Sector, the Legislative arm of government, members of the State Executive Council and indeed the Judiciary.
I thank the Youth, Students and of course children for their demonstration of love and support for me as was witnessed during the last few weeks when I went round the State to give out Christmas and New Year gifts to our people.
In not too distant future, I hope to embark on a farewell tour of our State, to thank you all for the priviledge given to me to lead you.
My dear people, I have a sense of fulfillment as I proceed to complete the two tenures of my mandate. God has helped me to justify the huge confidence reposed in me.
I have opened up the horizon of Ekiti State from a rustic countryside to an emerging urban centre in the provisions of infrastructure notably in road construction, public buildings and socio economic transformation generally.
During my first tenure in office, I started the dualization of the Ado-Ekiti major motor ways. My government, during this second term, has been able to extend the dualization of roads to most of our Local Government headquarters.
The icing on the cake is the construction of the multibillion Naira 1.3km Ado-Ekiti overhead carriage which now links Fajuyi park, flying over the Okesa market to the Ojumose road axial.
I am also happy to remark that the public building projects which we started during my first tenure in places like the Government House, the State Secretariat and the Trade Fair Arena, to mention but a few, have continued with a new Governor’s office, a befitting complex for the Judiciary and a new residential apartment for the Speaker of the House of Assembly. My Government will complete these projects including the ultra-modern market in Ado-Ekiti.
The Adunni Olayinka Multipurpose Women Development Centre was built during this second tenure by my government to provide guidance and counseling and other support services for women and children.
We decided to name the edifice after a Former Deputy Governor produced by an opposition party to underscore our commitment to politics without bitterness.
Aside these monumental infrastructural projects, my government has also undertaken far-reaching human and human capital development programmes which has impacted positively as could be seen in recent rankings of Ekiti State performances in competitive national Examinations and other human development indexes. For instance, our State recorded the first position consecutively in 2016 and 2017 in the National Examination Council (NECO) assessments for Secondary Schools in Nigeria.
I have asked that these landmark achievements be put together in a compendium which shall be presented to the people of our State at the point of my exit.
On the other hand, my government has had a fair share of moments of challenges and travails. I should also thank my adversaries, including my virulent critics for expressing their views and perspectives on my person, my style and on my government.
I consider this as part of nation building as we cannot have same views and attitudes on issues of development and progress.
I have seen all attacks, jibes and vituperations as rights of individuals and groups to express themselves as guaranteed by the Nigeria Constitution.
Consequently, I owe neither grudge nor malice against anyone. My government had not for once intimidated, harassed or used the instrument of State against any real or perceived opponents. Instead, I have always believed in dialogue and the inclusion of all in governance.
Fellow citizens, the last few years of this government had not been very smooth. Ekiti State was not immuned from the consequences of the national economic recession besetting our country.
This together with the huge debt burden which we inherited from the administration of Governor Former Kayode Fayemi actually made it very difficult for us to meet up with certain basic obligations particularly in the payment of workers remunerations. We have however tried our best within the limits of available resources.
I like to put it on record that my administration did not commit this State to any indebtedness despite the financial challenges that confronted us. Let me also state that the Federal Government made available, a facility of N10 billion to each State of the Federation, for capital development.
This had been netted against our equitable shares from the Excess Crude Account (ECA). I am happy to state that the portion for Ekiti State had been judiciously deployed for monumental capital development projects including the Ado-Ekiti overhead road, the new Ado market among others.
We ran an open government by which the cross section of the populace is involved in the mobilisation and expenditure of public funds.
In the New Year, we shall continue in that same style and redouble our efforts as I do not want to leave Ekiti Government House as debtor of salaries.
I am not also unmindful of the yearnings and aspirations of our people in other arrears of government responsibilities but we can only do one thing at a time. The insufficiency of today will turn out to be abundance of tomorrow if we can improve on our efforts and dedication. Let us keep hope alive and continue to support government in all its endeavours.
During the out-going year, we took the bull by the horn by confronting headlong, security issues that confronted our State especially the menaces of abductors, kidnappers and cultists. Also we tackled the nefarious activities of cattle rearers. We have put in place appropriate legal and structural frameworks to silence those anti-social behaviours permanently. We have made significant progress along these lines.
I am sure that history and posterity will remember us for good in all these strides.
Good people of Ekiti State, let us enter the New Year with joy and gratitude to God. Let us renew our faith and hope in a better tomorrow. The greatest thing that has happened to us is the identity that we have in a State of our own.
Ekiti has been led by different leaders and Political Parties but the people remain the common denominator and will be able to discern their friends from pretenders. Now I belief you know the true patriots and lovers of this State.
It is time for us to have continuity and stability at the political front. We have lots of lessons to learn from Lagos State which has put its economic endowment in the hands of competent and stable managers over time, using the same political platform.
It is certain that continuity has the capacity to secure for us landmark and sustainable development.
I urge you all to support me and my party – the Peoples Democratic Party – to transit and produce the next leadership for this State. Economic and Social Development are veritable outcomes of very sound, consistent and stable political superstructure.
Once again, I thank you all for the journey so far while I look forward for more cooperation from you in the New Year.
Thank you, happy New Year and May God bless us all.