Wednesday, June 20, 2018 4:20 pm
By Kayode Fayemi
· Your Excellency, Prof. YemiOsinbajo, GCON, SAN, Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria;
· Your Excellency, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress;
· Your Excellencies, Governors and Deputy Governors here present;
· The National Working Committee and other Distinguished National Leaders of our great party, the APC;
· The State Executive and other Honourable Leaders of our party from across Ekiti State;
· Former Gubernatorial Aspirants of our great party;
· Members of the press;
· Distinguished ladies and gentlemen.
· I am honoured to welcome you all to today’s event, which is a high point on our journey to Reclaiming our Land and Restoring our Values.
· Your Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it was the great British war-time Prime Minister, Winston Churchill who said “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. Indeed, this is corroborated by our rich Yoruba maxim “B’omodebasubu a wo’waju,b’agbabasubu a w’eyinwo”, meaning “when a child falls, he looks forward, but when an elder falls, he looks back”. Indeed those imbued with wisdom that comes with age know well enough to take stock and examine the causal factors of a fall, so as to be sure to avoid them and stay on the path of progressive movement.
· Our dear state is at crossroads again. In about 25 days, we would be choosing, through the ballot, a critical path that would not only decide our collective future, but also signal to the world who we reallyare as a people. The opportunity is upon us to correct the errors of the past that has brought nothing but reproach to us as a people.
· We were all witnesses to the events of 4 years ago when some of our kinsmen, in consort withagents of the state at very high levels, deployed the “federal might” as they choose to call it, and conspired to bring our state under the heavy arm of militarisation, and conductedone of the most brazen electoral heists in the history of this country.
· Since then, they have led the state along the path of ignominy, exploiting the penury of the poor and the vulnerability of the marginalised. As I have said before, we have seen the entrenchment of the disdain for elders, traditional institutions, and all forms of constituted authorities, as well as the erosion of our timeless values of honour, dignity, nobility and civility. They have debased our people and unleashed unwarranted suffering in spite of the enormous resources that have been made available to them.
· Ekiti Kete, by the grace of the Almighty God, the end of your suffering is near. We thank God for those that crafted our constitution that instituted term limits and a periodical return to the ballots to choose our leaders. The opportunity is upon us by July 14, 2018 to right the wrongs of the past.
· The choice is before us to resume the march to break the yoke of ignorance that keeps our people down, liberate them from ill-health and other limitations that restrain them from achieving their full potentials; or to choose the continuity of clueless governance, and the tightening of the stranglehold of poverty and ignorance.
· As you all know, our opponents have been in a frenzy of late, expressing fear that they would be victims of their own machinations. They are scared that the hunter would be caught in the same trap he created for the prey. They have therefore gone to town to say that we intend to win the election by deploying “federal might”.
· I must say today, in the presence of our party leaders at all levels, that we have no plans of subverting the will of the people like was done the last time. Our President, H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, has demonstrated time and again that we are true democrats who play by the book.
· We are all witnesses to the very noble act by our president to accord the icon of our democratic struggle, the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola, the recognition due exclusively for past presidents, thus correcting a historical wrong.
· We have also seen that in true democratic spirit, in spite of the hate campaign and animosity of the Government of Ekiti state, our President has done well, in the past 3 years, to give to Ekiti all we deserve.Our democratic credentials as a party are not in doubt, and we are certain to win the election by the popular will of the people, and by the grace of God.
· Ekiti kete, I assure you all that the only “federal might” we are deploying in Ekiti is to continue attracting developmental projects to our state, and concrete federal presence. Just as we have been doing as opposition in the state, we are ready to do even more when an APC-led administration assumes office on October 16, 2018.
· I must however warn all those looking to cause trouble during the build-up to the election, and on Election Day proper, that our security agencies are fully prepared to ensure we have a free, cute.
· It is simply inexplicable that in spite of all the federal support – the multiple cycles of bail-out funds, Paris Club refunds, regular monthly allocations, and other such monies, the state government is owing civil servants upwards of 10 months salaries.
· Not only so, they have stopped the free education programmes we instituted, the free health and regular health missions we carried out, our social security programme for the elderly, e.t.c. They have reversed the gains we made in infrastructural development, tourism development and every facet of human and socio-economic development.
· In practical and policy terms, these are the things we shall return to the people when we return to government. The APC administration to be sworn in on October 16, 2018, by the grace of God, would resume good governance that was cut short four years ago, and once again prioritise social investments in education, healthcare and other social protection programmes that reduce the cost of living, while raising the quality of life.
· This can however only be possible if you all ensure you secure your PVC in good time, and vote convincingly for the APC in the July 14, 2018, election. As we have been assured, the relevant authorities are guaranteed to deliver a free and fair exercise in which, this time around, the Will of the People would prevail, and the journey to Reclaiming our Land and Restoring our Values can commence in earnest.
· Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I thank you once again. Alale Ekiti a gbe a o.
• Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON, APC Ekiti State Gubernatorial Candidate Ado, Ekiti made these remarks at the Official Flag-Off Rally For the Commencement of Campaigns towards the July 14, 2018 Ekiti State Gubernatorial Election, Tuesday, June 19, 2018| Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria