The Afenifere Renewal Group, a Yoruba socio-political organization, at the weekend endorsed Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State for a second term in office.
The group announced the endorsement at a press conference, in Ado Ekiti, at the end of a three-day Governance Assessment Tour of the group to the state.
During the tour, the group inspected a number of projects and listened to presentations from representatives of government agencies.
Olawale Oshun, the group’s national chairman, said Mr. Fayemi’s has performed well and that he deserves an unopposed ticket for a second term and a massive victory at the polls.
“Fayemi’s policies are not just about executing projects, they are focused on human developmental goals,” Mr. Oshun, a former Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, said.
“He has also shown he could uphold the welfarism ethos of our founding fathers as espoused by the movement led by late Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
“With what we have seen, we can boldly say that Ekiti State is ready to tap into regional, national, and global economic potentials while also developing its local economies to global standards,” he added.
Mr. Oshun enjoined Ekiti residents, especially the youth, to shun the prevalent get-rich-quick syndrome and beggarly lifestyle that is beginning to take root in our culture.
He advised them to “key into the new policies of government on agriculture, knowledge economy, and information technology.”
Responding to questions from journalists, Mr. Oshun said the group has also observed areas that need improvement and will duly inform Fayemi of such. He also said in a presidential system, a performing governor or president deserves re-election automatically for the sake of stability and continuity.
Earlier, the group’s General Secretary, Ayo Afolabi, explained that ARG in May set up a Governance Assessment Committee to examine the policies of governors of states in Western Nigeria.
The motive for this, he said, was to make sure governments in the region adhered to its political agenda and philosophy.
The committee, headed by former Super Eagles striker, Segun Odegbami, contracted a leading consulting firm to do an independent research on policies of Ekiti State under Mr. Fayemi.
While reading the committee’s report, Mr. Odegbami said the governor was assessed based on the six criteria enunciated in the Minimum Irreducible Demand charter adopted by the Yoruba Assembly.
The criteria include education, healthcare, wealth creation, infrastructure,water supply, and governance and regional integration.
He said the state’s economy, before. Mr. Fayemi came in, depended heavily on federal allocations and civil service jobs.
But in three years, Mr. Fayemi has created new economies and the state looks poised to break its dependence on federal allocation, the retired footballer noted.
Mr. Odegbami further commended the Ekiti governor for being “a model of global best practices in governance,” adding that the governor’s performance surpassed the committee’s standards.
“He was the first governor to implement social security fund for elders and now, about three other states have followed suit,” Mr. Odegbami said.
“About 1, 100km of roads, out of 1, 300 federal and state roads in the state have been constructed or under construction. This excellent network of roads is good for agriculture and tourism, ” he added.
The committee’s report concluded that “another term in office for Governor Kayode Fayemi can only mean continuity of his blazing governance based on globally accepted principles of democracy and participatory governance.”
“Therefore, the committee endorses him for re-election and enjoins residents of Ekiti State to vote massively for him in the forthcoming gubernatorial election,” the report continued.
“For now, Governor Kayode Fayemi holds the key to the future peace and prosperity of Ekiti State,” it added.