THE Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, yesterday vowed to jail Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, if reelected.
Fayemi spoke during the declaration of intent to contest for Ekiti State governorship seat on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.
Fayose, he stated, will be made to account for the gross mismanagement of the state’s resources and allocation in the last four years.
Fayemi, who was governor between October 2010 and October 2014, shocked the crowd by bringing out a red card from his pocket, which he symbolically showed to Fayose and the Peoples Democratic Party.
He said the red card is an answer to the White Paper issued against him by the Fayose regime, which indicted him of financial impropriety and banned him from holding public office for 10 years.
Traffic was grounded for about four hours in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, where a massive crow turned out to hear Fayemi speak on his readiness to win Ekiti for APC in the July 14 governorship poll.
Fayemi said the state has retrogressed sharply in the last four years he left office, adding that his bid to run again was motivated by the need to “rescue Ekiti people from bad governance, want, hunger and poverty.”
He lamented the suffering of teachers, state civil servants, local government workers and pensioners, who are being owed backlog of arrears of salaries, allowances and benefits.
According to him, Fayose owes core civil servants six months, local government workers 10 months, community health workers 10 months; pensioners, 10 months; teachers, 10 months and students, bursaries of over three years.
Fayemi said Fayose has no excuse not to pay workers’ salaries and pensioners benefits having collected two tranches of bailout funds, two tranches of Paris Club refund cash and Budget Support Funds for thirteen months.
He also disclosed that latest records from the Debt Management Office showed Fayose has borrowed N56 billion since coming to power in October 2014 with nothing appreciable to show for it.
Fayemi vowed that Fayose would be brought to justice at the end of his tenure on how he has managed all the funds received from the federal government on behalf of the state.
The former governor was joined by his wife, Bisi; former deputy governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu; Nigeria’s Ambassador to Hungary, Dr. Eniola Ajayi; and other officials who served in his administration to the APC secretariat where he officially informed party leaders of his intent to run.
After declaring at the secretariat, Fayemi and his train moved to the nearby Jonathan African Church, Ajilosun, Ado-Ekiti, where he addressed another crowd waiting for him on his agenda for the state.
He said all APC members who had joined the governorship race are eminently qualified to occupy the state’s number one seat saying anyone who emerges as the flag bearer would be supported by all.
The minister declared that everything humanly, constitutionally and legally possible would be done to win Ekiti State for APC at the next governorship election.
Fayemi said: “When I come before you, it is with profound need for the unfinished business, we need to complete what we started, reclaim our land and restore our land.
“Anywhere Ekiti people go, people subject us to questions that what is wrong with you Ekiti people?
“We thought you are educated, we thought you are exposed, how do you come up with a character like this as governor?
“It is time to put a stop to that; it is not about title, it is about sacrifice and whatever it will take us to free Ekiti from these criminal and rapacious brigands, we will do it.
“We are here to inform Ekiti people that we will never abandon them. We will never hesitate to leave the comfort of Abuja. It is high time to come home and help our vulnerable people.
“We will do everything that is required to win Ekiti back. They will accuse us of using federal might.
“Although power belongs to God and he gives it to whoever He wishes, we will use bottom power, middle power. That is why they are jittery,” The Nation quoted him as saying.
Fayemi described the White Paper of the Fayose administration, which indicted him of financial impropriety and recommended him for a 10-year ban from holding public office, as an “ordinary tissue paper.”
The minister said: “Every time I move around, I see the suffering and penury our people are going through.
“I saw their pain and pangs of not knowing where the next meal will come from.
“That is why we must tell the man who is shouting around that he has a White Paper, we have a red card for him and his party.
“We will ensure that he will end up in jail.”
Fayemi described Fayose as a “pathological liar” for claiming that the debt he (Fayemi) left behind was responsible for his (Fayose’s) inability to pay workers’ salaries and pensioners benefits as and when due.
The ex-governor explained that he took a N25 billion bond from the Capital Market in December 2011 with which he executed capital projects, adding that he had repaid N14.5 billion at the time he left office in October 2014.
Dismissing the opposition’s claim that he hates workers and teachers, Fayemi stressed that workers enjoyed most during his administration when they enjoyed salary increase three times.
Apart from this, he said workers were sponsored to local and overseas seminars, teachers got Core Subjects Allowance, Rural Teachers Allowance and no worker was sacked.
To party members, Fayemi said: “Whoever wins the primary, we will all support him.
“Don’t run down any aspirant.
“Let us desist from hate speech because all aspirants are promoting our party.
“Party members should not use abusive and intemperate language and I want to suggest to our party leaders to come out with a code of conduct to check this.
“If we don’t do that, we run the risk of damaging our brand (APC).
“You are free to market your aspirant and leave the judgment to our delegates.
“They (delegates) want our party back in power and we must respect their judgment.
“Any aspirant who does not respect the rule, I will take him as an agent who does not want the good of our party.