Why I’m sure of a sec­ond term - Fayemi

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - Con­tin­ued from page 18 Gov John Kay­ode Fayemi

is not bro­ken, why fix it?’ The deputy gover­nor has done very well. She did ex­ceed­ingly well man­ag­ing the state’s Uni­ver­sal Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion Board. My party has a po­si­tion that the deputy must come from Ado – Ek­iti and I can­not go against the po­si­tion of the party on that. My late deputy was also from Ado – Ek­iti as you know. So we just re­placed her with an­other Ado – Ek­iti per­son who hap­pens to be a di­rect de­scen­dant of the monarch here. But that is not what qual­i­fies her for the job. She is more im­por­tantly a pro­fes­sor and ex­pert in ed­u­ca­tion ad­min­is­tra­tion.

You were in Ondo for Mimiko’s in­au­gu­ra­tion, does that im­ply that af­ter the elec­tion, you may also ex­tend the hand of fel­low­ship to both Opeyemi and Fayose?

If you know my pol­i­tics you will know that that is not re­ally ex­cep­tional. I’m very friendly with Peter Obi, but I went to cam­paign for my Party’s can­di­date - Chris Ngige in Anam­bra State and I ac­tu­ally called Peter that I was in town to cam­paign for Chris Ngige. Gover­nor Mimiko is my Eg­bon in our lo­cal par­lance here. I’d like to think he is still my friend. For me, there is a whole world of dif­fer­ence be­tween ide­o­log­i­cal affin­ity and friend­ship. I’ve many friends in PDP, one of my clos­est friend was the PDP gu­ber­na­to­rial as­pi­rant in Edo State be­fore he even­tu­ally came back to us and be­came the Sec­re­tary to the State Govern­ment and even when he was in PDP and was work­ing with Pres­i­dent Obasanjo, it didn’t re­ally af­fect our friend­ship. For me, my pol­i­tics is not pol­i­tics of bit­ter­ness. Opeyemi used to be a good friend, I’m sure you know. He chose to dis­tance him­self on ac­count of his am­bi­tion and he has ev­ery right to be am­bi­tious. Ev­ery hu­man be­ing should have am­bi­tion but that should not turn him into an en­emy. He is there­fore my op­po­nent but he is not my en­emy. Gover­nor Fayose is my ac­quain­tance and I’m sure if you ask him he would prob­a­bly tell you the same. I may have my own is­sues with him, he prob­a­bly has his own is­sues with me but he is a for­mer gover­nor of this state and de­serves to be re­spected. For me, I do not think any­one who oc­cu­pies this seat should do any­thing to den­i­grate the of­fice be­cause there is a mys­tique around the of­fice that we must all pro­tect; whether you are a pu­ta­tive as­pi­rant for the of­fice or you are the oc­cu­pant, you should not den­i­grate the po­si­tion. And you are right, af­ter elec­tion is over, gov­er­nance be­gins and don’t be sur­prised if there is any rea­son for us to come to­gether in the ul­ti­mate best in­ter­est of Ek­iti State and Ek­iti people. I’m go­ing to so­licit for their as­sis­tance and their wise coun­sel. And be­sides, Ek­iti is unique; we are dif­fer­ent from any other state. This is the only mo­noeth­nic place you can point to in Nigeria. Even Bayelsa has strands but in Ek­iti, we are one stock. We are the same people and we are prob­a­bly all re­lated in one form or the other in our var­i­ous 132 com­mu­ni­ties. In pol­i­tics, there are no per­ma­nent friends and no per­ma­nent op­po­nents.

What would be your fo­cus if you get a sec­ond term in of­fice?

Three things; agri­cul­ture, tourism and the knowl­edge econ­omy, and let me ex­plain what I mean by that. Clearly, I’m not go­ing to stop my fo­cus on ed­u­ca­tion but it is go­ing to be nar­rowed into the cre­ation of knowl­edge econ­omy. We have a lot of fo­cus on tech­no­log­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion, on vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion, on ICT and the knowl­edge park that we are con­struct­ing. We have a 3,000 hectare Ek­iti Knowl­edge Zone in the mak­ing. It is prob­a­bly big­ger than the Lekki Free Zone; it is go­ing to be the base for ed­u­ca­tion tourism, med­i­cal tourism and ICT out­sourc­ing. We feel that is an area that can give us an edge. Agri­cul­ture, un­der­stand­ably be­cause of our own ground but it is ex­pand­ing and de­vel­op­ing the food value chain. We would be fo­cus­ing on cas­sava, the re­vival of our co­coa, rice and oil palm. Three, tourism; we feel that Ek­iti can still be the best des­ti­na­tion of choice. We talk about what has hap­pened in Cross River but we still feel we are bet­ter placed than Cross River be­cause Cross River is much more dif­fi­cult to get to, par­tic­u­larly Obudu. It is much eas­ier to get to Iko­gosi than Obudu. And we are build­ing Iko­gosi into a tourism hub to serve our grand vi­sion of mak­ing poverty his­tory in our state. So, it is more of con­sol­i­da­tion of what we have been do­ing. But it is go­ing to be driven by how many jobs can be gen­er­ated from these sec­tors. It is go­ing to be largely job fo­cused.

The deputy gover­nor has

done very well. She did ex­ceed­ingly well

man­ag­ing the state’s Uni­ver­sal Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion Board. My party has a po­si­tion that the deputy must come from Ado – Ek­iti and I can­not go against the po­si­tion of the party on that. My late deputy was also from Ado – Ek­iti as you know

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