Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has revealed that his administration has no plan to ban commercial motorcycle operators otherwise known as ‘Okada’ from operating in the state.
He, however, said that his government would pay particular attention to the safety of both the operators and their passengers through proper monitoring by relevant agencies.
The Governor , who spoke during his monthly media chat “Meet Your Governor”, on Sunday night, also urged politicians in the state to conduct themselves within the provisions of the law as the state approaches the 2014 governorship election saying all he craved for is that politicians should give peace a chance so that Ekiti will not relapse into a state of what he described as “one-week-one-trouble”.
On the rumoured plan to ban Okada in the state, Governor Fayemi said the rumour was being peddled by opposition politicians in a bid to create disaffection between those involved in the trade and the government.
Describing some politicians as “jokers who sit down in beer parlours to concoct stories for their selfish ends”, Fayemi said the rumoured plan to ban Okada only existed in the imagination of those concocting it.
“You have lots of jokers out there who sit down in beer parlours concocting stories, there is no place where I said I will phase out Okada and I can say we do not have any plan to ban okada on our roads. But if you ask me that am I for their safety, the answer is yes.
“I want to use this forum to tell our people that we have no plan to phase out Okada either gradually or outrightly. I know they (okada operators) play a significant role in the transport sector of the economy. All we need do is to regulate their activities,” the Governor said.
Fayemi said his major New Year resolution is to ensure that Ekitis have a state that is peaceful and prosperous in which more jobs will be created for the citizens in 2014.
He appealed to politicians to allow peace to reign in the state and pursue their political ambition in an atmosphere devoid of chaos and anarchy.
Fayemi said his government has been tolerant of opposition saying opposition parties have more posters of aspirants than his own party.
According to him, opposition politicians are free to go round the state and canvass for votes but such should be done in accordance with the law of the land.
He disclosed that some opposition politicians are having problems with erection of their billboards because they violated the State Signage Law put in place during the Segun Oni regime.
Fayemi said the State Signage Agency must approve the site of any billboard while certain fees prescribed by law must be paid to the agency under the law which he described as one of the best legacies of the Oni administration.
While refuting the claims of the opposition camp that his administration sourced N100 billion bond from the Capital Market, Fayemi clarified that his regime approached the Capital Market for a N25 billion bond out of which the first tranche of N20 billion had been accessed.
He added that while government has succeeded in paying back over N9 billion, the remaining tranche of N5 billion will soon be accessed to continue with the various legacy and regenerative projects being executed in the state.
The Governor described his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the “government in waiting” at the federal level saying the party is well-positioned to sack the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from power at the centre.
Fayemi explained that devolution of power which he described as a euphemism for fiscal federalism is a major component of the APC manifesto aimed at making the masses feel the impact of governance.
“We are a government in waiting, we are not posturing, when you have sixteen governors out of thirty six, it shows you that we are not posturing”, he stated.