Ekiti State Government has described the sentiment expressed by the governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the June 21 election in the state, Hon. Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, on water problem in the state as not only lacking in merit but also borne out of mischief.
Michael Opeyemi Bamidele a.k.a MOB had allegedly scored Governor Kayode Fayemi low on what he described as his administration’s “inability to bring water for drinking and other domestic uses to the doorsteps of residents of Ekiti State after over three years in office”.
But in a reaction on behalf of the state government, the state Commissioner of Information, Mr. Tayo Ekundayo, said it was quite unfortunate that Mr. Bamidele who should know better has chosen to play politics with facts.
The Commissioner pointed out that Dr. Fayemi had made the perennial problem of water one of his priority projects and has been addressing it since he mounted the saddle over three years ago, the way an inexperienced Bamidele would not have done.
“Lack of potable water is a national problem, but the pragmatic and intensified efforts of the state government towards eradicating scarcity and improving accessibility to hygienic water has improved the state ranking as one of the best two in the water sector in the country, Ekundayo said, adding further that:
“To show that we have concrete plans in place to combat water problems, we on assumption of office in October 2010 met water provision at 25 percent and we have been able to increase it to 57 percent three years after. We are approaching the problem in a three-pronged manner: The short, medium and long terms.
“For the short term, many boreholes have been sunk in many communities. For the medium term, we have completed and commissioned five mini-waterworks in Ido Ile, Efon, Erijiyan, Okemesi and Maryhill in Ado Ekiti, while for the long term, water pipes are being laid in addition to the ongoing turn-around maintenance of Ero Dam for which government has released N1.4billion.”
Ekundayo recalled that the last time water pipes were laid was during the era of the Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. But the present government is laying new pipes state-wide spanning 400 kilometers to replace the dilapidated ones and they are near completion.
The commissioner also flayed Bamidele for trying to drag the traditional ruler of Ikun Oba, Oba Timothy Oluwagbohunmi Ibiyinka, into his mudslinging, saying that it was typical of MOB to distort the view of the traditional ruler and exploiting such for his own political advantage. He said he was sure the Oba would not have made the statement credited to him.
“Oba Ibiyinka is one of the traditional rulers in the state that have not only identified with the activities of Dr. Fayemi’s administration but also appreciated the efforts being made to resolve the water problem, compared to what other governments had done in the past.
“There is a small town water project called Araromi/Ikun-Oba/ Ilasa water project. It is a counterpart funding project between the State Government and the European Union. The borehole project with many fetching points is working perfectly. The project is in the three towns mentioned. When the pumps were vandalised eight months ago in Ikun Oba in particular, the State Government promptly replaced them. This is a short-term measure for water supply in the community as pipes have been laid with the purpose of connecting to it to Itapaji Dam when the turn-around maintainance is completed.
“Apart from giving the water issue a priority attention in the area, other projects embarked upon in Ikun Oba by the Gov. Fayemi administration include the construction of the Ikun-Oba township road, renovation of the Oba’s palace, completion of 12 units lock-up shops with toilets and completion of Health Centre at Ikun Araromi.
Ekundayo advised Bamidele to do his homework before rushing to the press with bare-faced lies.
Meanwhile, the Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation has advised the candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele, to stop spreading lies in a desperate attempt to win over the Ekiti electorate who are far more informed than he assumes they are.
The LP candidate had during his campaign rally in Ifaki-Ekiti on Monday, 2nd June, 2014, promised to reverse the merger of the University of Science and Technology in the town with two other state-owned universities if elected governor.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Fayemi Campaign Organisation said it was laughable that both the candidate of the LP and the PDP have now turned the university merger into an object of lies with which they are trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the enlightened Ekiti electorate.
According to the spokesperson of the organisation, Dimeji Daniels, who signed the statement, the decision to merge the university was not unilateral, but a product of painstaking deliberations at an education summit peopled by eggheads of the state origin such as the late Professor Sam Aluko, Professor Akin Oyebode and other eminent educationists who are very knowlegeable in the management of university education.
Daniels added that the merger of the universities had brought a new lease of life to Ekiti State University (EKSU) which now ranks 17 in the webometic ranking of universities as against its earlier ranking of 79.
According to Daniels, the confusion about which of the three universities to give the Tertiary Education Fund (TETFUND) to was only laid to rest after the merger.
“The ability of the Ekiti State University (EKSU) to access the TETFUND, coupled with the capital grants it receives from the State Government, has enabled it to build new structures, thereby sky-rocketing the institution from a hitherto glorified secondary school to a world class university.”
Daniels said it was out of sheer desperation that Bamidele who as a member of the defunct ACN was part of the decision-making process could turn around now to ridicule same on the alter of desperate politicking.
He chided Bamidele for his promise to revive the AM radio station in Ifaki, adding that AM radio is no longer in vogue and that Governor Kayode Fayemi had already promised to upgrade the station to an FM radio station.
Advising Bamidele to stop acting like an expert on matters he is ignorant of, the spokesperson of the Fayemi administration said the LP candidate while a commissioner in Lagos State with far greater revenue and allocation than Ekiti State never criticised the state for having only one university.
He said it was unbecoming of a governorship candidate to resort to lies in a bid to win votes.