For the first time since he left office over two months ago, former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, stated his own side of the story on how he ran the state for four years.
Fayemi refuted many allegations levelled against him by his successor, Mr. Ayo Fayose, whom he accused of elevating falsehood and deceit as an official policy of his (Fayose’s) administration.
Speaking on a special programme on Akure, Ondo State-based radio station, ADABA 88.9 FM, on the evening of Friday, 26th December, 2014 which was monitored by our correspondent in Ado-Ekiti, Fayemi maintained that the total amount of debt he left behind for his successor was N36 billion contrary to Fayose’s claim of a whopping N85 billion.
Fayemi also refuted Fayose’s claim that he (Fayose) left N10. 4 billion in the government coffers shortly after he was impeached from office in October 2006.
He disclosed that available records show that Fayose left N3.5 billion and a lot of contractor obligations behind after his dramatic ouster from power in 2006.
For the first time, the Fayemi also revealed that actual cost of the new Government House otherwise known as the Ayoba Villa.
The edifice, according to him, was built at the cost of N2.1 billion.
Fayemi said the cost of the Ayoba Villa, which is being presently overlaid with marble by the Fayose administration, was lower than other newly-constructed government houses in other states of the federation.
He also carpeted Fayose for claiming in his monthly media chat earlier in the day that the new Government House is yet to be completed maintaining that “the edifice is not only completed but is also fully furnished”.
Fayemi also expressed shock at the claim of Fayose and his aides that each of the beds in the Ayoba Villa cost N50 million saying there is no place in the world where a single bed is being sold for that amount.
He warned Fayose to stop peddling lies and face the serious business of governance instead of reducing governance to comedy which, he noted, is portraying Ekiti in bad light in the comity of states in Nigeria and before the international community.
Fayemi also gave Fayose hard knocks for claiming that all the brand new vehicles he (Fayemi) bought for traditional rulers have not been paid for.
Fayemi insisted that records available indicate that the monarchs’ cars which were purchased from Coscharis Motors have been paid for admitting that it is only official cars purchased for senior civil servants from the same company that are yet to be paid for.
The ex-governor noted that the wrong information being fed the world by Fayose and his lackeys either resulted from deliberate mischief or lack of being properly briefed by concerned officials.
Describing Fayose’s allegation that he (Fayemi) left a gargantuan debt profile of N85 billion as “wicked and ludicrous”, Fayemi said the audited account and statement of finance as published in some national dailies at the time he left office put the state debt as N36 billion.
While admitting that his administration sourced a Bond of N25 billion from the Capital Market to execute projects that had generated jobs which are also yielding revenue into the coffers of government.
He explained that the projects which include Ekiti Parapo Square, Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort, Ire Burnt Bricks, Ayoba Villa, College of Technical Agriculture, among others are now worth over N100 billion.
Contrary to Fayose’s claims that N1.5 billion is deducted from Ekiti allocation every month, Fayemi argued that N500 million is deducted from the state allocation.
Fayemi stressed that for the whole four years he was in office, the only month his administration failed to pay workers’ salaries was September.
He added that secondary school teachers were also owed August salaries which he attributed to problems with their banks.
The former governor claimed that Fayose who had since received the September allocation has refused to pay the September salaries to workers describing the action as “callous, ungodly and immoral”.
According to him, his administration had problems paying the September salaries because Fayose allegedly went to the banks and directed them to stop giving the outgoing government loans which were procured to pay salaries before allocation arrived.
Fayemi said Ekiti people have now seen the difference in his government which he said took care of the all segments of the population and the new government which he accused of degrading and dehumanizing Ekiti people by making them jobless and turning them to beggars.
The former governor disclosed that Fayose has stopped the payment of monthly social security benefits to the aged people and scrapped Peace Corps and Youth Volunteer Scheme.
He argued that civil servants and teachers fared better under his government than the present administration noting that he increased workers’ salaries three times.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain said the minimum wage at the time he assumed office in October 2010 was N7,500 but had increased to N19, 350 at the time he left office.
Fayemi pointed out that no government in the history of the state took care of teachers more than his own revealing that teachers in the rural areas enjoyed Rural Teachers Allowance while those teaching core subjects smiled home with Core Subject Allowance apart from the 27.5 per cent Peculiar Teachers’ Allowance and their statutory monthly salaries.
He expressed shock that Fayose who claims to be a friend of teachers and civil servants could delay their December salaries to the extent that many teachers and civil servants were keeping vigil at the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) of banks in the wee hours of Christmas.
Fayemi explained that by this time of last year, he gave workers 30 per cent of their salaries as Christmas bonus regretting that workers are being degraded with distribution of “premature chickens” which they are being made to line up in public to get.
Accusing Fayose of laying the foundation of his administration on falsehood, Fayemi said he was not surprised at the lies being allegedly paddled by the governor whom he claimed had once told him (Fayemi) that “lies are tools of politics”.
Fayemi said, “It is the belief of my successor that lies are what is used to run government and he had personally told me this before that if you want to put somebody in problems tell lies against him and let him be grappling with that before you rope him with more lies.
“There is no Oba that we bought cars for and we did not pay. We bought cars for Obas from Coscharis and we have paid for them, we bought that of (senior) civil servants from Coscharis too but we did not pay for their own.
“On the lies being spewed on the new Government House, Ekiti people are beginning to know the nature of the governor they now have. I am surprised that he still indulges in make-belief.
“It is not only fully completed but it is also fully furnished. It is the cheapest government house built by any government in the 36 states of the federation in recent times.
“That of Plateau State cost N10 billion and that of Kaduna cost N9 billion but we built our own at the cost of N2.1 billion and they are presently doing marble work on the same government house and they are also doing the roads we have completed.
“If he (Fayose) says he refused to move there, why is he lighting up the place by powering it with diesel? I know the meetings he is holding there because it is a four-in-one building.
“But for you to try and make excuses that is not acceptable. If God helps you to be there even if you cheat your way to be there, you need to thank God for the favour He has shown you.
“These lies are unfounded, it is not expected from somebody holding that exalted position. You are sleeping there, your wife is sleeping there.
“Do we have N50 million worth of bed in this world? I want people to ask him to produce the bed of N50 million. I don’t give contract by the words of the mouth, I have papers and documents to back them up and I don’t award contracts to my brothers and family members.
“If they have anything against me let them institute a probe, I am ready for it”.
Speaking on the alleged impunity going on in the state especially the attacks on Judiciary and the Legislature, said he neither invade the court nor beat up any judge despite losing some cases in the State High Court while he worked with state lawmakers even when a non-member of his party was Speaker.
He expressed dismay with the turn of events in the state which he said has been in the news for the wrong reasons of late.