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Why opposition is afraid of Fayose 'Ogunsuyi

Published by Tribune on Wed, 24 Dec 2014

Special Assistant to Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State on Information, Sports, Culture, Youths and Civic Orientation, Mr Lanre Ogunsuyi speaks, in this interview with SAM NWAOKO, on the security situation in the state, the crisis in the state House of Assembly and sundry issues. Excerpts:Your government is about ten weeks old. How would you describe the experience so far'I will say it has been very challenging; and this can be broken down to pre and post- assumption of office. Ekiti people are aware of the various challenges we had before the inauguration of the government and after the inauguration we've had challenges ranging from financial to security issues to the House of Assembly and to inheritance of ghost workers and inheritance of backlog of unpaid salaries. We have been face with all kinds of challenges, human, material and financial. But in all, God has been kind.Apart from challenges, how has been the general situation'So far, God has been with us but we can't say 'so far so good' yet because people are deliberately throwing spanners in the wheels of the Governor Ayo Fayose administration. Apart from the one they have been able to throw while they were in office, there has been a continuous assault on the person of the governor and the government itself. This, we pray, has reach its climax with the recent attack on the Ado Ekiti Prisons, where people who are being tried for murders cases were being held. These challenges have been enormous but, God has been faithful.Some observers have said imperialism is one of the challenges your government is facing. When you marry that with the crisis in the Ekiti State Assembly, how would you react'I will say that it is my belief that a section of the media has not treated our government fairly. And that could be media imperialism. A lot of them jump into conclusions and do not ask for the benefit of the other side. Some people have their minds hardened like concrete. They started from the allegation that we did 'photo chromic' rigging (whatever that means). They thought we could never win that election, let alone the landslide with which we won it. But God has never sent a man on an assignment that He knows surpasses his ability. The person of Governor Fayose is the person of a champion and problems are the breakfast of champions, not cereal or tea. So, he has been able to swallow each of the problem balls. God has been very faithful and we believe that under Fayose's watch, Ekiti will bounce back. Ekiti will bounce back because I don't know the investor that would want to invest in a state that was financially reckless in the last four years; and is indebted heavily to the tune of N85 billion. But we will overcome this phase. We believe God that through the leadership of Fayose, Ekiti will bounce back.There was an upsurge in insecurity in Ekiti and it was alleged by the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) that this was caused by the governor who reduced subvention to the security agencies in the state. What's your take on this'The people you call the opposition are the people who have inmates in Ado Prison, who are standing trial for various crimes such as murder and conspiracy to murder, arson, and attempted murder and so on. So, they are close to the criminals. So, when they say that we do not pay a certain amount from a purse they themselves had already sucked dry, we didn't know that they were unleashing on the state a set of criminals. There had been robberies in Ikere and Ifaki and we've heard of kidnapping in the state. They are importing all kinds of strange things into the state in fulfillment of their promise to make the state ungovernable if the people do not vote them in. But we appeal to them and to the good people of that state to remember that in any election, one side wins. So, we appeal to them to allow us run this term to the best interest of the people. They should stop distracting us. They should not create an Ekiti version of Boko Haram which is what they are trying to do. They are trying to copy what their paymasters are doing at the national level at the state level, that is, bring all kinds of criminality to cripple the state and destabilise this government. But like I said, in God we trust and Ekiti State will emerge.You've also had a lingering issue with the state House of Assembly dominated by APC members, which you inherited, since October 16, when Governor Fayose took over. Why haven't the executive and legislative arms of government in the state been able to resolve their differences'The Ekiti State House of Assembly no longer exists, what we have is the APC legislators. Ideally, no legislator is so-called if he represents only the interest of a party and not that of the generality of the people of his constituency. We came into government on October 16 and on the 17th, they went on a one-month recess because they are not used to hard work. The pace of the last administration had been very slow and they are used to that slow pace. Otherwise, why will a state Assembly go on a one-month recess at the inception of a new administration' After we persuaded, begged and induced them to come back to work; because they made all sorts of claims which we tried to settle reasonably within the available resources, they again abandoned ship. Right now, we have only 10 members of the Assembly who are patriotic and who have put patriotism above partisanship. We are happy with those people because they have ensured that the work of the House of Assembly is going on. For those who are holding their Assembly discussions outside the state, we urge them to return home and join hands with us in salvaging the state. We make this appeal because they are the same Assembly that approved the spurious loans that have led us into the financial quagmire that we find ourselves today.We have been in government for less than two months and we have paid two months' salaries because they were unable to pay salaries. They should come back and tell us the roadmap because they are our important link to the last administration because they are the last vestige of the last administration. They should return home and tell us about the finances of the state. Thousands of youths were engaged in traffic management, some since 2012 but they were not given any letters. We want them to come back and enlighten us because these are matters that relate to the state and not to the PDP, because Governor Fayose is the governor of Ekiti State. We want every House member to see him or herself as a person of history and as people who occupy an important place in the history of Ekiti State. So we want men to be counted.But, they alleged that they ran out of the state because the governor is after them; that the state is not safe for them'There are no security issues except the politically-motivated and the ones they generated in the media. What about their kinsmen' What about the people who voted them to represent them' Does a man run from his house because his house is not secure or he secures his house' No one is after them; Governor Fayose has even been appealing to them to return to the state and join in the effort to pull the state out of the woods, but they prefer to heed some other voices. The governor and all of us are here. Criminals have attacked banks, attacked the prison and have attempted to make the state very unsafe, but we are all here. We are full of efforts and full of prayers to ensure that this state does not go down, not under the weight of any political pressure and machination. But the lawmakers have chosen to abandon the state at a critical time and decided to stay outside to throw stones into their own home. Their constituents, whom they have abandoned, also want them back home. It is all lies that the state is not safe for them because they themselves know the truth in all of these.Your government's 'stomach infrastructure' has been viewed from various perspectives. What is it people should understand about it'People who have been coming from a background of 0-1-0 or 0-0-1; that is, people who cannot afford three square meals would understand. However, what this is all about is that we are going to take our people back to the road of development by first of all ensuring that there is food in their stomach and we will also make sure there is money in their pocket. We are doing this because the people have been so impoverished so much that they cannot pay school fees, their utility bills and so on. So, we are going to revive their economy by making sure that artisans get jobs and workers' salaries are paid on time. The multiplier effect of this is that the people would be prosperous again. By the time we were going into the election, they expressed fears that people were being wooed with food because they know that the people had been kept hungry. If they had fed the people and provided for their basic needs, there wouldn't have been any reason to fear that your supporters were being lured away with grains of rice.
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