This is Your Victory/The Voice and Choice of the People/New Dawn       Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State.       S...
perversions, you held on to your faith even when the path was uncertain. Inspite of the temporary triumph of perfidy and w...
opportunity for the light that is Ekiti State to shine again; the shining lightwhich had been consecrated by those who cam...
knowledge. My compatriots, now we must recover the spiritual and moraldirection that many used to celebrate us for - coura...
would become vital indices in our development calculation. Child and maternalmortality rates shall be reduced and eventual...
I must caution that this would not be smooth sailing. The road will be rough,the climb is bound to be steep but that also ...
women, but parents must still guide and protect their children. True, we mustensure a politics of meaning and eschew bitte...
shores; theirs was, and still is, an irrevocable commitment to the ideals ofdemocracy, the promises of justice and the ill...
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Dr Fayemi's Inaugural Speech

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"This is your victory - the voice and choice of the people.." - the inaugural speech of Dr Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State, Nigeria on October 16, 2010.

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Dr Fayemi's Inaugural Speech

  1. 1. This is Your Victory/The Voice and Choice of the People/New Dawn Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State. Speech delivered at the Swearing-in Ceremony in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti- State.ProtocolsMy Dear Ekiti Compatriots,It is possible.In all things, as the Holy Books compel us, we must learn to give thanks to theAlmighty. To those who still doubt the miracle of our living God, yesterday’sdeclaration of the actual winner in the April 14, 2007 Gubernatorial electionand the supplementary election on April 25/May 5 2009 in Ekiti State is morethan ample evidence that our God is good, all the time. Forty seven years ago,our great leader, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, in his famous allocutus stated that“after darkness, comes the glorious dawn”. With profound gratitude and greathumility, I stand here today before this distinguished gathering and declare thatthis is the arrival of such a dawn. From a dismal tunnel into which electoralrobbery has drawn our beloved state, even made worse by the sheerincompetence and incontinence of the violators of our collective right topolitical choice, their Lords Justices of the Appeal Court have rescued our stateand delivered your voice and choice back to you, the good people of EkitiState. It is not ‘Kayode Fayemi and ‘Funmi Olayinka who have won a victoryhere today. This struggle has never been about us. It’s been about you and thecorporate sovereignty of Ekiti people.This has been a long and tortuous journey strewn with blood and tears alongthe way. For forty two long months after that election, you insisted on pitchingtents with the truth and decided on a new politics for our time. In all thesetiring years and depressing months, through all the legal rigmaroles and social   1  
  2. 2. perversions, you held on to your faith even when the path was uncertain. Inspite of the temporary triumph of perfidy and what looked like an endlessstream of inequity, you good people of Ekiti, and our numerous friends andsupporters both within and outside Nigeria, stood firmly by us; we remainedyour choice and your voice. You reflected what Ekiti history teaches us fromthe period of the ancestors about resistance to oppression, about courage ofconviction and about justice as the first condition of our humanity. At a point,the sheer impudence of the electoral thieves provoked our people to ask: Ki lati a se yi si o, Ekiti kete? But the response that you gave to the challenge wasoutstanding. You did not respond by force of arms, nor resort to criminality andbrigandage. Instead, you pursued your conviction with dogged determinationwithin the ambits of the constitution and the law. You heeded my plea that I donot want to be Governor over dead compatriots and that we must pursue justicewithout shedding blood. You bore all the indignities and suffered all thetribulations in the firm belief that, in the end, justice shall prevail. Today, yourinviolate belief in democracy and your unquenchable thirst for justice havebeen echoed in the hallowed chambers of the Nigerian judiciary. Your choiceand your voice have triumphed. At last, the siege is over. History is made, likethe day our forefathers repelled the ajeles at the historic Ekiti Parapo wars.It is possible.Today, we, the Ekiti people, begin a new journey to meet our manifest destinyas the vanguard of enlightenment, not only in Nigeria, but in the rest of Africa.We went into the election believing in the sanctity of the vote, in ourdetermination that our peoples votes should count in order to ensure that wecan be held accountable. Today, we enter into a sacred social contract withyou, our people. Let this message be heralded in every corner of our marvelousstate, let it be echoed in the four corners of this amazing country and beyondthe shores of Nigeria; let it be repeated by generations to come: that on thisday, at this place and in this historic time, a judicial verdict provided an   2  
  3. 3. opportunity for the light that is Ekiti State to shine again; the shining lightwhich had been consecrated by those who came before us, is today snatchedfrom the jaws of defeat and delivered to the doorsteps of victory. Never againin the history of our state of enlightenment shall a government not duly electedby the people be imposed on them.It is possible.For some time, our civility and restraint was misunderstood as a sign ofweakness and fear. We did not resist the tyranny of the military and erectedbarricades against the run-away autocracy of the militariat, only to submit tothe bloody machinations of civilian marauders. We were resolute in our beliefthat the state for which we have given, and will still give, our all, will never byour retaliation or reaction, be turned into the graveyard of democratic politics.The struggle was waged on our core principle of restoring a heritage of valuesknown to Ekiti and Yoruba people. Yes, it is true that we have had a bitterlydivided state in the past three and a half years. Ekiti was always in the newsfor all the wrong reasons, not celebrated for any enduring and worthyexploits. Indeed, we responded to the tricks and treacheries of the powers bythe sheer morality of our authentic mandate; we did not fight, we struggled. Westruggled to ensure that, through all the uncorrupted avenues for legal justice,the mandate that you freely gave retained its sanctity in the face of dauntingodds. It is a fulfillment of my constant refrain that our freely given mandatewill neither be compromised nor stolen.For the avoidance of doubt, dear compatriots, what we struggled against werenot the individuals who stole our votes, who benefitted from the robbery andthose who, through political or even judicial means, sought to consolidate theelectoral heist. Those we struggled against and those who this judgment hasgiven us the renewed will to defeat are tyranny, illiteracy, poverty, diseases andthe darkness that has been imposed on this land of honour and fountain of   3  
  4. 4. knowledge. My compatriots, now we must recover the spiritual and moraldirection that many used to celebrate us for - courage, character, competence,compassion, candour and integrity. Ekiti was founded on these ideals and wenow have a sacred duty to take them back.We had named this a collective rescue mission. The vision is clear; the missionis here. It is to make poverty history in our land. While it is going to be adaunting task, it is not an insurmountable challenge to move beyond our mostrecent wounds. In fact, our only choice is to continue on the path ofreconciliation and renewal towards a model state - because this state is biggerthan us all.It is possible.As I am ushered into the Governor’s Office in Ado-Ekiti, make no mistakeabout it, I will ensure that you, the good people of Ekiti State, own thisgovernment. I will do this by re-designing my agenda through the villagesquare and town hall meetings I promised; democratizing governance,modernizing agriculture; improving on infrastructure; promoting free andqualitative education towards the development of functional human capital;providing free health and social security to the disadvantaged sectors of ourstate, ensuring industrial development; tourism and sustainable developmentand promoting gender equality and womens empowerment.Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, the State of our State calls for an urgent,bold and swift action. What happened in Ilorin yesterday had strengthened mybond with you. My 8 point agenda would be pursued with vigour and lifewould be more abundant for our people .Governance shall not only betransparent and accountable but the good of our people would be the template.There would be employment opportunities and youth development shallreceive urgent lifeline. Women would never suffer discrimination as they   4  
  5. 5. would become vital indices in our development calculation. Child and maternalmortality rates shall be reduced and eventually stamped out. Agriculture, ourmainstay would come alive while tourism would add value to Ekiti, a state ofaesthetic splendor. Your health will be my wealth as we set about fulfilling ourpromise of an affordable, accessible healthcare for every Ekiti citizen.Education, our heritage and weapon against ignorance shall receive a religiousattention. For the good of our people and to the Greater Glory of humanity, Ideclare Education free for all primary and secondary school pupils. Childrenat birth up to five years of age, pregnant women and senior citizens areexempted from paying medical bills in all government hospitals. In addition,we shall introduce a social security scheme for all our senior citizens that are65 and above within the shortest possible time.Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen - This event is occurring as the worldreviews a decade of the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs]. I do notbelieve that this timing is just a mere coincidence or an occurrence byhappenstance. It is also five decades after the gargantuan accomplishments ofour sage as the premier of Western Nigeria. Even the sage must be turning inhis grave about the deteriorating developments in his zone and the entirecountry as a whole. It is therefore an opportunity for those of us interested insocietal transformation to recommit and rededicate ourselves to the valuespromoted by Chief Awolowo and renewed in the MDGs. Our challenge as asuccessor generation is not just to restore the fundamental tenets of the Awocredo in our actions. Yes, education, health, development of the human capitaland freedom from poverty must remain inalienable rights for our people but inaccomplishing the necessary tasks, we will not privilege ideology over facts.Not dogma over common sense. Our primary objective will be what works bestin the ultimate interest of our people. We shall do development with ourpeople and not for them.   5  
  6. 6. I must caution that this would not be smooth sailing. The road will be rough,the climb is bound to be steep but that also represents the history of our people– a history of continuing struggle. We owe it a duty to repair the damage doneby the departing authority even as we re-start the clock of progress in our State.For about three and a half years, governance became an exercise in trial byerror. Ekiti government house became a theatre for comedians where policysomersault and executive recklessness became the script. It was forty monthsof a game without rules, a journey without maps. Health care delivery becamedeath scare delivery and the neglected hospitals became centres where you paythrough your nose to shake hand with death. Peace became a rare commodityin our cultural warehouse and lives became disposable with unnatural expirydates, through the guns of assassins and kidnappers and the bullets of armedrobbers. We recorded more political killings in these sordid forty months thanin the previous twelve years of our existence as a state. A strange catechism ofpolitics without integrity was handed to our youths who were living witnessesto unpardonable electoral robberies. Infrastructure and public utilities becamepublic nightmare. Education system became impaired while deception becamean article of faith. Official relationship with our elders, leaders and traditionalrulers was maintained mainly with pecuniary inducements rather than throughconviction.Compatriots, I have reiterated many times that the struggle was not a personalwar between political adversaries but a compelling call to a crusade for theredemption of our dear State which we have all toiled to build. In the spirit ofreconciliation and renewal, we must have the courage and the determination tobuild bridges across divides and unite in common effort. We must be honestand admit that attaining greater heights in Ekiti State will require more thanjust government. There is no magic wand about it. It will require a renewedsense of responsibility from each of us. Yes, government must lead, but eachof us must do our part in rebuilding this beloved state of ours. Yes, we mustprovide more opportunities and ladders to success for our young men and   6  
  7. 7. women, but parents must still guide and protect their children. True, we mustensure a politics of meaning and eschew bitterness in political relations.In this sense, I want to assure all that there will be neither recrimination norretaliation under this administration. Without a doubt, we will undertake acomprehensive review of what had transpired in the last forty two months asshould be expected, but this is with a view to strengthening the fabric ofdemocratic governance and correcting the ills of the past, not an exercise inwitch-hunting. During this period, the civil service which is the keyimplementing agent of government had its flag flown at half mast. The fire of avibrant workforce was extinguished and the artisans were in sackcloth,mourning the arrested opportunities of Ekiti, our State of hope. To begin thisprocess of renewal, we shall require all Permanent Secretaries in our civilservice to revert back to their positions as of May 28, 2009 immediately whilesuspending all irregular civil service appointments.It is possible.Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, our celebration today is not a celebrationof our victory as politicians or as a party, our celebration is that of the triumphof justice and equity, the victory of Ekiti people’s inalienable right to choosetheir leaders, a celebration of the triumph of human spirit over the indignitiesof the age; a triumph of hope over hopelessness. But it is also a celebration of anew beginning, one for which all Ekiti people must roll up their sleeves tobegin the rebuilding of our state which was hampered by gross electoralrobbery.We cannot but salute our leaders who put what money could not buy - theirhonour and their humanity - on the line so that the government of the people,by the people and for the people shall not perish in Ekitiland. They were notseeking personal victories or favours; some of them were not even from these   7  
  8. 8. shores; theirs was, and still is, an irrevocable commitment to the ideals ofdemocracy, the promises of justice and the illuminations of egalitarianism.For the avoidance of doubt, even if, fundamentally, our task begins with EkitiState, it goes beyond the limits of our state, because we cannot be truly freeuntil our compatriots are all free. Therefore, let this be only the beginning ofgreater justice, within and beyond Ekiti state. This land, which had flowed withmilk and honey, both which has now been sucked and licked dry by a mostunprecedented kleptomania, must be returned to its pride of place in the comityof nations. Ekiti people, as we celebrate the centenary of Obafemi Awolowo,the High Priest of Enlightenment and Egalitarianism, I hereby reaffirm mywillingness to work with others to ensure that Ekiti State and our country,Nigeria, marches again, unimpeded, towards her manifest destiny.Yes, it is possible.I thank you.God bless you, God bless Ekiti State, and God Bless Nigeria.     8  

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