Governor kayode fayemi's speech at the governors’ meeting for the development of agenda for western nigeria

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Governor kayode fayemi's speech at the governors’ meeting for the development of agenda for western nigeria

  1. 1.  AN ADDRESS DELLIVERED BY THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF EKITI STATE,HIS EXCELLENCY, DR KAYODE FAYEMI AT THE GOVERNORS’ MEETING FORTHE DEVELOPMENT OF AGENDA FOR WESTERN NIGERIA AT ADO EKITI ON FRIDAY 8TH JULY, 2011PROTOCOLS I welcome you all to today’s meeting on behalf of thegovernment and good people of the Ekiti State, the Land ofHonour. Your Excellencies would recall that in November, 2010,the Governors of Ekiti, Osun and Ondo States met in Akure todiscuss the need for a platform of engagement among ourrespective States and the need for cooperative governance andcollaboration. We have deliberately not convened a follow-upmeeting because we were waiting for the total liberation andemancipation of Oyo and Ogun States which by the grace of Godand the benevolence of the people of those States came tofruition recently; i thereby welcome specially the Governors ofOgun and Oyo States to this meeting. Also, i congratulate theGovernor of Lagos State for his victory and subsequent re-election in the just concluded general election. Today’s meeting is very historic in the annals of the historyof Ekiti State because on this day, history will properly record ourcollective efforts to kick-start the process of building a newmomentum for engaging and mobilising our respective States toharness our inherent capacities. It will also enable us to build aconsensus on major issues of communal concern and alsofacilitate a genuine process of political and economic cooperation 1    
  2. 2.  for the much needed rapid growth and developmentof our dear States. I believe honestly that with determinationand concerted efforts on our part, we call collectively surpass the1952 benchmark, enunciate a developmental paradigm and alsoprovide the window of hope for our people that would herald anew dawn for the region. Cooperative government binds participant States to put inthe front burner collective interest and place an obligation onthem to cooperate, support each other and avoid destructivecompetition. This obligation necessitates an efficientintergovernmental system and structure for interaction,cooperation and coordination between States. The motivesuccinctly put is to allow for joint ventures in the provision ofInfrastructure, Power Generation, Commerce, Agriculture andother areas. This would enable States to prosecute projects inareas of mutual benefits and comparative advantages in acooperative manner as a way of re-inventing the developmentmodel of the Old Western Region. The process of regional desertification reached its zenith inthe past eight years when a political party at war with its peopletook power in questionable circumstances. Though deeplyideological and historically progressive, the region came underthe control of ultra conservative elements, and thus beganstultifying process of replacing ideology with expediency, thequality of governance declined to the lowest ebb. A region thathad been used to setting standard regressed badly intomediocrity. 2    
  3. 3.   The region, according to The Nation of Sunday,April 3rd, 2011, has a remarkable history on its side. It did it in1952-1959, and to some extent in 1979-1982 as LOOBO States.More crucially and overwhelmingly, it even did it beforecolonialization, with political and economic structures that werebreathtaking not only in Africa but were also fairly competitive inthe world. We can do it again. If we can all subscribe to a unifiedregional developmental agenda. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, in the seven States ofLagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti and Edo, about 14% ofchildren between the ages of six and eleven are not in school,and of those in primary schools, only 50% even manage to transitto junior secondary schools. The media has been full with the badnews that only 5% of Nigerian Children who sat for the NECOexamination made a credit pass in five subjects including Englishand Mathematics. It is very disheartening to note that the Statewith the highest percentage score credit pass in any five papersrecorded just 13.2%, while the one with the least percentagescore recorded just 1.11% of the students registered for theexamination. This happened in a Western Region whose mainstake in Nigeria used to be her excellence in Education. (Oshun,2010). I have gone through this historical excursion to underscorethe critical nature of this meeting and to assure our people thathelp is on the way. We are aware that the expectation is huge,we are also aware that it is going to be a daunting task, but it isnot an insurmountable challenge, we are resolved as a people tomove beyond our most recent wounds because we do not suffer 3    
  4. 4.  a dearth of ideas. It is therefore a notorious factthat having achieved electoral credibility, it is now time to achieveperformance credibility through collective efforts, competenceand compassion for our people. Most of the critical issues which confront us today centre onhow to organise a liveable society that guarantees a decent lifefor the greater number of our people and they have beenmeticulously articulated by Chief Obafemi Awolowo in his bookThe People’s Republic and The Strategy and Tactics of aPeople’s Republic. Awo posits. “The man is the alpha and omega, the only dynamic means and the sole end, of all earthly human activities; and that any development plan is a failure which falls short of benefiting every member of society in accordance with deeds or needs as the case may be” (p. 82). Your Excellencies, today’s meeting represents a watershed inour determination to return the Old Western Region to the pathof real growth and pragmatic development. This meeting wouldrigorously interrogate issues such as the nature and structure ofcollaboration, the development of a legal framework, mechanismfor information sharing and evaluation, enunciate adevelopmental paradigm for the region, the desirability for a PeerReview Mechanism, the development of a policy guideline on anongoing basis aimed at strengthening the efficiency andeffectiveness of integration and also locate the cause of theretrogression in the region, proffer solutions and develop aregional action plan. 4    
  5. 5.   In concluding, Your Excellencies, we shouldremind ourselves that history has placed on our shoulders a veryserious burden because we are “heirs to a tradition of hope andtireless expectations –which Awo captured repeatedly as “Ba o kuise o tan” – Can we then give up? We return then in the end tothe endless optimism of that eternal spirit of possibilities mademanifest in the person and leadership of Obafemi Awolowo. Wecannot be tired of reminding ourselves of this. In the voice-overof the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) anthem, Awo’s voice ringsthrough the ages; “It is a duty we owe, to our dream motherland To our dear great motherland To ensure her, and to boost her In the eyes of the entire world ......” (Adebanwi, 2010) Your Excellencies, once again, I welcome you to this epochmaking event in the Land of Honour and I wish all of us asuccessful and fruitful deliberation. Thank you and God bless you all..   5    

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