(The Nation Newspaper)
Rasaq Ibrahim, Ado-Ekiti September 19, 2023
Three hundred days after he assumed office, Ekiti State Governor Biodun Oyebanji has given the account of his stewardship to the people. Our Correspondent RASAQ IBRAHIM examines his administration’s activities and the tasks ahead.
In Ekiti State, a new air is blowing. The people are feeling the positive impacts of good governance under Governor Biodun Oyebanji. His giant imprints are perceptible in Ado-Ekiti, Ijero-Ekiti, Ikere-Ekiti, Ikole, Oye-Ekiti, Ido, Aramoko and among other towns.
The governor, fondly called ‘BAO’ by his admirers, is really walking the talk on the promises he made to the people during the electioneering period. Since October 16, 2022 when he took over the baton of power, Oyebanji has been consistent in implementing life changing programmes and policies. So, the citizens are ecstatic that they made the right choice at the ballot.
Oyebanji, through his actions and deeds, has been providing the leadership and courage required to reposition the state on the surest path of greatness through strategic interventions and meaningful executions of progressive action plans.
He came forth with a deep knowledge of Ekiti having served in different positions under former governors Adeniyi Adebayo and Kayode Fayemi. So, he understand the nuances of governance like the wavy lines on his palm.
Oyebanji is blessed with both knowledge and intelligence. This is a governor who rises above the banality of politics and poised to disrupt the existing status quo in a way that is not merely incremental, but transformative for the greater benefit of Ekiti people.
The Oyebanji-led government has been consistently matching words with actions and working tirelessly with the intention to transform into reality the shared prosperity agenda of making Ekiti epicentre of development and model for good governance.
From his rapid response to victims of disasters to putting smiles on the faces of the retirees, giving lifelines to the less privilege and hope for the hopelessness, providing shelters for the homeless and succours to the widows, Oyebanji has come to symbolises leadership that has a caring heart.
Oyebanji is not only popular among the ‘commoners’ through his populist style of leadership but also genuinely shown affection by other segments including the traditional rulers, civil servants and the elites as well as members of the opposition parties
His passion to turn around Ekiti state is untiring. The last three hundred days in office he had spent in office have been busy, painstaking and momentous. He embraced governance with intelligence, passion, candour, demonstrated humility, and shunned idleness.
The governor ‘hardly sleeps’ with a view to making life abundant for the people and ensuring that Ekiti is well positioned on the grid of excellence. Oyebanji who arrives office at about 8:15 am each day sometimes stays there till 2’o clock the following morning. He is always locked in strategic meetings with the Heads of Ministeries, Department and Agencies to brainstorm on how to make Ekiti greater.
He also holds meetings with traditional rulers, ethnic-based associations, faith-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, political parties, interest groups, development partners among others in his belief that governance is a collective responsibility.
It’s unarguable that Oyebanji’s approach to governance has been yielding positive results with new grounds being breaken in the quest towards making Ekiti state a leading light among comity of states in the federation and even beyond Nigeria’s borders. He has continued to give the Land of Honor focused and qualitative governance that has been responsive, open and accountable to the people.
When he took over mantle of leadership, the governor immediately reeled off his area of concentrations, promising in his maiden address, to implement a 6-pillars developmental agenda to fast track rapid social and economic development of the state.
His administration’s action plan was one of the best in the country. It contains well -specified vision and mission statements subdivided under various headlines that cover practically every aspect of lives of the citizenry. The agenda cover aspects of governance, youth development and job creation,human capital debelopment, infrastructures and industrialisation, Art, Culture and Tourism, and agriculture and rural development.
Expectedly, Oyebanji has been pursuing his agenda religiously to the admiration of the people. He did not leave any of his agenda on promissory note but walking the talk as utmost priority were accorded to all spheres of governance. To this end, public institutions have been animated to measure up to the expectations of the citizenry.
Under Oyebanji’s watch, Ekiti is wearing a new look. From standard asphalt roads, viable agricultural initiatives, youths and women empowerment, sustainable and accessible healthcare development to improved security and education sector, the general consensus is that Ekiti State is in a safe hand.
Other sectors of the economy have in one way or the other witnessed holistic overhaul to improve the living standard of the citizens. Ekiti state has become beehive of economic activities and the hitherto youth restiveness has also become thing of the past as youths and women have been engaged in self-reliance adventures.
He has also returned relevance to local government administrations in the state. He made the promise to allow the local government to enjoy independence and that has been happening. So, that is why local government chairmen are flagging off and commissioning people-oriented projects, a departure from the old older.
The administration has also put in place diverse supportive initiatives to empower operatives of the informal sector through easy access to financial services as well as required tools and provision of other technical backings. Additionally, postive atmosphere was created for industrial development and policies were put in place to stimulate the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).