An Ekiti State governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Funminiyi Afuye, has unveiled a four-point agenda to restore good governance and put the state on the path of development.
Speaking in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, Afuye promised to anchor his administration on a four-point agenda of rural development, education, infrastructure and youth for enterprise development, in line with the welfarist manifesto of his party, if he is given a chance to rule the Fountain of Knowledge in 2018.
The APC chieftain said he was motivated to join the governorship race because “Ekiti is in the doldrums and needs urgent rescue to restore it on the path of good governance and quality leadership”.
The politician was a core member of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, before he sought without success to represent Ikere Constituency 1 in the Ekiti State House of Assembly in the 2003 general elections on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD). He however won the assembly seat in the 2007, when he contested on the platform of the Action Congress (AC).
Afuye has garnered a considerable experience as a politician. He had the privilege of serving as the AC Leader and later as the Majority Leader of the House. He also had the privilege of serving as the Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary during which he used his experience as a lawyer to initiate policies that gave the people of Ekiti access to justice.
The Ikere-Ekiti born politician, who also served as Commissioner for Information and later Commissioner for Integration and Intergovernmental Affairs, said his experience in both the legislative and executive arms had prepared him for the task of governing the state.
According to him, he had always been in the progressive bloc and that he has the requisite experience to handle the top job; having served in the public sector as a teacher and in the private sector as a banker and later as a legal practitioner.
Afuye said he would empower the people to create wealth, if given a chance, adding that his policy focus would have a multiplier effect on the economy of the state and help reduce poverty.
His words: “The party has resources to create wealth for our people; all we need to do is the political will to harness all these resources for the good of our people and to depend less on the allocations from the Federation Account.
“A good example is agriculture. Ekiti has a vast arable land, but unfortunately our farm settlements are underutilised. We hope to collaborate with the private sector to bring the farm settlements back to live, by giving credit facilities to farmers and encourage the youths to participate in agriculture.
“The youths will also be the focal point in our empowerment programme, as they will be assisted with credit facilities and technical support to own their businesses and breathe life into local economy.
“We also hope to carry out a comprehensive rural development programme through the provision of potable water, electricity and by construction of roads to farmsteads, to assist farmers get their produce to the urban centres.
“Education is the major industry in Ekiti. We hope to invest in teachers, instructional materials and infrastructure to make learning more conducive and attract more pupils to public schools.”
He called on the leadership of the APC to conduct a credible, transparent, free and fair primary, to provide a level-playing field for all aspirants jostling for the party’s governorship ticket.
The aspirant was confident that the acrimony that dogged the APC primary in Ondo State would not repeat itself in Ekiti, because the party has laid down internal conflict resolution mechanisms to resolve differences that might arise from such an exercise.
Afuye described the clamour for the zoning of the governorship ticket to Ekiti South Senatorial District as a “genuine and legitimate agitation”, but noted that whoever emerges as winner would rule the entire state and not one section.
He said the people of Ekiti South had supported other zones to produce governor in the past and that there is nothing wrong if the gesture is reciprocated in favour of the zone this time around.
He said the increasing number of governorship aspirants on the APC platform would not divide the party, “provided Chief John Odigie-Oyegun-led National Working Committee (NWC) conducts the primary in a free, fair and square manner and employ existing the mechanism to resolve any crisis that might arise.
Noting that the people of Ekiti South rallied support for the North in 2007, Afuye said the time had come for the two other zones to support the South.
He said: “Though I agree that whoever emerges will be governor of all Ekiti people, but that agitation then led to the emergence of Dr. Kayode Fayemi from the then Action Congress of Nigeria and Segun Oni in the PDP. The two of them were from the North; so what the South is requesting for is not out of place.”