Ekiti governor Ayo Fayose delivered his final New year message as governor of the state on Monday. He will hand over to a successor this year when he completes his second term in office. The speech was littered with politics and personal attacks at his opponents, as well as a listing of his achievements as governor.
Below are some takeaways from the broadcast:
- An intensely personal message: The biggest sign of how inward looking the governor’s broadcast was could be seen in the number of ‘I’ and ‘my’ which he used. Those two words appeared up to 90 times in the speech whereas “we” and “us” showed up less than 20 times.
For Fayose, the address was a milestone that was “significant to me“; the second tenure helped correct “deliberate mischiefs peddled against me“, “I have a sense of fulfilment”, “I have opened up Ekiti state.” On and on the governor went in a self-commendation spree.
- An intensely political message: Fayose who is now actively campaigning for his deputy to succeed him as governor this year laced the speech with political messages, a foreshadowing of what residents of the state should expect in the coming weeks and months of politicking in the state.
“In not too distant future, I hope to embark on a farewell tour of our State, to thank you all for the priviledge given to me to lead you…”
“I have a sense of fulfillment as I proceed to complete the two tenures of my mandate. God has helped me to justify the huge confidence reposed in me…”
“The Adunni Olayinka Multipurpose Women Development Centre was built during this second tenure by my government to provide guidance and counseling and other support services for women and children. We decided to name the edifice after a Former Deputy Governor produced by an opposition party to underscore our commitment to politics without bitterness.”
“I have asked that my landmark achievements be put together in a compendium which shall be presented to the people of our State at the point of my exit.”
- A broadcast for the critics: Fayose had words for his critics, saying he has never intimidated or harassed anyone.Some of his critics like former PDP spokesman, Dayo Adeyeye, may disagree with the governor’s submissions however. Adeyeye recently described Fayose as a “Pharaoh” for his alleged autocratic tendencies.
“I should also thank my adversaries, including my virulent critics for expressing their views and perspectives on my person, my style and on my government… I have seen all attacks, jibes and vituperations as rights of individuals and groups to express themselves as guaranteed by the Nigeria Constitution. Consequently, I owe neither grudge nor malice against anyone. My government had not for once intimidated, harassed or used the instrument of State against any real or perceived opponents,” Fayose said.
- A broadcast to set the records straight: Fayose has been accused of also adding to the state’s debt burden just like his predecessor, Kayode Fayemi, who has bashed several times over the huge debts. The governor has however consistently denied the allegations. He used the speech to state his side of the story once again.
“…the huge debt burden which we inherited from the administration of Governor Former Kayode Fayemi actually made it very difficult for us to meet up with certain basic obligations particularly in the payment of workers remunerations.
“I like to put it on record that my administration did not commit this State to any indebtedness despite the financial challenges that confronted us. Let me also state that the Federal Government made available, a facility of N10 billion to each State of the Federation, for capital development. This had been netted against our equitable shares from the Excess Crude Account (ECA).”
- And the final political message: Vote for the PDP this year, the governor charged. Why?
“It is time for us to have continuity and stability at the political front. We have lots of lessons to learn from Lagos State which has put its economic endowment in the hands of competent and stable managers over time, using the same political platform. It is certain that continuity has the capacity to secure for us landmark and sustainable development. I urge you all to support me and my party – the Peoples Democratic Party – to transit and produce the next leadership for this State. Economic and Social Development are veritable outcomes of very sound, consistent and stable political superstructure.”