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Ekiti Governor responds to claims of selling state lodge in Abuja

Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi has denied claims that his government has sold off the Ekiti State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja.

Governor Fayemi said that his government was just carrying out reconstruction of the building located at the Federal Capital Territory, having been allegedly abandoned throughout the four years of the administration of former Governor Ayodele Fayose.

The PDP had in a statement in Ado-Ekiti signed by the Publicity Secretary of the PDP Caretaker Committee in Ekiti, Diran Odeyemi, accused the governor of selling off the building to an unnamed investor, an action he described as an act of financial recklessness and misgovernance.

But in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Public Communications to the Governor, Segun Dipe, on Saturday, Fayemi described the allegation as spurious, saying the reconstruction of the sprawling edifice was captured on the 2020 budgets and could be confirmed on the state website.

‘In the day-to-day exercise of administrative powers, circumspection is required. This is what separates the current administration of Dr Kayode Fayemi from that of its PDP predecessor,’ the statement read.

‘It is actually not for the pained PDP to dictate what the priority of an APC administration should be, rather it is the business of the administration of Dr Fayemi to prioritise projects, in so far as it is properly communicated to the people.

‘The Fayemi administration has kept faith with workers in the way the PDP could not. If reconstruction of the dilapidated lodge in Abuja is deemed a priority, and for as long as it does not interfere with the meeting of other necessary obligations, then, it should be left for the government to decide.

‘Lest the critics have forgotten, Fayemi is not like Fayose who shrewdly rented his personal apartment located in the same Asokoro axis to the state for his own use in Abuja, at a cost of N30 million (Plus N3 million agency fee) per year, which amounted to N120 million (plus N12 million agency fees) in four years.

“The same Fayose illegally disposed of the official land acquired by the first civilian governor, Otunba Niyi Adebayo for the building of the State Lodge. Up till now, the lodge procured has remained in private hands and the Fayemi administration is the one trying to take possession of the land in the name of Ekiti State.’

Fayemi averred that the current position he holds as the chairman of Nigeria’s Governors’ Forum has made him a regular caller in Abuja than any past governor.

‘There was hardly any week he didn’t visit Abuja before the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike Fayose, Governor Fayemi would rather stay in his private residence at no cost to the state. If Fayemi were a Fayose, he would have rented his personal house to the State and collected huge rent or better still, lodge in Presidential suites in hotels. He has refused to do any of these.

‘Due process is not just about how humans are legally treated, but also how resources are judiciously deployed. When a leader makes due process his watchword like Fayemi has done, both his dealings with humans and utilisation of resources would be self-moderated and such a leader would have nothing to fear.’

Governor Fayemi told the opposition and those he branded as “ill-informed propagandists” to savour the freedom of information law of the state to investigate these facts, instead of on embarking on a wild goose chase.

He added that: ‘The same property was purchased during the Segun Oni era from a co-PDP governor of Osun State at the time, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola. It was not so good for habitation since the roof was leaking. This made Fayose to totally abandon it and thus make it become much worse.

‘Now, Fayemi, due to his twin style of good governance and due process, had to order the demolition of the building because it was found to be structurally weak and dangerous for habitation after it was criminally abandoned for four years by the Fayose administration, hence the decision by the Fayemi administration to demolish and rebuild.

‘This was adequately provided for in both the 2019 and 2020 Budgets and this is available on the internet for anyone’s perusal. It was well advertised, bidded for and duly awarded.’

The Ekiti governor said that if the opposition PDP is still “agonising” as to whether due process had been followed or not, that it enjoys the freedom to approach the court as is their democratic right.

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