*Tinubu, Fayemi, Fayose grace inauguration ceremony
By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti
The new Governor of Ekiti State, Biodun Oyebanji has said occupying the seat of Ekiti governor would be the toughest challenge of his life.
Oyebanji was yesterday, sworn – in as Ekiti Governor for a four-year tenure, following the exit of the immediate Governor Kayode Fayemi.
He said, “I Know the task I have been charged with will be the toughest challenge of my life. However, I know that I will not walk alone. Ekiti-Kete, we will do this together. Together with you, we will keep Ekiti working. So help us God.”
The new Governor however, promised to run an all-inclusive governance that would make Ekiti a land where prosperity, abundance, unity and equity will thrive and blossom.
Oyebanji stated that his government will place high premium on human capital development, agriculture and rural development, infrastructure and industrialization, arts, culture and tourism, and good governance to transform Ekiti and make it a microcosm of development .
“I use this opportunity to welcome the continued support of Investors, Development Partners and Ekiti Kete all over Nigeria and in the Diaspora. Ekiti is very open to business, and has an enabling policy and institutional framework that will ensure prudence, transparency and accountability in all obligations”.
It would be recalled that Oyebanji polled a total of 187, 057 to defeat his closest rival, Engr Segun Oni and candidate of the Social Democratic Party, who polled 82, 459 votes , in the highly pulsating and keenly contested June 18 poll.
The inauguration was attended by the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and many governors, among other top rated and illustrious Nigerians.
In a momentous fashion, the outgone governor, Fayemi and his deputy, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, as well as ex-Governor Ayodele Fayose graced the inauguration ceremony.
First to take the oath of office and allegiance, was the Deputy Governor, Mrs Monisade Afuye, folllowed by Oyebanji, who was accompanied by his wife, Dr. Yemisi Oyebanji, who is a lecturer at the University of Ibadan.
The oaths were administered by the Chief Judge of Ekiti State, Justice John Adeyeye, among other top-notch state’s judicial officers.
Before the oath was administered on him, his predecessor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, handed over the Pen of Authority to Oyebanji, which was happening for the first time, since the advent of democracy in 1999.
Amidst tumultous crowd and loud ovation, Oyebanji sauntered into the arena of the swearing-in held at the palatial Ekiti State Pavillion, along new Iyin road around 12.08pm and went round while being cheered.
The 10,000 capacity Pavillion was filled to the capacity, as traditional rulers, politicians and admirers, who adorned in different Aso Ebi were on hand to witness the inauguration.
Addressing the crowd after the Guard of Parade, Oyebanji eulogised those who had led the state before him in various capacities, saying they must have done that under different political parties, but stated that the mission was one and which was solely to develop the state.
Oyebanji particularly commended Fayemi for ushering in strong and enviable development to the state, promising to consolidate further and use the legacy as a springboard to catapult Ekiti to a higher economic and social pedestals.
He said he shared the views that Ekiti people shared different political views and political inclinations, saying he wont allow his political leaning to influence his relationships with all Ekiti or jettison the principle of fairness, equity and fair-play.
The new Governor added that he will promote the spirit of oneness Ekiti was renowned for , and which had been The binding force since the pre-colonial era to promote peace, unity and stability in the state.
“Ekiti Kete! Today is a great day for us, and we should all be proud. Today, we are observing history being made, and a new chapter of our story being written.
“It was in this spirit of oneness that they bound together as a united Ekiti confederacy and emerged victorious against external forces that sought to subjugate us in our own land. In unity of purpose, they fought and contained attempts to dominate us at different epochs in our history.
“This same spirit of unity has been passed down generations, and guided the founding fathers and mothers who built on efforts made since the Second Republic, and led the successful struggle for the creation of our own Ekiti State. This was a struggle led by our revered traditional rulers and prominent citizens which resulted in Ekiti becoming the only entirely homogeneous state in Nigeria”.
Oyebanji posited that his vision is to make Ekiti a land of prosperity, where equity,justice, fair-play and stability will thrive.
“My vision is for Ekiti State to be a land of prosperity, opportunity, peace and progress. A land in which transformed people and communities can reap the fruits of their labour in dignity, good health and safety. A land of honour where integrity matters. For this vision to be actualised we need to focus on a roadmap to get there”.
He said he will zealously prosecute the recently unveiled vision 2050 economic roadmap initiated by Fayemi to make Ekiti a model, saying : “I assure you that by God’s grace and the support of our people , together With You, We Will Keep Ekiti Working.” .
In his short message at the event, the former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, urged Ekiti electorate to continually support the All Progressives Congress in all elections, especially in 2023.
He said he expected Ekiti voters to deliver 95 percent of votes to him,knowing that he remains the best among all the contenders for the plum presidential seat.
“Someone called himself Abubakar Atiku while someone said he is Peter Obi, if they come to you, tell them you don’t know them. Tell them the only person you know is Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“I commend you for voting Biodun Oyebanji in the governorship election. Some termites came in the name of politics to steal your votes, but you resisted them. In 2023, shine your eyes and prevent vote riggers from stealing your votes. Vote APC, It is the only party that can give you good governance”.
The dignitaries at the epoch-making event aside Tinubu, include; Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Kebbi, Atiku Bagudu,Governor of Jigawa, Abubakar Badaru, Governor of Plateau , Simon Lalong, Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, represented by his Deputy Benedict Alabi, Nasarawa State Deputy Governor and his Borno State counterpart.
Others include: former Zamfara State Governor, Abdulazis Yau Yari, Minister of Trade, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, Senator Teslim Folarin, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Senator Solomon Olamilekan Yayi , Senator Musiliu Obanikoro Deputy Consular General, United Kingdom, former Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonisakin, former Chief of Army Staff, Gen Azubuike Ihejirika, among others.