Prof. Niyi Osundare
By Ariwodola Idowu/Ado Ekiti
The literary giant, Prof Niyi Osundare on Monday tasked Governor Kayode Fayemi to use his second coming to fight poverty and moral decadence in the state and restore long-held values of Ekiti people.
Osundare described former Governor Ayodele Fayose as a demagogue who pounced on the moral degradation in the state to promote stomach infrastructure as a fundamental policy of state.
Osundare spoke in Ado Ekiti on Monday while delivering an inauguration lecture entitled: ‘Reclaiming Our Land, Restoring our Ekiti of Our Dream’, in honour of the governor-elect, who will be sworn in Tuesday to succeed Fayose, whose four-year tenure expired midnight Monday.
He bemoaned how Fayose, by his conduct and utterances, made the globe to brand Ekiti people, who had hitherto been known to be highly knowledgeable, as people who have no values.
He urged Fayemi to clean the Augean stable by instituting policies that would combat poverty and all forms of social ills that had crept into Ekiti through the actions of compromising politicians.
“Ekiti are people that place priority on knowledge, wisdom. They know the values of these virtues. They were regarded as extremely stubborn people because they won’t compromise their integrity for anything
“There were times when education was a pride and we had the brightest academics like the late Professor Sam Aluko, Professor Adegoke Olubunmo, Chief Afe Babalola, Prof. Ojo Ugbole, and many others
” We placed values on hard work, knowledge acquisition and our parents sold their farms and clothes to send their children to school. They knew the rights from the wrongs at that time
“But there came a demagogue who ran the authoritarian government in Ekiti in a manner that had never been experienced by any State in Nigeria.
“He stopped at marketplaces to buy roasted corn and ate in public places just to deceive the people when the majority of our graduates were not provided with jobs and farm products were wasting away and our value system collapsed calamitously
“Education that was regarded as our best industry was not well funded and our graduates that had earlier been regarded as the best in Nigeria for decades became practically half-baked and unemployable. Book and elitist thinking were his enemies
“The culture of stomach infrastructure was introduced and Ekiti became a laughing stock. How populism manifests itself and the politician banked on the vulnerability in the system to mislead our youths
“With Fayemi coming on board, he needs to tackle poverty and reenact value reorientation in Ekiti. He must come with policies and programme of actions that will prohibit miracle centres where students passed without reading and make Ekiti vegetation centre of knowledge
“His (Fayemi) nose and ears must be closed to the grounds, he must be close to the people and eradicate ignorance and poverty that make our people believe in stomach infrastructure.
“This is your(Fayemi) second chance and significant opportunity to rewrite your name in gold and make significant impacts on the lives of Ekiti people for real restoration of our value system”, Osundare stated. (NAN)