Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has accused his predecessor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, of spending N50m on beds in his and his wife’s bedrooms in the newly built Ekiti State Government House.
He claimed in a statement made available to journalists in Ado-Ekiti on Tuesday that what was spent on the two bedrooms, their toilets and bathrooms was in the region of N100m.
The statement titled “N3.3bn new Government House Is Fayemi’s Show of Wickedness To Ekiti People,” was signed by his Special Assistant on Information and Social Media, Mr. Lere Olayinka.
But Fayemi, through his media aide, Olayinka Oyebode, said the allegation was more about The Comedy of Errors. He advised Fayose to stop the theatre of absurd.
The statement by Olayinka described the new government house as an act of insensitivity to the plight of Ekiti people, many of whom, could not afford to feed once in a day.
According to the statement, no progressive-minded Ekiti person would see the “out-of-this-world luxury” provided with over N3.3bn borrowed funds for Fayemi, his wife and children and will not weep for the state and its people.
It claimed that the bed on which Fayemi slept before he left government was N30m while that of his wife was over N20m.
The statement read in part, “Between Fayemi and his wife, what was spent on their bedrooms, toilets and bathrooms will be in the region of N100m.
“How can a responsible government use borrowed funds to provide this kind of luxury for the governor and his family alone in a state where a lot of people cannot afford to feed more than once in a day?
“People should ask the former governor what was really wrong with the abandoned governor’s lodge used by his (Fayemi) predecessors?
“Shouldn’t such funds expended on the hilltop edifice have been used to resuscitate the moribund textile factory in Ado-Ekiti that was turned to lock-up shops to provide employment for our teeming youths?
“Also, was Fayemi living in that manner of opulence before he became governor? Was he sleeping on a body-massaging bed and bathing in an electric-controlled Jacuzzi?
“Here is Fayemi, who could not pay workers' salaries, owing them two-month salaries before he left. A Fayemi, who out of sheer wickedness refused to pay pensioners N2.4bn pension and gratuities; N400m workers leave bonus, N700m subventions to parastatals and tertiary institutions and remit N2.4bn four months’ cooperative society’s deductions from workers salaries preferring to use N3.3bn borrowed funds to provide luxury for himself, his wife and children alone.
“This is wickedness!’’
The statement quoted Fayose as being alarmed at the waste of Ekiti resources to provide comfort for a single family out of the thousands of households in the state.
It added, “The governor would have preferred to sell out the property and use the fund to provide basic amenities and employment opportunities for the people.”
The statement also alleged that Fayemi was planning to buy a helicopter if he had returned to office for a second term because the plan was for him “to run government from the comfort of Oke-Ayoba Government House and move from there to anywhere he wanted without the people seeing him.”
It added, “That’s also the reason he (Fayemi) refused to renovate the Governor’s Office, leaving it in a state of disrepair because he knew that he was not going to use the office during his second term.
“Also, contract for the maintenance of the property was already awarded for N150m per annum.
“When we visited the Government House for the first time yesterday, Mr Governor was like; how I wish I can sell off this place or turn it to commercial use? It is simply wicked for a governor to be more interested in this manner of ostentatious comfort at the expense of the people.”
Fayose, according to the statement, wondered “if the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, whom Fayemi and his so-called progressives claimed as their role-model, lived in any government house, much less of building an Emperor-like house for himself.”
“Did the late Adekunle Ajasin build a monarchical government house for himself? Did Baba Lateef Jakande live in any government house? These are great Yoruba sons, who recorded landmark achievements as premier of the old Western Region and governors of Lagos State and the old Ondo State respectively.
“The duo of Ajasin and Jakande were able to impact tremendously on their states because they did not like to waste public funds on the provision of luxury for themselves.”
The statement said that “left for Governor Fayose, he won’t use that aristocratic government house because it is a symbol of oppression in itself.”
The statement added, “He (Fayose) will prefer to live where Ekiti people can easily see him, touch him, eat with him and discuss the progress of the state together.
“But abandoning it would amount to colossal waste of public funds; but Governor Fayose will not hide himself from the masses.”
Fayemi’s media aide, however dismissed the allegation by Fayose, saying “I have taken a guided tour of that place and I don’t think I have seen such an outcry.
“I don’t know where they got their figure from; it sounds absurd. I ‘ll advise them to stop this theatre of absurd. Governance is a serious business and I am appealing to them not to reduce it to a joke.
“They are turning Ekiti into a circus show and they should stop it. It is childish and puerile for them to have come up with that figure. There is nothing ostentatious about Dr. Fayemi’s lifestyle: the lodge is there as a property of the state.
“Whether Fayose stays there or not is his cup of tea. The new government house is a legacy building. Dr. Fayemi did not go with it to Isan-Ekiti; it is for the state. It is not about personal aggrandisement; it is a befitting edifice for the state. Go to other states of the federation and see their government houses. Ekiti state deserves the best.”