Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji on Sunday took over the reins as the new Governor of Ekiti State with a pledge to pursue a vision that will make the State a land of prosperity, opportunity, peace and progress in the next four years.
Delivering his inaugural speech shortly after being sworn into office, Oyebanji assured the people of the state that he understood his mission and he has come to fulfill it to justify the mandate given to him at the June 18, 2022 governorship election.
He promised to chart a new course for Ekiti development through a six-pillar roadmap which includes Human Capital Development, Agriculture and Rural Development, Infrastructure and Industrialization, Arts, Culture and Tourism and Governance.
Oyebanji completed the swearing-in formalities at 12.53 pm with the signing of oath documents after the state Chief Judge, Justice Adeyeye, had administered the oath of office and the oath of allegiance on the new helmsman.
The new deputy governor, Monisade Afuye, had earlier been sworn in by the Chief Judge. The new Governor and Deputy Governor were prayed for by the state Chairman of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Bishop Clement Abifade.
Before Oyebanji was inaugurated into office, the outgoing Governor Kayode Fayemi, handed over the “pen of authority” to his successor, officially transferring power of approval to the new Governor.
The inauguration which took place at the Ekiti Parapo Pavilion before a mammoth crowd was attended by the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Governors Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Simon Lalong (Plateau), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos) and Gboyega Oyetola (Osun) who was represented by his Deputy, Mr. Benedict Alabi.
The event was also attended by two former Governors of Ekiti State – Adeniyi Adebayo, Ayodele Fayose; former Deputy Governor, Bisi Egbeyemi; former Interim APC National Chairman, Bisi Akande; wife of the new Governor, Olayemi Oyebanji; her predecessor, Bisi Fayemi; husband of new Deputy Governor, Lawrence Afuye and father of the new Governor, Pa Ezekiel Oyebanji.
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The ceremony was marked with a colourful parade by officers and men of the Nigeria Police, inspection of the guard of honour by the new Governor, music and other forms of festivity by enthusiastic party members and indigenes who came from far and near to witness the occasion.
Unfolding his agenda, Oyebanji said: “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. The French West Indian psychiatrist and political philosopher, Frantz Fanon, in his famous quote says: “Each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it …” Ekiti Kete, I do understand my mission and I am here to fulfil it. The import of the mandate you have given to me and the responsibility I now bear is clear.”
He added: “These pillars highlight our priorities as an administration, which I explained in greater detail in my manifesto. Our goal is to safeguard our people’s lives, livelihoods, well-being and future. It is to create shared prosperity for all.
“To grow the economy, equip our people with valuable skills, create jobs, and expand the range of opportunities available for everyone. It is to create a conducive environment for investors to thrive in our economy, and to make Ekiti State the preferred destination to live, work, and invest.
“In keeping with the Ekiti State (Transition) Law, 2019, our plan will also build on the foundation laid by the outgoing administration by prioritising the completion of strategic infrastructure projects in the knowledge economy, transportation, agriculture and power.
“Our modus operandi will be the establishment of numerous platforms for widespread participation, interaction, and inclusiveness of all stakeholders. We intend to ensure robust dialogue and uncensored expression and consultations across the length and breadth of the state, thereby ensuring the interest and participation of all in the welfare of Ekiti Kete.
“We assure the people that we will hear you and truly see you. Our outlook is a government of the people, for the people, by the people through active involvement. On this platform I hereby pledge my accessibility to you all.
“This is the summary of my manifesto which I presented to you, the basis upon which we earned your trust. With the recently unveiled Ekiti State Development Plan (2021 – 2050) midwifed by the immediate past administration, all stakeholders in the sustainable development of our dear State, now have a roadmap to Ekiti’s prosperity that goes beyond many electoral cycles, around which we will mobilise and coordinate efforts to succeed. Again, I assure you that by God’s grace and the support of our people “Together With You, We Will Keep Ekiti Working.”
Oyebanji also used the opportunity to canvass support of Ekiti voters for Asiwaju Tinubu in the 2023 presidential election and other candidates for the National and State Assembly polls.
He said: “Our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has presented to the nation, one of the most impactful political leaders of our time – His Excellency Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as our candidate for the position of President of Nigeria.
“Asiwaju is a committed nationalist, astute administrator, prolific thinker, and a resourceful manager of human and natural resources, who has paid his dues and demonstrated his capacity to lead Nigeria at such a time as this. Ekiti is best positioned for peace and prosperity under the leadership of Asiwaju Tinubu and I am sure that we would deliver our votes for him.
“In the same vein, our candidates for the National Assembly, and the State House of Assembly are men and women of honour whom we need in office to actualise our common vision. On my part as leader of Government I will do my best to continue to earn the confidence of our people in our great party.”
Also speaking at the ceremony, APC presidential flag bearer, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, hailed the electorate in Ekiti State for keeping faith with the broom party urging them to sustain the momentum in the forthcoming general elections.
Asiwaju Tinubu paid tributes to Ekiti people for being able to deliver victory to the APC at the last governorship election despite the odds which he attributed to the consistency and loyalty to the party.
He said: “Another set of elections is coming, we want you to keep faith in our party and I want to thank you for the faith you have in Nigeria. Thank you Ekiti Kete for your determination to keep APC in power.
“Oyebanji will not let you down, we will support him and we will support Ekiti. In the coming elections, we need your support and I know you will support us. We will win and give you a great and a bright future.” Asiwaju added.