- 50,000 Ekiti residents to benefit in phase one of the outreach•Supreme Court judgment: Govt cautions people of Eda Oniyo•
BY AYODELE ABERE and EMMANUEL ONWUSORO in Ado-Ekiti
Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State on Wednesday said that his administration has begun the process of reversing the poor health indices of the State’s health sector in order to produce good health outcomes for the citizenry.
Speaking in Ikere -Ekiti at the flag off of the quarterly free health mission, the Governor said he would provide the leadership required to stop the “sobering decline in Ekiti State health indices from 2016 to 2018”.
No fewer than 50,000 residents are expected to benefit from medical attention, including corrective surgeries, eye treatment in the first phase of the programme, which is designed to hold on quarterly basis.
Fayemi who expressed determination to ensure that the state does not lag behind in the delivery of quality and effective health care service, said the goal of his government is to ensure that Ekiti State “regains its place in the comity of states by reworking our health system to deliver improved health indices as marker of a healthy society”.
“In Ekiti State as at 2018, mortality rate among children was 49 deaths per 1000 population in the first month of life. 69 deaths per 1000 in the first year of life while it is 86 deaths in the first five years of life of the children.
“Ekiti State skilled birth attendants also dropped from being the first in the southwest region in 2015 now to being the 5th in position among the southwest States”, Fayemi said.
While speaking on the free health mission, the Governor said the programme is a vehicle to expand access to basic health interventions that have been proven to improve the health of women of reproductive age and children.
Fayemi who administered immunization to some babies at the programme said no fewer than 50,000 Ekiti residents would have received free healthcare services in the first phase of the programme; noting that over 500,000 people participated in the mission during his first tenure as governor between 2010 and 2014.
“By the account from the first 2 days of this mission, we believe that by the end of this first phase, we would have been able to serve over 50,000 residents of Ekiti State.
“This mission is a first instalment of a revolutionary health programme portfolio that will ensure that healthcare can be delivered quantitatively and sustainably”, he said.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Folake Olomojobi had said that 10,246 people had received free treatment in general outpatient cases, dental surgeries, HIV/AIDS test, family planning and other health issues within the first two days of the mission.
Olomojobi noted that the Basic Healthcare Fund recently launched by the President is an endorsement of Fayemi’s “Facility based free health programme” funded and implemented between 2011 and 2014.
Also speaking at the flag off ceremony, the Ogoga of Ikere Ekiti, Oba Adejimi Adu commended Governor Fayemi for initiating the programme; calling on Ekiti residents to troop out and benefit from the health mission.
In another development, the Government of Ekiti State has cautioned the people of Eda Oniyo to exercise restraint on the implementation of the Supreme Court judgment, which moved the headquarters of Ilejemeje Local Government to the town.
The Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, who handed down the warning, advised the people of Eda Oniyo to refrain from any act that could disturb peaceful coexistence with other communities in the council area.
Egbeyemi, in a statement on Wednesday by his Special Assistant
(Media), Odunayo Ogunmola, made the remarks while receiving in audience the Eleda of Eda Oniyo, Oba Julius Awolola, and other leaders of the community in his office.
While stressing that the state government had accepted the judgment, Egbeyemi appealed to the people of Eda Oniyo to exercise caution and patience as the process to implement the judgment had commenced.
The deputy governor explained that a committee set up by the state government, which he chairs has been working on the implementation of the judgment to ensure that peace reigns between Eda Oniyo and Iye, which had hosted the council headquarters for 19 years before the apex court verdict.
The Supreme Court had on December 15, 2018 ruled that the relocation of the Local Council’s headquarters from Eda Oniyo to Iye 19 years ago was unknown to law and ordered the relocation of the council back to Eda Oniyo.
The highest court in the land held that the establishment of the headquarters of Ilejemeje local government in Eda Oniyo was backed by statute and could not be relocated elsewhere without the promulgation of a new law.
The deputy governor commended the tenacity of the community in following the path of peace in the pursuit of justice throughout the 19 years the case lasted in the courts.
“I want you to guard your victory jealously, don’t allow your people to annoy the government. The Supreme Court cannot do what we are expected to do.
“Immediately the judgment was pronounced, as a law officer and as the one in charge of chieftaincy and Oba’s matters, I met with the governor and the governor said a committee be put up to look into the matter.
“We have accepted your victory, if we are not going to do anything, we wouldn’t have put up a committee but you have to be very careful.
“The committee is working and they gave us time frame to report back. At the end of our meetings, we will report back to the Executive Council of Ekiti State for consideration.”
It would be recalled that a seven-man committee headed by the deputy governor was set up by Governor Fayemi to advise the government on how to implement the Supreme Court judgment.
Egbeyemi debunked the claim by the Eda Oniyo monarch that some individuals were trying to influence the government from implementing the Supreme Court judgment saying, “nobody had ever come to discuss such issue with the government.”
He added: “Your sons are the ones peddling lies; since the pronouncement of the Supreme Court verdict, nobody has ever come to lobby the government about your case.”
The deputy governor assured that the government would do what is right without prejudice.
Earlier, the Eleda of Eda Oniyo, Oba Awolola, commended the state government for raising a committee to look into the implementation of the Supreme Court judgment.
Oba Awolola revealed that the town had prepared accommodation for the take off of the local government.