- Bishop rallies support for Ekiti Gov, urges govt to hands-off sponsorship of pilgrimage•
BY AYODELE ABERE in Ado Ekiti•
Top government functionaries and dignitaries from different walks of life, on Sunday converged on St Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, Ado-Ekiti, for a special thanksgiving service commemorating the first anniversary of the Dr Kayode Fayemi second-term administration.
Governor Fayemi, who read the first lesson of the service, also expressed his appreciation to the people of Ekiti State for their unflinching support for him and his government in the last one year. He added that the people remained the centre of his developmental agenda.
The Thanksgiving service was attended by the Wife of the Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, Wife of Osun State Governor, Alhaja Kafayat Oyetola; Chairman, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Otunba Biyi Durojaiye; Afenifere leader, Senator Ayo Fasanmi; Speaker Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Funminiyi Afuye; former Deputy Governors, Prof Modupe Adelabu and Surveyor Aluko among others.
Governor Fayemi, who said the last one year has been glorious mainly because of the grace of God and the support of the people, promised to make the state a reference point in terms of service delivery, human capital development as well as infrastructure development, among others.
In his sermon, the Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Most Rev. Felix Ajakaiye, urged indigenes at home and in diaspora to come together and support the people-oriented policies of the Dr Fayemi administration in the state in order to encourage him to do more to lift the state.
The cleric who said the state had witnessed good governance and remarkable progress in the last one year, applauded the government for creating enabling environment for businesses to thrive in Ekiti.
He advised Ekiti people to live in peace with one another especially during the forthcoming local government election so as to have a rancour -free and credible election that would be a catalyst for development at the grassroots.
According to Bishop Ajakaiye, “Ekiti State is the only homogeneous state in the country, why should we be quarrelling or fighting over nothing, if somebody is doing good, let us tell and if he is not doing it right, he should be told.”
While commending the Governor for the recent relaunch of the Social Security Scheme, popularly called “Owo Arugbo”, Bishop Ajakaiye advised that the scheme should be strictly for the indigent elderly citizens who do not have children to take care of them.
He noted that many of the beneficiaries of the social security scheme , during the first term of the administration, had children who could still take care of them. He added that priority should be given to those categories of neither elderly citizens who neither have any means of livelihood nor children that could take care of them.
The Cleric also said the government should hands-off sponsorship of intending pilgrims on holy pilgrimage, stressing that it was a sheer waste of government money. Instead he said funds meant for such ventures should be set aside to develop critical sectors of the economy.
“The feedback we get is that your people-oriented programmes are having great impact on the lives of the people. We congratulate you on this as we believe that your second coming is for a purpose. We are praying for you and the government and believe that all will be well with our state and country.
“I see you have resuscitated Social Security Benefit Scheme, I appreciated it but I will be happy if you can grant certain consideration that we should start with those who do not have children to care for them. Let us give the money to those who really need it, especially those who do not have children to take care of them.
The cleric later presented gifts to the governor, his wife and some top government functionaries of the state on behalf of the church.