The re-election bid of Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, received a boost on Monday as the state’s local government workers endorsed his candidacy for the June 21, governorship election.
The council workers’ adoption of the Governor came exactly one week after teachers in the state also pitched their tents with Dr Fayemi whom they described as “the true friend of teachers”.
The local government workers who spoke through their representatives during an interactive forum held at the NULGE Secretariat in Ado Ekiti, stated that they knew Fayemi as a promise keeper, who had remained true to all the promises he made to them during the 2007 electioneering and in the various meetings the workers have had with him since his assuming office in 2010.
Speaking at the forum, Mr Itadare Leke said the council workers are desirous of continuous partnership with the Governor beyond 2014 because Fayemi cannot reverse many of the good welfare packages he has provided for the workers when he is re-elected.
While explaining that the reforms made by Fayemi in the local government system were painful at the initial stage, Itadare said the reforms have now paid off with the Fayemi-led government lifting many bars that have hindered the council workers from having career progression. He stressed that the council workers have weighed candidates from other political parties and discovered that they are merely making empty promises to cajole them into supporting them.
He stated that the council workers have resolved to adopt Fayemi as their candidate.
He said: “We are desirous of staying with you. We know that Kayode Fayemi will never say what he will not do. We know he will not reverse the various policies he has put in place – the appointments of Administrative Secretaries , cancellation of the of bar for officers on level 16 to progress to level 17; readmission of sacked workers and overseas training opportunities are some of the things we have benefitted under Fayemi. We are convinced these will continue when he is re-elected. Any other candidate who has come here to talk to us may end up deceiving us.
“Mr Governor I don’t want you to see it as a slight that I did not refer to you as governor, but as our candidate. We have adopted you. When you came on board, you did some reforms. At first, it was painful but right now, it is paying off. People have said a lot of things you have done for us and we want the good works to continue”.
Mrs Folake Adebayo, the Head of Community Development Department in Ijero Local Government attested that the reforms made by Fayemi benefitted her as she had been stagnated on level 14 for eight years until Fayemi removed the bar that eventually culminated into her promotion as a level 16 officer.
In his remarks, the state President of the Nigeria Union of a Local Government Employees (NULGE), Mr Bunmi Ajimoko, said the interface with Fayemi is a stock-taking event to enable the council workers “look back with a view to projecting what the next four years portends for the local government system”.