SCHOOL FEEDING PROGRAMME: GROUP URGES EKITI STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO CONSIDER THE POOR MASSES
EKITI AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SCHOOL FEEDING PROGRAM: WHERE AND HOW DID WE MISS PARTICIPATION?
The True Face of Ekiti is a non partisan movement of Ekiti Sons and Daughters seeking to protect the interest of the common Citizens of Ekiti. You will agree with us that there is an urgent need to re-write the Ekiti story just the way we want others to view us. Our beloved state has been in the news for so many wrong reasons in recent past, this has misrepresented us as a people both on the national and international scene. We cannot continue with this negative identity and expect to see our dream State emerged overnight.
The value system of an average Ekiti was ideal until corroded by external influences. Ekiti was known for Integrity, honesty and sincerity. The True Face of Ekiti seeks to ensure the restoration of the lost value system of an ideal Ekiti. Our strategies include packaging and rebranding our image as a people. We need to tell the Ekiti story in the right perspective. We intend to address the fundamental issue that has divided us so much as a people; politics. Our approach shall be scientific, practical and pragmatic.
Towards ensuring our objective of protecting the interest of our people, we have followed the controversy trailing the exclusion of Ekiti State from the Federal Government school feeding program with keen interest and we are disappointed with the uncaring posture of the political actors. It is unfortunate that politics as far as Ekiti State is concerned has never been about the wellbeing of the downtrodden masses of Ekiti but to massage the ego of very few opportuned elites that has held our people in the jugular over the years. After riding on the back of the masses to political stardom, they have continually neglected those birds that laid the golden eggs. They are busy cutting the fingers that procured for them their various enviable positions in government.
In a statement issued by the Ekiti State Government yesterday in an attempt to cover its regrettable negligence, government claimed it received the invitation to the lunching of the school feeding program late.
According to the state government spokesperson, Lere Olayinka “For a programme that was held on June 9, 2016, mail was sent by one Titilola Adeyemi to the State Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Hon Gbenga Olajide on June 8, 2016 at exactly 3:56pm, asking that list of participants from Ekiti State be sent before the close of business that same day. No prior invitation was received.”
He said; “the commissioner sent a mail on June 9 requesting clarification on the mail sent by Titilola Adeyemi but up till now, no response has been received. How could Ekiti State have participated in a programme held on June 9 when invitation was only received on June 8 at 3:56pm?”
The True Face of Ekiti can't but wonder why the state government only concerned itself with clarifying why the state wasn't represented at the flag-off ceremony but tactically ignored the exclusion of the state in the school feeding program. Well meaning indigenes of Ekiti should be interested in knowing why our state was the only state not listed among the benefitting states and not why our delegates were not sighted in Abuja for the funfair. We are aware that a process must have led to the eventual flag off of the programme, the big question is, was Ekiti State represented in this build up towards the Launching of the School feeding program in Abuja? If not, why?
We do not buy the State Government excuse that the Federal Government deliberately shutout the state from this programme for political reasons. Over time, the present administration in Ekiti has proved to have a way of sniffing out information from the Federal authority, why was this particular one missed? The Ekiti Government owe her citizens some explanations on why the State refused participating in a National programme that was alleged by Senator Babafemi Ojudu to have been in its planning stage since last year September.
According to Ojudu, a Senator in the 7th assembly and presently the Political adviser to the Vice President, "The program in question has been in plan for nine months, all the States of the Federation nominated contact person who have been working hard in conjunction with officials of the Federal Government. My findings revealed that all attempt to bring our people aboard either by letters or visitations have been rebuffed. I am sufficiently educated to know the implication of our non participation in such a program. No blackmail will therefore stop me from crying out. Let those who are Fayose's drum major continue to lie, blackmail and insult me, it will never stop me from protecting Ekiti interests wherever I find myself".
Good as it may seem that our Ekiti born Senator of the 7th assembly has decided to cry out now, one can't but wonder why it took him nine solid months to realize how important this programme is to the people of Ekiti. Why choose to cry out now that the name of Ekiti was finally omitted from a programme being financed by the Federal Government using our Commonwealth? We would have viewed the Senator's cry as being patrotic if it had come months earlier, when it would have saved us this national embarrassment; why crying when the head is already off? Why wait until again we are in the news for yet another wrong reason? What was the efforts of the Minister representing Ekiti State in the Federal cabinet towards ensuring that Ekiti pupils are not deprived of their right to this free daily meal? What about other prominent Ekiti Sons and Daughters holding several vantage positions in the federal government, why did they all turned the other way?
We sincerely would have avoided commenting on this particular issue for we do not believe in crying over spilled milk but we couldn't hold back when we read a statement by Senator Ojudu that all hope isn't lost after all. According to him "If he sends a team today it is not to late. Let him (the Governor) send his men to meet with those in charge and work out the logistics. We are the only state that is not showing interest".
Why wait if the wrong can still be remedy?
1. Let State Government through its Ministries and Parastatals act now and make the benefitting pupils the winner.
2. It is important to call the attention of all Ekiti Sons and Daughters in position of authority both in Ekiti and Abuja that they are on those seat on the behalf of the people of Ekiti. It is therefore mandatory that they serve the interest of the people of Ekiti and not political party interest. Our political diversity as a state should be to us an advantage and not an element of deprivation.
3. We urge the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose to urgently meet with notable Ekiti citizens in the Federal Government and the ruling APC and ensure that what is needed to be done is done and our pupils do not miss out of this national cake.
4. We also urge the Minister for Mining and Solid Minerals, the immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the APC Deputy National Chairman South, Engineer Segun Oni also a former Governor of Ekiti, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, the Political Adviser to the Vice President, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, the first civilian Governor of Ekiti State and other notable Ekiti citizens to please join hands with the State Government to ensure the success of this effort.
5. Let us all put the interest of Ekiti above every other and be The True Face of Ekiti in whatever capacity we are placed to serve the nation.
Ekiti a gbe a oooo. Utesiwaju Ekiti li jemi logun.
Interim Director, Publicity and Public Communication.
The True Face of Ekiti.
Interim Director, Publicity and Public Communication.
The True Face of Ekiti.