* Endorsements, thumbs up for Oyebanji at thanksgiving
By John Odunjo
The first anniversary Thanksgiving Service of Governor Biodun Oyebanji which held at the Cathedral Church of Emmanuel, Okesa, Ado Ekiti was graced by many eminent Nigerians and Ekiti politicians and religious leaders.
The roll call included the governor, Biodun Oyebanji and his wife, Dr Olayemi Oyebanji: former governors Adeniyi Adebayo, Ayodele Fayose and Dr Kayode Fayemi; Senate Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele; the Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Most Revd. Felix Ajakaye; and the Chairman of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Bishop Clement Abifade.
Other dignitaries at the thanksgiving service included the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Secretary, Senator Ajibola Basiru; Ekiti Deputy Governor, Mrs Monisade Afuye; Ekiti Assembly Speaker, Mr Adeoye Aribasoye; former Ekiti First Lady, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; former Ekiti Deputy Governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu; Senator representing Ekiti South, Yemi Adaramodu, traditional rulers led by the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Adeyemo Adejugbe, among other guests.
Speakers, including the three former governors – Niyi Adebayo, Ayodele Fayose and Kayode Fayemi gave the incumbent, Biodun Oyebanji, thumbs up for his performance in his first year in office.
Fayose, who spoke on behalf of the former governors, said, “We are all together for Biodun Oyebanji. I am not a member of your party (APC) and I will not be. I am with you (Oyebanji) 100 per cent.
The former governors spoke at a special thanksgiving service at the Cathedral Church of Emmanuel Okesa, Ado Ekiti to mark Oyebanji administration’s one year in office, an event attended by eminent personalities from all walks of life.
Fayose said, “Where is Bisi K ( Chief Bisi Kolawole, PDP 2022 governorship candidate)? We are going to support you (Oyebanji). You have come to visit me in my house seven times. You are doing it differently and you will get a different result. This church will pray for you and you will do it (governorship) a second time.”
Adebayo said Fayose’s assertion “is the position of we, the former governors. Thank you very much.”
The Senate Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, who spoke earlier, said, “I am looking forward to being the chairman of your (Oyebanji’s) re-election campaign, adding that “the governor has earned the confidence and trust of the people for a second term”.
Bamidele, who represented Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, said, “Governor Oyebanji is entrenching the culture of respect and the culture of performance. He is lucky to have Governors Adebayo, Fayose and Fayemi as mentors and advisers. What he is doing differently is that he is giving the state a new political order, uniting various groups where youths, women, civil societies consider themselves as stakeholders.
“You are an example of being in power and humble. I am here because of your humility and because you are real. If you are not real, I will keep a distance . When you become a second term Governor, you will be the most ranking progressive Governor and the most ranking Governor in Nigeria,” the Senate Leader said.
In his sermon, the Bishop of the Diocese of Ekiti, the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, the Rt. Revd Olusola Ajayi, hailed Governor Oyebanji for making positive impact in the lives of the people of the state within the last one year.
Ajayi urged Ekiti people to praise God and rejoice because the Governor has set Ekiti on the path of greater development and delivering compassionate and purposeful leadership.
The cleric described Oyebanji as “a Christian politician, a Christian who is in politics for the good of his people,” adding that “this is a man who promised to turn around the fortunes of the state and today, Ekiti people are happy with him because he is keeping his promises.”
Oyebanji, who ascribed the glory of the achievements of the last one year to God who he said has made them possible for the benefit of the people, said, “Today is about God in our life as people of Ekiti State.
“It is not because I am the best person in the state or because I know how to do it; it’s not because I am the most brilliant, all is by the grace of God. For the little we have achieved, I give God the glory.”
The governor, who said he counted himself lucky to be standing on the shoulders the former governors, who he described as “giants”, stressed that he had no excuse to fail the people of the state.
Oyebanji urged his predecessors to always be there for him in guiding him and counselling him at the needed time.
He also allayed the fear of the traditional rulers and the people of the state on the condition of federal roads in the state disclosing that he would meet with National Assembly members from the state next week to ensure that the 2024 Federal Budget captures all the concerned roads.
Describing himself as the “servant of the people,” Governor Oyebanji described former governors, National Assembly members from the state, House of Assembly members and party leaders as the windows through which the people of the state can channel their complaints on any perceived wrong noticed in governance.