How God Used Fayemi, Niyi Adebayo to make me Dep Gov - Egbeyemi
|Deputy Governor, Ekiti State, Bisi Egbeyemi|
An exclusive interview with the new deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi with our editors, Abasi Femi Oguntayo, Idowu Adebomi and Seun Falaki (Photo Journalist)
How did you feel when you emerged as the party Deputy Governor after the general elections?
I was excited, I knew that JKF will win the election because of the work we did. We really worked hard for the success. We traversed the entire Ekiti and its environments. We made sure we covered every nook and cranny of Ado all the villages were visited, I never took anyone for granted because I knew we needed votes of Ado seriously. This is where Fayose had been winning. During the time of Adebayo we knew the thousands of votes he garnered in Ado-Ekiti even during the second bid of Dr. Kayode Fayemi we knew the number of votes he had over us. I wanted to reduce everything.
YOU WERE ONCE A COMMISSIONER FOR EDUCATION, HOW DO YOU RATE THE TEACHERS?
Well in terms of their worth not all of them are bad some are very good academically. When I was commissioner, I won't announce my visit to schools. I would just sneak into schools at the back of windows and watch them teach and thereafter call them to advise them. There are some of them who are food sellers but only did this Kaduna National Teachers course (NTI) at home. You should see them speak in classroom you will be sorry. Some of our grandchildren do correct their teachers' English. What I recommended during my time as Commissioner was to have Neighborhood Inspectors who were School former Principals and senior teachers. They went through the normal process of teachers training of those days. We employed them as inspectors, they would go to schools from their homes and supervise teachers during office hours watch them teach and correct them. They prevented them from selling goods during school hours. It was as a result of what we did that paved way for the better result of school children within one year.
WHAT ABOUT THE INSPECTORS YOU INTRODUCED?
This man (Fayose) discarded them by sending them packing on assumption of office after .Otunba Niyi Adebayo
COULD IT BE THIS POOR PERFORMANCE THAT LED TO THE CONTROVERSIAL TEACHERS TEST UNDER JKF'S FIRST TERM?
Fayemi never gave them a test they were to be assessed. Some didn't know the name of the governor of a neighbouring state not to talk of long distance states.
YOU WERE ALSO IN THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE, WHAT DID YOU PUT IN PLACE THERE?
In the ministry of justice I started the Civil Procedure rule because I saw it in Lagos which one Mr. Apata came to do for us and he did a marvelous job. It was during this time that we had the new 2011 Civil Procedure Rule in Ekiti. He was on Leave of Absence. He was the Permanent Secretary in Ekiti State Ministry of justice during Fayemi’s tenure.
WHAT SHOULD THEY EXPECT DIFFERENTLY NOW?
The teachers and the local government workers should expect payment of their salaries but they should be prepared to work harder. Local Government should generate their internal income. They shouldn't depend on federal allocation alone.
AS A ONE TIME LOCAL GOVERNMENT CHAIRMAN, WAS YOUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT SELF SUSTAINING?
Go and check my records in the whole of old Ondo state, I was given the best chairman both in Ekiti and ondo because we generated revenue more than any local government between 1991 to 1993. During my time as L.G Boss no civil servants would involve in fraud to avoid being sacked. There was an incident some of them were caught in fraud and I wanted to take them to court but asked them to choose between court and termination of appointments and that if they won in court they could continue with their job but if not they face criminal charge. It started when I became the chairman of the council, I was a former solicitor to some of the Beer Distributors one was Mrs Owolabi along Iworoko road, Ado-Ekiti. Sometimes when I got there I asked if our boys had come to collect the tax but she answered yes and even showed the receipts for her payments. I discovered that not all the money were being remitted into the council's purse. If somebody paid twenty five thousand Naira as tax these men would remit only five thousand and pocket the rest. So we discovered that about Eight or ten of them were involved in the fraud. We discovered they stole a lot off money. What I did was to constitute a committee which went round all the Beer parlours in town and crosschecked all the receipts that were issued as tax. It was then we discovered that about ten of them were involved in the racketeering. They started begging me but it was in the news and as a lawyer I couldn't cover them again. I had reported them to the police, the option was either they go to court or we terminate their appointments so they opted for termination. So we terminated their appointments. That was at the risk of my life because they started threatening me with juju and I told them I was doing the right thing to save Ado local government at that time.
WILL THE INCOMING GOVERNMENT RE-INTRODUCE THIS KIND OF SANITY IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT?
Well whatever my Oga intends to do is what I will support but I will advice that we should look after the internally generated revenue. I have been there I know their secrets and how they use to enrich themselves.
THE PEOPLE STILL WANT TO KNOW IF THE TEACHERS ASSESSMENT WILL STILL BE INTRODUCED
No! According to Govr Fayemi, we didnt even intent to give any test ab initio. So we are not going after anybody. because it was what they used to blackmail the previous government of Dr. Kayode Fayemi but then teachers must do their work. There are some teachers who don't have lesson notes, they only copy from old lesson notes and that has prevented them from upgrading from old syllabus. The test is just a blackmail. some just write lesson notes to please their masters
THERE ARE SOME INSINUATIONS FLYING AROUND THAT YOU MIIGHT NIT BE ABLE TO PERFORM TO EXPECTATIONS CONSIDERING YOUR AGE
I'm endowed by God. Am I going there to cut grass or till the ground? Am I not to use my brain? The way am talking to you do I sound like somebody that is not okay? Or do I look like somebody that cannot perform? That is the work of the satanic people. They will know if I will perform or not when my boss gives me an assignment and I carry out the assignment creditably well. They need my experience that is why I was brought in and by the grace of God I will let them benefit from my wealth of experience.
AS A GRASSROOT POLITICIAN IS THERE GOING TO BE A DIFFERENCE THIS TIME IN THE APPOINTMENT OF POLITICAL OFFICE HOLDERS?
There was no detachment from the grassroots in JKF's first administration. When people don't like your face there is nothing they will not say. We are going to carry everybody along. I mean grassroots politicians. The governor has been there for four years before, he has garnered enough experience and we will merge the old and new brains together to achieve a good result and the people will no doubt like it. The results will be fantastic I'm not a praise singer but Dr. Kayode Fayemi is highly educated and well exposed. So because you want him to act as a grassroots somebody now you expect him to be eating Booli in the street? Like myself even though i'm not the governor I have never gone to any restaurant to eat unless I travel out of state. No restaurant will say I have come to eat or drink Emu (palm wine) all in the name of being a grassroots man. Who do I want to impress at this stage? I don't do that it's not pride. You can be close to the poor people by allowing them to come to you, by empowering them not by raking their money, not by deceiving them. Well I'm yet to be inaugurated I have been receiving lots of invitations for birthday ceremonies and even from churches, these are the same people that will call us thieves on the pulpit but now they are coming to us for donations. The type of visitors I'm receiving now were not coming before the election. But I will not discourage them but I won't do more than what I can offer.
Talking about National Politics Now, Do you think Buhari will be able to face Atiku in the forthcoming election?
I laugh! Are you not a student of politics? You are a journalist, you should know that Atiku cannot match Buhari, except they want to do magic. The whole South West, we are APC, though we have some elements that belong to other parties but majority of us in South West are APC and we are having more sympathizers now, they are joining us, look at what happened in Osun,
But Osun Election was a Narrow Escape for APC
Well, that was the home of PDP before. Though we had problem there because, I am sorry to say, the governor there did not handle the affairs as expected by them and he was trying to impress them, he bit more than he could chew. He was doing lots of massive infrastructural/capital projects.
Can you tell us your most embarrassing moments?
Hmm, there are a lot of people telling lies, they will sit down in a place and fabricate lies just to destroy you. There was a time, some group of people about seven of them. You know, there was a time I won the election to the House of Representatives during Abacha regime but Abacha refused to swear us in, so he cancelled everything in the country at that time. So the last one which I wanted to have a bite at, that was in 2003 under Niyi Adebayo in the Alliance for Democracy (AD), some people in Ado-Ekiti now said, because they contested with me and I won, so his supporters came together and said they should tell lies against me. First of all, they said I claimed Ado was in my pocket, that I have pocketed Ado, that is, I have the power and control over Ado. You know, there are some people who do not think twice before they believe things said about you, once you are progressing, they will just hate you. So they will not doubt the information because of the hatred they have for you. It was only this year that a man came, he went to one of my brothers. He asked him to come with him to beg me, he said that he went to pray somewhere and that prophet told him that he has offended somebody and has taken life out of that person through telling lies, he now discovered that he has not told big lies against anybody except me. Then he came to me to confess that he was among those who came up with the lie that I said Ado was in my pocket and the prophet told him that until he sees me and until I pray for him, he will never succeed in life. That forced him to come to me, my brother brought him, and then I said who am I not to forgive and pray for you? Now that you have confessed, I prayed for him. I went to the palace and reported that those that fabricated the lie against me then that I said Ado was in my pocket has come to confess and he also mentioned the names of others that were involved and they were called to the palace. He narrated it again and said I should pray for him, I prayed for him in the palace in the presence of the chiefs. All these were before the election, if it was to be after election, I would say maybe he was looking for favour. So those he mentioned, some of them were dragging legs, they were saying they were not party to that, and I said okay! But you know why I took them to the palace? Even in the palace at that time, some chiefs believed that I said so, I even said it in the presence of all the chiefs when the Kabiyesi was there, that at that time I came to report the matter to you, some chiefs believed that I said so, now this is the man confessing in their presence. So that’s one of the most embarrassing periods of my life. The second one was, the man that contested against me then, Fajuru, died, and they said I killed him. They did not even tell me with what? I did not shoot him; I did not send people to beat him, they said it was juju. The family later came to tell them that the man died of his own illness and that it has taken him to India where he was given medicine to use and that medicine affected him one way or the other and he died. So itwas quite embarrassing! As God would have it, his family came to the palace and exonerated me and our Kabiyesi warned Ado people not to tell lies.
Your words to the market people, how do you intend to make the economy boom during this incoming administration?
Yes, what we intend to do is to empower people, it is in our blueprints. I do not want to say everything before my Oga says it. We have the intention of industrializing Ekiti; we have the intention of empowering people. We are not going to encourage hooliganism; we are not going to encourage cultism. There are ways in which some boys were encouraged to become thugs, and when the money is no more forth coming, they used the instrument in their hands and they start terrorizing and robbing people. Have you ever seen Fayemi throwing money to people along the road? Is that decent? Is it done abroad? Is it done in another cline where people are exposed? Just throwing 1000 naira, 500 naira to people to follow you about, giving money to Okada people to follow you about to show that you are popular. You can help this people by making them to work hard, give them loans, let them learn trade and set them up. In agriculture, in Ekiti north, Iyemero area, Ayedun area, Omuo area, give them money to plant yam and use the yam to make yam flour. We will sell to the people here and export, there we generate work for people, and they will employ many labourers and even technicians who will man the industries and even factory workers. It will reduce unemployment, with 12 Billion Naira we can have 4 factories in Ekiti where hundreds of people will be employed.
Did you have any premonition you were going to be made the running mate to Dr. Kayode Fayemi?
No, I did not even have that in mind. It is only God that made it possible with Kayode Fayemi and if I may add, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, they were the brains behind it. Maybe if they had told some other people, they would have discouraged him that I am too old and may spread lies again. During the first term of Fayemi, that was when I wanted to be deputy governor, but there was rumor that time that some people went to Fayemi and told him that, if I am his deputy governor, I will not allow him to have a second term, because they believe maybe I am powerful or I am rich, I will contest and everybody in Ado will support me. They already said they wanted someone from Ado and some of us showed interest, all of us were men, it was overnight that the man changed gear, he said he did not want any man that he wanted a woman, that was how we came about H.E. AduniOlayinka. .
Your advice to the youths
My advice to the youths is that, they should try to have plans for their lives. If you have plan A, you should be thinking of plan B. Our youths are always after salary jobs, we should migrate from that sector to become entrepreneurs. Like I did something in Ado for a relation of mine, she complained to me that her husband was not taking good care of her, I said, “you are a lazy woman”. I gave her only N25,000, to be going to IgbaraOdo every market day to buy plantain, I told her not to buy banana but plantain. I told her to buy plantain of N20,000 and use five thousand Naira to transport it. My brother, if you buy twenty thousand Naira plantain in Igbaraodoon their market day, if you go there very early in the morning, you will sell it for thirty thousand and make a gain of ten thousand. If you want to concentrate on Igbaraodo alone, the next five days, you go again, then you will be earning ten thousand every five days, if you are not lazy - the woman is doing fine now. Then, our people are too lazy. There is nothing that prevents us from having people selling smoked plantain (Boli) at every junction but they will not want to do that, they will not want fire to burn their hands. If you are not ready to work hard, you cannot make money. When I was a teacher, I was going from one school to the other to construct field because I was a sports specialist. So I was constructing field, sold sporting equipments, football jersey, I will go to Lagos to buy jersey and I left that, I became a lawyer. I registered my company; my company was taking building contracts from local governments and the State government. All those did not affect my legal practice because I have people there; all I needed was to give them money. Today, it is no pride o; I still have about two thousand hips of yams that I have not harvested in my farm. I planted more than two thousand yams and I do not harvest until November-December. Mt advice to the youths is that, they should think about what they have interest in and develop the interest. Buying and selling. Agriculture, piggery etc are quite profitable.