Kayode Fayemi and Bisi Egbeyemi were sworn in as governor and deputy governor, respectively, on Tuesday, amidst pomp and ceremony.
The event, held at the popular new Iyin Road, Ekiti Parapo Pavilion, was graced by state governors, chieftains of All Progressives Congress (APC), ministers, as well as friends, and well-wishers.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who was billed to grace the occasion was, however, represented by Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.
National Leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former National Chairman of APC, John Odigie-Oyegun, and his predecessor, Chief Bisi Akande, were in attendance.
Fayemi defeated candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the poll, Prof Kolapo Olusola, with 19,028 votes.
In his speech at the occasion, Buhari expressed appreciation to Ekiti people for voting for the APC and promised more federal presence in the state in the year 2019.
The president revealed how Fayemi, as a former member of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), used to disturb him about the development of the state.
Fayemi, who was clad in white ‘agbada’ and brown ‘Awolowo cap’ to match, was sworn in by the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ayodeji Daramola, amid cheers from admirers and party members who were clad in ‘aso ebi’.
Earlier, his Deputy, Bisi Egbeyemi, took the oath of office and allegiance about 12:20p.m.
The governor also inspected the guard of honour after the police parade that ushered in his government.
The governors at the event were Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun); Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo); Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi); Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna); Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos); Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo); Mohammed Abubakar (Bauchi), among other Nigerians and members of the diplomatic corps who graced the occasion.
The president noted that Fayemi assuming the governor of the state would afford him the opportunity to redirect Ekiti to the path of greatness and abundance in terms of economic prosperity.
Buhari pleaded passionately with Ekiti voters over his re-election bid in 2019, saying he had a lot to offer Nigerians if given another opportunity.
He said: “I know Dr. Fayemi very well; he has always cherished anything that has to do with the development of this state.
“As Ekiti governor between 2010 and 2014, he instituted some laudable projects that impacted positively on the lives of the people and this pavilion was one of them.
“I know that he will do what is right to justify this mandate. I charge him not to relent in his efforts to serve Ekiti with passion, commitment, and candour.
“FG has given support to states in the areas of bailouts, budget support, ecological funds and Paris Club refund, of which Ekiti was a beneficiary.
“We have extended the standard rail project to Ekiti and the construction of the federal secretariat will soon be completed.
“The FG is also planning to dualise Ado-Akure Road and reconstruct Ado-Ikare Road for the use of our people.
We have also built another 133kva power source in Ekiti that will be commissioned soon.
“As of today, 11,000 Ekiti indigenes are benefiting from the N-power programme of this administration.
“We are confident that Dr. Fayemi will help cover the lost grounds brought by past administration. From today, you will begin to have a new breath in Ekiti under the present government.”
Speaking earlier, Fayemi said his government would work hard to bring succour to the populace by removing the canker worm of corruption that had eaten deep into the state’s fabrics under the PDP-led government of Governor Ayodele Fayose.
He revealed that all the finances of the last administration would be reviewed but not in a vindictive manner.
He said the review became imperative to ensure that the culture of prudence and financial propriety was brought to bear in the governance of the state.
Fayemi lamented that the state was indebted to the tune of N170 billion being loans taken to undertake some projects through the last administration.
He assured the people that the debt challenge won’t hinder his government from delivering dividends of democracy to the citizens.
The former minister stated that Ekiti under him won’t slide and degenerate to the level of allowing school children to pay various taxes in their quests to receive formal education.
He promised that his government would reinstate the N5,000 social security to the elderly and make tremendous positive impact in the areas of agriculture, social investment, and the economy.
“In the last four years, Ekiti was governed by a rudderless, inept, and egregiously corrupt government which was led by those who deceived our people through the instrument of stomach infrastructure.
“In this context, never again will Ekiti slip into the hands of those who know nothing about governance, never again shall we allow our school children to pay taxes, never again shall we abandon the burgeoning resources at Ikogosi Warm Spring to waste, never again shall we allow our judiciary to be debased by draconian government, and never again shall the most educated state like Ekiti be apostle of stomach infrastructure that has made us a laughing stock.
“In our quests for economic rejuvenation, our government shall invest heavily in youth in commercial agriculture because Ekiti is basically agrarian, reactivate community based projects, tap into our tourist potential and ensure security of local and foreign investors.
“As of today, the debt profile and other financial commitment hanging on the state look challenging, but with your support, we shall overcome.
“The light shall shine again. We shall celebrate our core values of scholarship, knowledge, hard work, unity, and strong character bequeathed to us by our founding fathers.
“We appreciate our fathers who fought for the creation of this state in 1996, and I want to assure them that we shall keep the flag flying and make sure we don’t disappoint them by fulfilling their dreams and aspirations within the next four years”, he said.