Governor Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji: A Good Symbol of Continuity in Ekiti State – By Mary Oso-Omotosho

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The Governor of Ekiti State is a great example of what leadership by example should be. Your Excellency , your humility disarms all. You can never be a good leader if you were not a good follower . Many of us here ,particularly former Governors here ,would tell you that the moment you hand over power to a young man that you thought you knew , under one week , either his steps would change or his attitude to you would change . There is hardly any former Governor EXCEPT in Ekiti State ,that has not had one problem or the other with the successors. I think we should give glory to God for the type of person Ekiti State Governor is “.

In governance , continuity is often a vital aspect that ensures progress and stability for a state or a nation. When a leader steps into the shoes of their predecessor and successfully carries forward their vision and goals, it becomes a moment of reassurance for the people. Governor Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji (BAO) of Ekiti State is a prime example of a leader embodying continuity and effectively spearheading the development of his state.

The transition to a new administration in Nigeria often results in the termination or derision of ongoing projects, activities, and policies of the predecessor. Unnecessarily reversing government policies, notwithstanding their virtues and good benefits on the society, is commonplace. Some might say this strategy is being used because the newcomers want to see their ideas adopted regardless of the legitimacy of previous programmes. Once the policies are helping the people’s lives better, it’s beneficial to keep those in place for as long as the Constitution allows. This by implication calls for continuity in governance.

In this sense, continuity in governance is seen as the condition in which an organization or state, is able to maintain its current system of controlling its social, political, and economic operations for an adequate amount of time in order to carry out its programmes and achieve the change and development it seeks.
That stability and continuity are crucial factors for modern growth and development cannot be gainsaid. This was clearly proven by the need for modern cultures to seek safety and political stability. Of course, there is a correlation between political stability and economic growth. More so than in other regions of the world, this explains Europe’s and North America’s advanced civilization as well as Lagos State’s rapid growth to being one of the largest economies in Africa .

Since Governor Oyebanji assumed office, he has been keen on building upon the foundation laid by his predecessor, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, ensuring that the progress made under the latter’s leadership continues. With a strong focus on good governance, transparency and accountability, Governor Oyebanji has been successful in maintaining the momentum of development and taking Ekiti State to new heights.

Apart from aligning with the paths laid down by his predecessor,all the projects that former Governor Fayemi could not complete have been taken over by the BAO’s administration. The immediate past administration under the leadership of Dr John Kayode Fayemi in which Governor Oyebanji also served ,had initiated life-impacting projects across the state . Some of the projects that could not be completed have either been completed by Governor Oyebanji or are nearing completion .

This has made some political analysts who are used to seeing predecessors’ projects abandoned by the successors ,to continue to ask Governor Oyebanji why he continues to complete his predecessor’s project instead of initiating his own projects which he would take credit for . Each time the Governor gets asked such question , he declares that aside the fact that every project initiated by past governments was executed with the scarce resources of Ekiti people , he campaigned on the mantra of shared prosperity and continuity, therefore, completing his predecessor’s projects would mean fulfillment of his campaign promises. Failure to complete such projects would mean a breach of contract and a waste of scarce resources.

Governor Oyebanji has distinguished himself in many ways as not just a good symbol of continuity, but one who unites all Ekiti sons and daughters irrespective of party affiliation for the greater good of Ekiti . Immediately after his inauguration, he sprang onto the horse and began to engage everyone who matters in the Ekiti development project either by invitation or visitation .The government of unity and inclusiveness he runs has engendered continued delivery of shared prosperity and excellent governance to the people of the State.

The six-point development agenda upon which Governor Oyebanji’s administration hinges was drawn from the Ekiti State 30- year development plan from 2020 to 2050 was launched under the immediate past administration of Dr John Kayode Fayemi.

Just like his predecessor, Governor Oyebanji places priority on promoting agriculture and other sectors crucial for the state’s economic prosperity. Through various initiatives such as provision of modern farming equipment, training programs and enabling policies, he has encouraged farmers and entrepreneurs to maximize their potential and contribute to the agricultural and industrial growth of Ekiti State. By implementing and promoting local content policy which has so far curbed capital flight , BAO is boosting the state’s economy and creating employment opportunities.

In the realm of education, Governor Oyebanji continues to uplift the standard of learning, making sure that he picks from where his predecessor left. He has prioritized investments in education, ensuring access to quality education for every child in the state. Attention to teacher’s welfare both the ones in active service and those retired . Teachers’ training programs, periodical recruitments and the provision of learning materials, he has created an enabling environment for students to excel academically. This investment in human capital lays the foundation for a prosperous future where the youth of Ekiti State can contribute to Nation building.

Mr Governor’s commitment to good governance is evident in his transparent and accountable leadership style. He has established mechanisms for citizen engagement, encouraging participation and feedback from the people of Ekiti State. By promoting transparency in government business and ensuring accountability at all levels, he has built trust and bond with Ekiti people as well instilled a sense of ownership in the development process.

Politically, Mr Governor’s reconciliatory prowess is matchless. As promised at every engagement with party faithfuls during his campaigns , he has strengthened the APC structure in the State and created mechanisms that enable inclusivity for the party . Every political decision and step taken by Governor Oyebanji involves the leadership and members of the party . This earned him the “symbol of continuity “ title among some party leaders.

There’s no doubting the affability of Governor Oyebanji. Every Ekiti seems to have now realized that he is redefining Ekiti politics and sanitizing the one time toxic Ekiti political space. No wonder the bigwigs in Ekiti politics including those in opposition are giving him early endorsement for another term.

BAO stands as a shining example of a leader who understands the importance of continuity and has successfully carried forward the vision of his predecessor. His focus on infrastructure development and other critical sectors of the economy as well as penchant for good governance has brought about tangible improvements and direct impact on the lives of the people of Ekiti State. By prioritizing the needs of the citizens and working towards a prosperous future, he has become a symbol of hope and progress for the state.

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