The opposition Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) in Ekiti on Sunday exchanged verbal invectives over the ongoing construction of agro-allied cargo airport in the state.
The PDP said the airport project was a ‘silly approach’ to transform the state’s economy, saying “Governor Fayemi is not just insensitive but cruelly demonstrating curable ignorance of the reality of the yearnings of Ekiti people”.
But in a response, the ruling APC said the criticism was a “display of viciousness and ignorance”, noting the opposition party was allergic to the growth of the state.
The PDP State Chairman, Chief Gboyega Oguntuase stated that such insensitive idea amidst excruciating economic hardship occasioned by the alleged incompetence of Fayemi-led administration was outrightly ill-conceived and anti- people.
Oguntuase said the airport project is not the immediate need of the primitive economic realities of the state but fundamental transformation of Ekiti economic life that would address the prevailing vicious poverty and attendant social vices perverting the state.
The APC Publicity Secretary, Hon. Ade Ajayi, said the opposition party should bury its heads in shame for deliberately plaguing the state into unnecessary quagmire occasioned by the “obnoxious policies” of the immediate past governor Ayodele Fayose.
Ajayi said the Governor Fayemi-led administration will not be distracted by the ranting of a group of confused and mischievous persons but rather concentrate his nerve on how to positively change the economic fortune of the state.
The opposition party responded that instead of Fayemi investing the meagre federal allocation available to the state on ‘utopian airport’, he should look inward and initiate people-oriented project that could have multiplier effects on the economic life of the masses.
Oguntuase said the airport was a fraudulent ploy by Governor fayemi to milk-dry the state and siphon billions of naira into his private pocket to prosecute his 2023 presidential ambition.
In a swift reaction, Ajayi described the allegations of the PDP as “laughable”, “spurious” and “baseless”.
He said if the development patners didn’t trust Governor Fsyemi, they wouldn’t express readiness to support, saying recent $100million for some legacy project was secured because of the governor goodwill and “untainted integrity”.
Oguntuase said: “It is a silly approach to economic restructuring. It is crystal clear that Governor Fayemi doesn’t understand the yearnings and plight of the people.
“I wonder when people are suffering and all roads in Ekiti state are in deplorable condition and Fayemi-led government is embarking on white elephant project. This absolutely showed that APC was insensitive to the plight and yearnings of the people.
“Airport is not the immediate need of the primitive economic realities in Ekiti where young girls are now venturing into prostitution to make ends meet. What are they talking about and how do we answer before God?
“I know If he want to learn, he will learn, if he want to know, he will know but this man is only startegising on how to siphon huge money preparatory of his mad 2023 presidential ambition.
“Even though, he steals programmes from the PDP, has he forgotten that time changes and realities which might tolerate the creation of an airport then might be over? How many rich people are still in Ekiti? Aside those who want to run away from kidnapping. How many time do they come back home? And Would that justify the quantum turn of investment that an airport will need when all visible roads in Ekiti are bad? he asked.
“I am crying like a political prophet. If Fayemi doesn’t desist from this perverted economic principles is embarking upon, future generations will hear his name and curse him”, he said.
Ajayi countered: “It is hightime PDP faced reality and cooperate with Fayemi in moving Ekiti forward rather than playing politics of bitterness at the detriment of the state.
” In the first attempt of Governor Fayemi, we made every attempt to ensure that the construction of airport was a reality but we could not go ahead because we lost that election in 2014. But we expected PDP under Fayose to take the issue of airport seriously but instead embark on it with the notion to siphon siphon Ekiti money.
“Ekiti people rejected the project because the idea lack transparency. It would be recalled N10 billion was budgeted for the start of the project but how Fayose squandered the money is still a mirage to Ekiti people.
“But Fayemi has come back now to construct what was an uphill task for Fayose. I think it is hightime PDP support Fayemi to make Ekiti great because in a comity of states, the lost glory of Ekiti is more there and Fayemi is trying to regain it back with all these laudable projects.
“If the project is a ploy to siphon Ekiti money, the FG, AFDB and World Bank wouldn’t have supported the project. I believe what PDP did in government is what they are alleging.
“I challenge them to come out and tell Ekiti people how Fayose spent the N10billion earnmarked for the project,” he added.