Fayemi, Makinde harp on raising bar of governance beyond party affiliations – The Sun Nigeria
From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Chairman, Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), and Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, and Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State have harped on why Nigeria must raise the bar of its governance beyond political party affiliations towards delivering dividends of democracy to all and sundry.
They made the disclosure at the commissioning of the 7.2 kilometers Idi Ape-Bashorun-Akobo-Odogbo Barracks Junction Road dualisation project, complemented with a flyover across Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, which left Bashorun to Akobo in Ibadan on Thursday.
Fayemi, who has about one month to spend in office to complete his second term in office before he hands over the government of Ekiti State to the new governor, Abiodun Oyebamji, is a ranking member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), while Makinde is also a ranking member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Apparently reacting to why a governor on the platform of APC would honor invitation from another governor of the PDP platform to commission projects, Fayemi said: “As the chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, my primary duty is to protect, defend, and promote the interests of all the 36 state governors in Nigeria, regardless of their party affiliation. We have governors from all sides, including APC, PDP, and we even have All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA).
“But APC happens to be, for now, the majority. This is why the responsibility of the chairmanship of the forum rests on my shoulders. I cannot deliver the responsibility without the cooperation and collaboration of all my brothers across the divides. I can tell you that Engineer Oluseyj Makinde is a strong pillar of support in that forum.
“So, for me, this is a duty beyond party. It is a recognition of what we promised our people and the pledges we made when we were elected into office to serve the people who elected us, without let or hindrance. I know this road will be plied by members of PDP, APC and those who do not belong to any party. They would go on this road regularly.
“If what we are about is development of our people, we can disagree without being disagreeable. We can still hold our principle corners as proud members of PDP, APC and any other party to which we belong. But once the elections are over, and it is time for governance, we all should rally round those who have been saddled with that responsibility via the ballots.
“I have just returned from the Republic of Kenya, where I went for the inauguration of a new president. This was an election won by a thin margin of 0.5 per cent, between the victorious party and the opposition.
“In a divided society, when you have an election that has been fought on such divisive manner, we all owe it a duty in the interest of the ordinary people to come together and work for the overall benefits of our people. As I advised some of my friends over there in Kenya, you cannot win an election with 50.5 per cent and tell the person who lost the election with 49.5 per cent to go to hell. It is not going to work.
“I hope we’ll ultimately get to a point in our country in which those who won 49 per cent will also have a seat at the table in proportional representation manner to represent that 49 per cent that have lost, while the person who won with 50 percent will also represent the majority of the people that he has received their votes.
“This ‘majoritarian democracy’ is not going to work, if the winner continues to take all the benefits to the detriment of the ’49 per cent’ looser because I do not believe that if you have 49 per cent support, that should not be totally discarded and thrown away, while the person who has 50 per cent should take everything away. I hope our constitutional arrangement would at some points begin to recognize our delicate balancing path in order for us to deepen this democracy, and to ensure that all our people enjoy the benefits beyond the generosity of the holders of public office.”
Governor Makinde, in his address earlier, noted that Fayemi’s presence at the commissioning of the projects “communicates a message to those who think that politics is a do-ot-die affair, and for those of them, who think that collaborations across party lines for development is not possible.
“Yes, we belong to different patties. Our great parties, PDP and APC, have different philosophies. But when it is time to do what is right for the progress of our people, we should all come together and get it done. Today is a demonstration of that. I can only say that players will come and go, governors will come and go, and parties will come and go. But our space and our country remain.”
Commissioner for Public Works and Transportation in the state, Prof. Kehinde Sangodoyin, said the 7.25 kilometer road “was originally awarded to ENL on 19th May 2017, but stalled at 35.76 per cent progress, till it was terminated for non-performance by 2020 For expediency . The project was split into two scopes, and re-awarded separately for expediency and timeliness.”