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REIGN OF DECEIT HAS STARTED IN EKITI

By Lere Olayinka
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Declaration of free education in Ekiti State by the Governor, Mr. Kayode Fayemi has been described as the beginning of governance by deceit in the State.

Wale Ojo-Lanre, Chief Media Aide to former governor, Engr. Segun Oni, who said in a statement made available to journalists today that education in Ekiti State was free before Fayemi became governor added that; “It amounts to high level of deceit for anyone to be talking of offering free education in a state where primary and secondary school education was not only tuition free but free textbooks and laptops (with VSAT) were also provided.”

The statement read; “Our attention has been drawn to the promise of free education made by Governor Fayemi after his swearing-in on Saturday and we wish to remind him that education was free in Ekiti State before he assumed office.

“Though we have opted to refrain ourselves from going into the circumstances that brought Fayemi to power, because we believe in the omnipotence of God and His ability to judge men according to their deeds, we must however not shy away from our responsibility of putting the records straight for posterity sake.

“As at Friday, October 15, 2010, only students of the 22 boarding schools in Ekiti State were paying N10.000 per term while no fee was paid in other schools (both primary and secondary)

“Apart from non-payment of tuition fees, free textbooks were provided while WAEC and NECO fees were paid by the government.

“It is also important to point it out that the Federal Government has declared primary education free throughout the country under the Universal Basic Education (UBE) scheme and this has been on for years. In addition to this, pupils of primary schools in Ekiti State have been enjoying free egg and cocoa drink twice in a week, under the School Feeding Programme.

“Furthermore, we have taken Ekiti State away from the comity of States where students of public schools receive lectures under the tree, inside dilapidated classrooms or carry chairs and desks to the school. We solved those problems by construction thousands of classrooms, including storey buildings in our schools and also provided school furniture adjudged as the best in Nigeria.

“The Ekiti State that we left is a state where education is functional and parents were already withdrawing their wards from private schools and bringing them to public schools because we did not only made education free, we made it functional by providing free laptops to students of boarding schools.

“It therefore amounts to grand deceit and attempt to play to the gallery for the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)-led government to be promising Ekiti people free education that they already have.

“From Fayemi's statement, it is obvious that he was oblivious of state of affairs in Ekiti before now and it is our advice that he should take time to study the State before making pronouncements.

“Also, we urge Fayemi and his Lagos invaders to face the task of surpassing what we did by embarking on policies that are not borne out of deceit or publicity stunt. Governance to us is a serious business which goes beyond just talking to make newspaper headlines.