Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, the Most Rev. Felix Ajakaye, has advised Governor Kayode Fayemi to appoint the right people to help him better the life of the electorate.
Ajakaye advised the governor against appointing people that will be more powerful than him (Fayemi) into positions of responsibility.
The Bishop said Fayemi’s second coming to power offered him an uncommon opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the people of the state.
The cleric gave the admonition on Sunday at a Thanksgiving Mass held at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, Old Garage, Ado-Ekiti as part of activities to mark Fayemi’s inauguration.
The service was attended by the Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi; wife of the governor, Mrs. Bisi Fayemi; wife of the deputy governor, Mrs. Margaret Egbeyemi; House of Assembly Speaker, Mr. Adeniran Alagbada; Chief Judge, Justice Ayodeji Daramola; traditional rulers and senior clerics.
Also in attendance were former old Ondo State Governor, Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua; former Osun State Deputy Governor, Senator Iyiola Omisore; former Ekiti Deputy Governors, Chief Abiodun Aluko and Prof. Modupe Adelabu; former Senate Minority Whip, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora; Nigeria’s Ambassador to Hungary, Dr. Eniola Ajayi; Publisher of Leadership Newspapers, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah; Ekiti senatorial candidates, Prince Dayo Adeyeye and Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele.
Fayemi, at the service, took the first reading from the book of Isaiah Chapter 60 Verses 1-6. The service featured songs, prayer for Ekiti State, prayer for Nigeria, thanksgiving and Holy Communion.
The governor promised to carry the people along in all policies of his administration and also pledged to make a difference in their lives.
Fayemi also said his administration will not discriminate in serving all Ekiti people saying: “he is in government to serve and not to be served.”
Ajakaye, in his homily, also urged Fayemi to put an end to government sponsorship of people to holy pilgrimages which he said are being used by some individuals for their selfish ends.
He also commended the governor for abolishing the education levy imposed by the immediate past administration on pupils on both private and public schools in the state.
The Bishop said Ekiti Catholic Diocese challenged the imposition of the levy in the interest of the people even though the State High Court struck out the case on technical grounds.
He disclosed that the Court of Appeal, to which the church filed an appeal had returned the case to the lower court for reassignment to another judge for fresh hearing.
Ajakaye said despite the fact that Fayemi had announced the cancelation of the levy, the church would still follow the case to a logical conclusion because “a Pharaoh may rise in the future who may not know Joseph.”
Describing Fayemi and his deputy, Egbeyemi as a “united team and co-travellers in the journey of restoration,” Ajakaye said they need patriotic, committed and trustworthy people who will assist them to lift Ekiti higher.
Ajakaye said: “Your Excellency, appoint the right people in right places. If I am not appointable, don’t appoint me even tough as a priest, I am not looking for any appointment.
“Don’t appoint somebody that will be more powerful than you are, don’t appoint people that will be dropping your name that ‘the governor has said this, Erelu has said this, Egbeyemi has said this, Aunty Margaret has said this.’
“Don’t appoint such people to positions of authority; at the end of our sojourn on earth, everybody will give account of himself to God.
“This is your second missionary journey, it is not a vengeance mission, vengeance belongs to God. The journey of restoration is not a journey of vengeance so appoint the right persons to position because we will hod you accountable.”
Responding, the governor said he desired to come back to power to make a difference in the lives of the people promising to give his best in the exercising the mandate given to him.
Fayemi promised to listen to people and carry them along in every step he takes promising to diligently serve all Ekitis irrespective of political affiliation, religion and other differences.
He said: “There are huge expectations across the length and breadth of Ekiti State, some people believe that our challenges will disappear immediately.
“Everything will bear fruit at appropriate time, the only reason we ventured into this is to make a difference in the life of our people, to serve and not to be served.
“Power of the people is greater than the people in power. We shall listen to counsel, if there is anything you think is not appropriate to do, bring it to our notice, we shall serve you.
“From our royal fathers, to the lowliest, we are determined to make a difference in the life of our people without preference to any religion or any other difference.
“If we make any mistake, forgive us, we have a job to do. This is a collective rescue mission, this is a mission to reclaim our land.”