AN interest group based in Ekiti State, the Ekiti Ambassadors, has expressed regret that the state hitherto regarded as land of people of integrity, virtue and honour has become a laughing stock for alleged poor governance and misplacement of priorities.
It said events in the state had brought shame to Ekiti and made its people to be regarded as third-class citizens in Nigeria and other parts of the world.
Addressing a news conference in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, yesterday, its President, Owoola Daramola, said the trend in Ekiti must be reversed as the 2018 governorship election draws nearer.
Daramola, who was supported by other members of the body’s executive committee, said “people are suffering and don’t need grandiose projects, such as a flyover being constructed by the Ayo Fayose administration”.
He contended that majority of Ekiti citizens need good jobs, and not a flyover being constructed when civil servants are owed five-month arrears of salaries.
Daramola said the search for the right person to occupy the governorship seat must begin now, saying Ekiti people need “a man of integrity, virtue and honour, an honest man of wisdom, with strength of character and passionate about Ekiti development”.
He said: “We need somebody, who is conversant with the politico-economic history, who will revert and reverse the sad story of Ekiti land. We need somebody that is part of the system, who understands the people, who knows how and what the people feels.
“Somebody who has investment and interest at home; somebody who will make Ekiti a place of envy and honour. We need somebody that will lay the foundation of future political-economic leadership, growing, nurturing and maintaining it for generations yet unborn.
“Our position is that the head of the next administration would be someone with ties with us in Ekiti; someone that understands what we feel and what we need; someone that shares the same cultural and traditional ties with us; someone genuinely dedicated and devoted to serving the public.”
The Ekiti Ambassadors boss said the group would work with some non-governmental and civil society organisations to begin massive enlightenment of voters to make the right choice and desist from collecting rice, salt, money and other forms of inducement from politicians.
Daramola added: “Ekiti has become a laughing stock in the comity of states in Nigeria and to the outside world. Political parties must put their house in order and go back to the grassroots to rebuild their structures.”