Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has called for direct involvement of social activists in political engagement to rescue the country from its current predicament.
He said the task of a national rescue and rebirth must be led by committed compatriots that are fired by the kind of patriotic zeal needed to drive societal transformation.
Governor Fayemi made the call on Tuesday at the closing session of a two -day International valedictory Conference held in his honour at the Obafemi Awolowo Civic and Convention Centre, Ado Ekiti, as part of activities marking his end-of –term.Dr Fayemi, who said he was emotional with the outpouring of solidarity and goodwill messages on him and his wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, during the conference, noted that his journey in politics was borne out of collective resolve to avoid a repetition of the mistakes of yesteryears in the quest for a national rebirth.
The Governor attributed his success in Ekiti and national service to the wealth of wisdom, counsel and guidance he benefitted from political and non political leaders including President Muhammadu Buhari, Late Chief Anthony Enahoro, Prof Wole Soyinka, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, all living Nigeria former Heads of State, state traditional rulers and others.
He said he derived fulfilment in his journey as the Governor of Ekiti and like the Biblical Paul had run the race and done his best in keeping the faith of turning things around for the good of people.
Dr Fayemi expressed gratitude to his brother governors in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), members of the Federal Executive Council that he served with as Minister of Mines and Steel Development, members of the Ekiti State Executive council, State House of Assembly and Local government administrators in Ekiti.
Expressing confidence in the ability of the Governor-elect, Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji to sustain the enduring legacies his administration had laid in Ekiti, Dr Fayemi said Oyebanji, like Timothy (in the Bible), would do the work of missionary with his team and labour day and night with all diligence and faith for the good of Ekiti and the nation.
The Governor, who encouraged the gathering to hope for the rising of a new Nigeria, pledged that his exit from office as the Governor of Ekiti would not deter him from leading active roles in championing causes that would turn the fortune of the country around to see “the country of our dream in our lifetime”.
“Looking back on the totality of my experience till date and if the matter is to be debated all over again, there is no doubt in my mind that many more leaders of civil activism will need to take bold step of direct political engagement if our collective search of a better nation is to be achieved.
“In fact, I will suggest that now more than ever before, we must throw in many more the best from among us from all walks of life in order to undertake urgent task of retrieving our country from the multiple crisis that has tempted some to believe that collapse is either imminent or inevitable.
“In my years in Ekiti and in national service, I have been a beneficiary of the wisdom, counsel, and guidance of other leaders both in government and outside government.
“I have mentioned a number of them, Chief Oyegun, late Chief Enahoro, Prof Soyinka, so many of them and of course, I must include in the category His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari and all the living Nigeria former Head of States whom I had profound relationship with, state traditional rulers and various State men and women too numerous to mention here.”