Some indigenes of Ekiti on Wednesday assessed the tenure of the immediate past governor of the state, Ayo Fayose, with knocks and kudos.
Some of the respondents told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, that they would be missing nothing about Fayose, while others hailed him “as a man of the people”.
The middle and upper class on one hand, criticised the former governor, while ordinary people on the other hand, praised him.
The Fayose-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration initiated what it called the Stomach Infrastructure Programme(SIP), which targeted the poor.
A major component of the programme was the distribution of money, food items and other basic necessities to widows and the unemployed.
But the All Progressives Congress (APC), the then major opposition party in the state, said the governor had used the programme to turn Ekiti people to beggars.
Fayose handed over to Dr Kayode Fayemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who was sworn in for a second term on Tuesday.
Fayemi, who was governor between 2010 and 2014, lost the 2014 governorship election in the state to Fayose, who had earlier served as governor between 2003 and 2006.
Mr Ayo Babatola, a former local government councilor, described Fayose as the worst governor that had ever ruled Ekiti.
“What did he do? He left two main projects: the overhead bridge in Ado-Ekiti and Kings Market, which he did not even complete.
“These are projects that are not viable, projects that will not help Ekiti in any way.
“Ekiti is a predominantly farming state. What do we need overhead bridge for?,” Babatola asked.
Another respondent, Mr Abunmi Awotikun, a retired federal government civil servant, said he would only miss the former governor for his “brigandage and jokes”.
“We miss him for his executive recklessness, call it years of the locust.
“Ekiti values and ethos were put at abeyance for four years.
“Ekiti people are noted for respect, courtesy, industry, agriculture and education.
“Believe me we lost those values in the four years under Fayose,” Awotikun said.
He said it would take Ekiti at least 10 years to recover from the “mess that the former governor has plunged the state into”.
He, however, said the state was back on track with the return of Fayemi, whom he described as a refined man of great intellectual muscle.
“This is the dawn of a new era, and we are saying bye-bye to(an) error,” Awotikun added.
A retired matron at the National Hospital, Abuja, Mrs Rachael Usikalu, said Fayose ran the affairs of Ekiti like a one-man business.
“People were not carried along, and his government did not invest in education, health and agriculture, as Fayemi did when he was governor between 2010 and 2014,” Usikalu said.
However, the verdict was favourable to Fayose among the poor, who see him as one of their own.
“I will greatly miss Fayose for his love for us, the ordinary people,” said Taiye Abiodun, a taxi driver.
Abiodun said he would miss the former governor for identifying with the common man and putting food on the table of many through his stomach infrastructure programme.
A commercial motorcyclist,Mr Olasunkanmi Ogunleye, and a trader,Mrs Yinka Biodun, said Fayose did well in the provision of physical infrastructure such as roads, bridges and markets.
Ogunleye and Biodun said they would also remember the former governor for his love for the downtrodden in society.
They appealed to the Fayemi administration to retain and sustain the poverty alleviation programme bequeathed by the Fayose government.