Ekiti State Governor, Peter Ayodele Fayose, has declared that he was once a commercial bus driver of the popular Volkswagen brand known as ‘Danfo’ and used the proceedS to sponsor his Polytechnic education.
Governor Fayose made the startling revelation on Thursday during the swearing-in of the new State Executives of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) in Ado Ekiti. He charged the transport union and its members to conduct themselves in orderly manners while pursuing their livelihood and not to allow themselves to be used by kidnappers to perpetrate evil. “I was once a driver like you. I used the money I got from driving to sponsor myself for HND at Ibadan Polytechnic, but I did not get desperate. All I’m saying is that being a driver you can make it in life. You will become what you want to become in life with hard work. Don’t join evil gang for you to get rich overnight, try and rise through the ladder like we did.”
“Please, I want to commend you for contributing immensely to the development of the state’s economy, but don’t allow yourselves to be used by evil doers. You can see that some kidnappers were paraded recently. Information from them revealed that they have been using some of your members” he addED.
Despite identifying himself with the transporters as an ‘ex-staff’, Fayose declared his readiness to clamp down on anybody caught in the act of reckless driving, reminding them of the ‘don’t drink and drive’ rule. “Though I am part of you, but if you breach the law, I won’t save or spare you. You will be arrested and prosecuted by the security agents,” he said.
Governor Fayose also explained to the transporters that his desperate bid to banish poverty in Ekiti propelled him to pioneer the stomach infrastructure concept that had become a brand in the country.
His words: “In tackling poverty, the first thing to do is to empower the people. But before empowerment, you must make them look healthy through provision of food. Let them get access to you as a leader, this will give them sense of belonging and relief. Some of the projects being executed by MDGs centred on poverty alleviation. Poverty has become a serious issue in Nigeria. That was why my government makes the payment of salaries the first thing, because this will keep the people and the economy going.”
He disclosed that his stomach infrastructure policy is changing lives in the state. “I received close to 200 to 300 calls and messages daily on stomach infrastructure. Though, 90 percent of it is about money, but we should not shy away from the fact that the concept has become a way of life in Nigeria as a good weapon to tackle poverty among the common people,” he said.
By Olisemeka Obeche