Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has appealed to members of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria against allowing themselves to be used by kidnappers to perpetrate evil.
Speaking on Thursday during the swearing-in of the new State Executive of the union in Ado Ekiti, the governor, who said he was once a ‘danfo driver’ appealed to the drivers to be orderly and not to be desperate.
He said, “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.
“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.”
He cautioned drivers against reckless driving, reminding them of the ‘don’t drink and drive’ rule.
“Though I am part of you, if you breach the law, I won’t save or spare you. You will be arrested and prosecuted by the security agents,” he said.
The governor, who recalled that he united the two unions — RTEAN and National Union of Road and Transport Workers — during his first term, said the occasion was a sign that good things were coming to Ekiti.
“We should emulate this kind of occasion. This is very good. We will always identify with this kind of achievements. You are doing a good job for this country. I don’t want to be the enemies of drivers, I want to be your friend.”
Fayose, who had earlier spoken at the 2015 Annual Conference of the Institute of Strategic Management, appealed to leaders to focus attention on how to banish poverty that is killing the potential of many Nigerians.
Speaking on the theme, ‘Strategies for Poverty Alleviation’, Fayose said his desperate bid to banish poverty in the land had propelled him to pioneer the stomach infrastructure concept that had become a brand in the country.
“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 a 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 made the payment of salaries the first thing, because this will keep the people and the economy going.
“I receive close to 200 to 300 calls and messages daily on stomach infrastructure thing. Though 90 per cent of it is about money, 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.”