The Ekiti Governor, Ayodele Fayose, on Monday branded the N3.3bn worth Governor’s Lodge built by the ex-Governor Kayode Fayemi as an ill-conceived project too costly for the state to maintain.
The governor said the building was too expensive for the state to maintain considering the level of poverty in the state.
He spoke while administering the oath of office on the newly appointed Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Modupe Alade, and other special assistants in Ado Ekiti.
Fayose berated Fayemi for spending such an amount of money on a building when the masses were facing serious challenges of abject poverty.
He said, “My heart nearly failed me when I got to the new Government Lodge on Thursday. The mansion cost N3.3bn. It was initially awarded for N2.3bn and later increased to N2.7bn, while a sum of N640m was used to procure fittings and furniture.
“And this building will cost a sum of N150m for maintenance annually. Ekiti cannot sustain this and we have to do something about it. How can a governor be living in such a house when the masses are living in abject poverty?”
Reacting to the allegation that the Government Lodge was too expensive, Fayemi’s media aide, Mr. Olayinka Oyebode, said he would not dignify Fayose by responding to the allegation.
He said, “That is a non-issue and does not deserve a reaction. He is entitled to his opinion.”
Earlier, Fayose had assured that his administration would ensure strict compliance to the 35 per cent affirmative action for women in government in consonance with the Beijing Declaration of 1993.
He said that the appointment of Alade underscored the enormous respect he had for women, pledging that his government would protect them and allot more appointments and elective positions to them during the 2015 state and federal legislative polls.
He declared, “Let me tell the men here who are politicians to know that some of them will be asked to step down for women in the next year’s elections.
“I want to assure you that those that will step down have nothing to lose, we are going to reward you accordingly. But if you disobey us, we will still go ahead and do it so far what we are pursuing is in the interest of the Ekiti people.”
The governor promised that his government would reward loyalty and hard work, particularly for politicians and those in the civil service to promote the culture of brotherliness in Ekiti.