Winner of the June 21st Ekiti State gubernatorial election, Ayo Fayose of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), took an oath of office on Thursday as the 4th democratically elected governor of the state amidst pomp and pageantry.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Fayose, who was heavily guarded by armed security men, was inaugurated at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, Ado-Ekiti.
Hundreds of well wishers, including party faithful, women, children and others from different walks of life, watched the historic gathering.
They also included National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Adamu Muazu who led other top notchers of the party such as the Governors of Akwa Ibom, Katsina, Kebbi, Kaduna, Cross-Rivers, Bauchi, Jigawa, Ondo and Abia states.
Virtually all markets, offices as well as resort centres were closed down to mark the event, even as residents who could not make it to the stadium lined up the streets.
Masquerades from different towns and villages in Ekiti were paraded around the stadium to honour the Governor for his success.
Scores of security men drafted to provide cover at the venue found it difficult to control the surging crowd which chanted Fayose’s praises amidst thunderous beating of the drums and singing.
The new governor took the oath at about 1.15 p.m. while his deputy, Olusola Eleka, had earlier taken his at about 1 p.m.
The oath was performed by the Chief Judge of Ekiti State, Justice Ayo Daramola, to the surprise of many residents who had thought the judge might stay away due to recent misunderstanding between the Fayose group and the judiciary.
Fayose, in an acceptance speech, promised to turn the state around within the shortest time possible.
He solicited the support and cooperation of all manner of people for his administration to enable him to succeed.
He promised to end the All Progressives Congress (APC) popularity, saying the exit of former Governor Kayode Fayemi marked the end of the party in the state.
Fayose shocked the crowd when he announced the defection of some APC members of the state House of Assembly.
He said the defectors were part of the crowd that organised a valedictory session on Tuesday for Fayemi.
Fayose said that most members of the assembly would soon cross over to the Peoples Democratic Party.
The APC controls 25 out of the 26 members of the state House of Assembly.
The new governor said he would focus on the controversial “stomach infrastructure”, a new development in the political history of the country, to enable all Ekiti indigenes to enjoy dividends of democracy.
He promised to appoint Special Adviser on Stomach Infrastructure, to enable all Ekiti indigenes to feed well and be comfortable.
Fayose said his administration would focus on human empowerment, infrastructure development and create employment for the youth.
He charged them to support his administration for a better and unique transformation of the civil servants’ life and Ekiti as a whole.
Meanwhile, a cross section of Nigerians on Thursday urged Ekiti residents to support the new administration.
Those who made the call included the Minister of State for Works, Dayo Adeyeye; two immediate past senators who represented Ekiti North and Ekiti Central in the last dispensation.
The duo commended Fayose for sailing through all the odds and his triumph over all events that would have blocked his swearing-in.
They told NAN that having worked closely with Fayose, they believed that he would deliver the expected dividends of democracy to the people.
One of them, Ayo Arise, said the inauguration of Fayose would usher-in tremendous development to Ekiti.
Another former senator, Bode Ola, urged Fayose to embrace all Ekiti people to move the state forward.
Ola promised to facilitate the rehabilitation of federal roads in Ekiti, especially Akure to Ado road, Aramoko and Itaore roads.
He described Ayo Fayose as a grassroots man and visionary leader who would take Ekiti people to the Promise Land.
“He will deliver because he had done it before; he will continue to defend the interest of the masses,” he said.