BY Samuel Oluwalana
As part of activities marking the first year in office of Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, construction works on the airport project was flagged off by the governor, as part of his vision for the industrialization of the state.
The airport, when completed, is expected to serve and boost agricultural and industrial revolution, which the present APC-led administration is currently piloting.
As expected though, there have been hues, cries and condemnations, coming mainly from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) in the state, a party which succeeded in running the state aground within a period of four years, when it was in the saddle.
It will be like peeling the surface of old wound if attempts are made to unveil the evils of the PDP in Ekiti State from 2014 to 2018, before the people of the state, ditched for a more progressive party.
However, for an administration with mission and vision, the Ekiti airport project had been conceived during the first term of Governor Fayemi, 2011 to 2014, but due to the period of interregnum when the locusts invaded the farm and carted away the produce, the project could not see the light of the day.
Various attempts by the immediate past administration to start off the project were futile due to its lack of plan, mission and vision. The period was a time when funds allocated for the project, went into private pockets.
Dr Fayemi’s second coming and his yearning and aspiration to make Ekiti a hub of industrialization, not only in the south west, but Nigeria as a whole, propelled him to go back to the drawing board and renew his interest in the project.
Recently, the owner of ABUAD, Aare Afe Babalola, lamented that the need for an airport in Ekiti state is long overdue, and he has been stressing this in his communications to both the state and Federal governments. ABUAD, though privately owned, had become an international institution and has attracted many foreign visitors into the institution and Ekiti state.
The multi billion naira medical facilities at the University are there for the benefits and use of Nigerians and it is also to dissuade them from travelling overseas to seek medical help. The proximity of the cargo airport to the medical facilities is an advantage.
As an agro cargo airport, the proposed project, when it begins operations, will boost agricultural production and reduce waste of agricultural products in Ekiti and other neighbouring states in the south west sub region.
When the several foreign tours of Governor Fayemi begin to yeild results, the airport will be on ground to hasten the dream of foreign investors that are expected to besiege the state to exploit its mineral potentials for the benefit of the citizenry.
Virtually all roads that connect Ekiti state to neighbouring ones are in deplorable condition; although, the present administration is making them, its priority to rehabilitate some of them, the airport will be an alternate to visitors to the state.
That the Akure airport in Ondo state, which is about 50 kilometers to Ado Ekiti, is there to serve our purpose is by no means the thinking of those failed past leaders in the state, that had the opportunity to write their names in gold but failed woefully, due to their greed and self serving attitude.
Elder Sam Oluwalana is Director of Media and Publicity Ekiti State All Progressive Congress, (APC).