THE BETTER ONE FOR EKITI STATE: FAYEMI OR FAYOSE?
FAYEMI; THE POLITICAL GENIUS
Being an intellectual creates a lot of questions and no answers – American singer and songwriter, Janis Joplin.
In the parlance of politics, there is a constant tussle in the corridors of power which is a battle settled at the polls on the day of election. The politicians parade themselves in the regalia of chameleon marauding as lovers of the people in a bid to win as many they could win knowing that the power for their victory rightfully lies bare in the hands of electorates. The electorates are the true and undisputable stewards of power. Majority of the electorates are however oblivious of this truth which has resulted to them being downtrodden by hypocritical rulers. If everyone gets deceived, should a conglomerate of intellectuals also be tricked into taking a beautifully decorated can of worms for dinner?
Ekiti State in the South-Western part of Nigeria is known as the fountain of knowledge and prides itself as one of the states in Nigeria with the highest number of Professors in Nigeria. Ekiti State can be regarded as a state of intellectuals as the indigenes are known for their intelligence, ingenuity and academic prowess of which I am one. It is evident to the eyes of the blind and loud to the ears of the deaf that Dr. Kayode Fayemi was the best option for them during the June 21, 2014 election. But Alas! The intellectuals did the unthinkable as they gave their mandate to Mr. Ayo Fayose and their action has precipitated a lot of questions.
After the struggle of 42 months for mandate as Governor of Ekiti State, Fayemi was inaugurated on October 16, 2010 as the Governor of Ekiti State. He started with his eight-point agenda; Governance, Infrastructural Development, Modernizing Agriculture, Education and Human Capital Development, Health Care Services, Tourism & Environmental Sustainability, Gender Equality and Empowerment. He took giant strides towards giving Ekiti State a new facelift and fulfilling his electioneering promises. He met a group of people who had lost trust in the government but he worked assiduously to earn their trust. Fayemi is an extraordinary politician who exuded so much brilliance in impactful governance which yielded positive visible results. He became the first governor in Nigeria’s present political dispensation to publicly declare his assets which was valued at N750million and his former deputy, Funmilayo Olayinka also declared her assets with her husband’s valued N1.2billion.
It was clear from the onset of his administration that his type of politician is alien to the Nigerian political clime. What qualified him to be the better person for Ekiti State is not in his organization, elegance, eloquence, pragmatism, listening ear but in the fact that he worked assiduously for the state and it was glaring in the outstanding projects he embarked upon. He was close to the people to know their problems with the tour of all the Local Governments he did in November 2011 where every town sent a representative to ask for at least three projects each community would like to be included in the 2012 budget. He assured them that at least one project would be granted for each of the town.
Fayemi’s loss at the polls did not only shock many but only confirms the words of English actor and journalist, Stephen Fry; “having a great intellect is no path to being happy”. With the commissioning of legacy projects between September 22 and October 15, 2014 which was scheduled to be a Thank You tour before his handing over to Fayose, one can perceive that the people of Ekiti State made the wrong decision which will definitely not make them happy. African Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka expressed his utmost dismay while commissioning the brand new state of the art Government House on the hilltop. Fayemi commissioned not fewer than 65 local government projects across the State during his last days in office after delivering his concession speech (rare in Nigerian politics).
Fayose’s tenure has barely kicked off when the serene clime of the State witnessed a spate of violence that has refused to abate. There is an ongoing crisis between Ekiti State House of Assembly and the governor. The crisis almost led to the impeachment of the Speaker when it was reported that 7 out of the 25 lawmakers of the House had a sitting in which they impeached him. It is a known fact that at least votes of two-thirds of the House is needed for the impeachment of the Speaker. Funny enough, 7 out of 25 do not even form a quorum.
Fayemi’s reign in Ekiti was peaceful and calm as it was a moment of obliteration of political sycophants and lousy thugs. The election was more like a game of chess as the intellectuals gave their mandate for the man who could win the battle of the stomach. Fayose’s stomach infrastructure and radical closeness to the masses were the tools he used for his overwhelming victory. I am afraid that the myopic people of Ekiti State have sacrificed the pleasure of the future for the momentary satisfaction of now for a piece of morsel.
FAYOSE; THE DIVINE BRAWN
“When PDP slaps you on the right, turn the left to Fayose-Old Ekiti proverb”— A vibrant Nigerian poet, Ibukun Babarinde
In the nearest future, I may have to be prostrating somewhere in Ekiti to get a bride, but when we get to that bridge, we would cross it. Presently, I’m at a bridge where I need to speak the truth to power, so my in-laws would be proud of me in the years to come.
I got admitted into a Nigerian secondary school in 2001, since then till date, I have always heard Ekiti state has the highest number of professors. I have never seen any credible source backing that claim, so I consider it “beer parlour gist”, but I have also not had any evidence to prove them wrong, so I reluctantly accept.
Kayode Fayemi is a good man, a vibrant youth in his days, an academic of worth, a journalist with class, but the “Ekiti-reject”. Fayemi is learned in History, politics, international relations, Strategy development among others. He lectured at Police College Sokoto, he was a strategist for London city challenge, a fellow at the University of Ibadan, an adjunct professor for National Defense University, Washington, and a journalist for the UK Guardian. And that’s just a few. He has such a peacefully intimidating CV. Perhaps the best intellectual in recent Nigerian governance, but Ekiti people said NO.
Fayemi was the first Nigerian politician to introduce welfare pay for the Elderly, which he did consistently, in Nigeria’s 3rd poorest state, Ekiti. In the build up to the divine ejection of General Sanni Abacha, some young men stood their grounds against Abacha’s oppressive tendencies, and Fayemi was one of those men. A courageous intellectual, with vision and integrity, yet Ekiti said NO.
Peter Ayodele Fayose on the other hand, is what I would call a “divine-brawn”, quite far from what Fayemi is made of. He somehow has his way with the people since an HND, which he has, is enough to rule in the city of professors. He drinks “jedi” (local alcoholic drink) with the grass root sons of Ekiti, he drops “something” for woman roasting “boli” (roasted plantain), he’d go to a community in dire need of social amenities, and buy a car worth millions for the Baale, Oba, or whoever the head of the community is and drop a few hundreds of thousand for the “fans” who come to welcome him and the people would say, he’s the best man for the job. Give us peanuts; spend the monies for the amenities. He has divinely won two elections, in the state despite his “lack of quality”.
“In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve.”—Alexis de Tocqueville
“If indeed this is the will of the Ekiti People, I stand in deference to your will. If the result of the election is an expression of the voice of our people, we must all heed your voice”—Kayode Fayemi’s concession speech.
Fayemi lost in all of Ekiti’s 16 local governments, showing how much the people were willing to reject him, yet he said he must heed the voice of the people. What a man, yet Ekiti said NO.
This brings me to, “a people get the government they deserve,” since 1999, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has been slapping all Nigerians with a fair share of poor governance at the presidency, yet the Ekiti people are not satisfied with that share of bad leadership, they’re turning their left cheek to Fayose, to slap them with Violence, political thuggery, amongst other things that have characterized his government thus far.
I have a lot of Ekiti friends, ask them who is the better man for the job, they say Fayemi, then they add, but Ekiti people chose Fayose. Then I’d say who did you choose, they’d say they didn’t vote.
So tell me, who is the better man to deal sense into the heads of my Ekiti friends?
Fayose is the better man for current Ekiti state who only want professors in the Universities but not at the helm of affairs, Ayodele is the man to knock senses into the consciousness of the state that forsakes brain for brawn, Peter is indeed the man to teach my politically apathetic friends how to vote.
Fayose is the better man for Ekiti; so once again, let’s heed the voice of the people.
CONCLUSION: This column is about you, it presents the two sides of a case courtesy of two writers from different schools of thought. “Audi alteram partem” means hear the other side before passing your judgement. Take the gavel, make your decision and slam because you are the judge in this courtroom.
THE BETTER ONE FOR EKITI STATE: FAYEMI OR FAYOSE? Send reservations, comments and suggestions to 0813-224-5150 or 0813-697-3059 or firstname.lastname@example.org