FEATURES: What again does Fayose want?

September 14, 2014

IN societies where democratic nuances and civilized conduct are settled, an in-coming government does not intrude into the activities of the incumbent administration. It is not for fun that the Constitution allows for a lacuna between the date an election is held and the date the winner of the election is inaugurated. The interval is usually a period for the outgoing government to tidy up and prepare its hand-over notes and for the in-coming government to dot the i’s and cross the t’s of the programmes it intends to execute when it takes office. It is also a time for the new helmsman to learn the ropes and familiarise with the nuances of governance. The gait, mannerism, and comportment of Barak Obama changed between the periods he was first elected president of the United States and the day he took office; he started to gallop and bounce. In well-structured private-sector organisations, this is also so for good reasons. I do not know if we have such a system in place here; if we do, who runs it? My suspicion is that there may be none because I have never heard of one or seen any in operation. But in the event that there is anything remotely close to it in operation, the operators should quickly grab Mr. Ayodele Fayose, the governor-elect of Ekiti state, and drag him in. He needs ample lessons in democratic nuances and civilized conduct.

After INEC announced Fayose winner of the June governorship election in Ekiti, he was humble and civil a few days. Many had thought he was living up to his electioneering-time promises that his leopard had changed its spots. Such incurable optimists were soon disappointed as the man has, regrettably, gone back to his old ways. It has been one controversial statement or action after another ever since. Our attention here today is on his spirited effort to irritate, provoke, distract, and, possibly, prevent the incumbent APC government in Ekiti from governing. Yet, the laws of the land allow, in fact, mandate, Gov. Kayode Fayemi to govern Ekiti state up till October 15, 2014. Fayose will not be inaugurated as governor until on October 16th. A government is a government and its duty is to govern. How it governs is its own business, subject only to the laws of the land and the wishes of the people; not the whims and caprices of an in-coming administration. The shenanigans of the in-coming Fayose administration are clear infractions of the law; they also are unethical conducts inimical to, and able to irreparably damage the integrity and good-standing of Ekiti state as a corporate entity. Trying to check Ekiti books behind its back or instigating its bankers against it is loathsome.  Fayose should be decent enough to wait; fortunately, Fayemi, after October 15th, will lose immunity and can be summoned to answer questions that Fayose may deem necessary.

A few of Fayose’s other infractions against Fayemi and, indeed,  Ekiti state are as follows. One: Fayose tried to stop Fayemi from creating additional local governments in Ekiti. For one, Fayemi had been at that project before the election. For another, he followed the constitutionally-stipulated road map for the exercise. Importantly, only a puerile politician will fail to understand how local government creation had been used to short-change the South-west. For instance, old Kano state (made up now of Kano and Jigawa states) has more LGAs than many states of the South-west pulled together. What is expected of any politician from the South-west who truly loves the people and desires their emancipation is to press for more LGAs from the zone to be recognised by the Federal Governance for appropriation purposes so that more resources can pour into the region. That is a better option than the beggar mentality of “we will beg Jonathan to employ more Ekiti into the Federal civil service” In the face of quota system, how many Ekitis can be so employed and how many had been similarly employed from Jonathan’s home state of Bayelsa? Not only is Fayose playing politics on this very important issue; he is also being economical with the truth. South-west needs more LGAs to be at parity with other sections of the country. Two: Fayose alleges that Fayemi is starting new projects, which he has threatened to abandon. This is sad as he ought to know better. Was it all the projects that he, Fayose, started in his first stint in office that he completed before he was disgraced out? Did he, Fayose, not brag during electioneering that many of the projects that Fayemi laid claim to were started by him (Fayose) and that Fayemi only completed them? In like manner, let the order be reversed; let Fayemi start the projects this time around and let Fayose complete them. Government is a continuum; understood? Three: Fayose alleges that Fayemi is employing people and has threatened to sack them. That will be Fayose’s headache and not Fayemi’s; governments all over the world have the power to hire and fire and it is a decision they take based on needs, some of which are unanticipated. For instance, Ebola did not warn anyone before it arrived our shores. Thank God it is not yet in Ekiti but will Fayemi be spared by the same Fayose if he (Fayemi) fails to act pro-actively to safeguard Ekiti, even if it means giving employment to more medical hands? We can go on and on.

Fayose alleges that Fayemi has plunged Ekiti into indebtedness; he should point at one state in the federation that is not indebted. Even the FG is indebted; after we exited Paris Club indebtedness under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, we are back into indebtedness real time under the PDP Federal administration. As member of the PDP, what has Fayose got to say to that? Importantly, Ekiti is one of the least indebted states in the federation; it is one of the few that have judiciously applied its loans on verifiable capital projects; still, it is one of a handful that have an impressive repayment schedule. Tell me, did Fayose not leave debts behind during his first stint when liabilities are discounted against assets? And did Fayemi not inherit debts from the PDP Segun Oni administration? The profligacy of some governments apart, the reason why many states are cash-strapped is because they have lost 40 per cent of their federal allocations. Is Fayose not aware of this and is this fault not clearly that of the PDP FG as managers of the nation’s economy? How some states still manage to pay salaries is a miracle. We wait to see what magic Fayose will conjure if and when he mounts the saddle. If he has assets to sell or mortgage to pay salaries, I am certain he will thank his stars. With Boko Haram running riot, I suspect that the war effort will gulp more resources and with general elections around the corner, less allocations may come from the centre to the states. It is likely that Fayose, having sensed real time trouble ahead, is readying a scapegoat on which to hang anticipated failure. We shall allow him no such escape route! I for one am eager for him to take over so I can immediately begin to hold his two legs to the fire.

I will, however, give him these unsolicited-for advice. One: He needs to put his head down and work hard. Politicking is over and statecraft must take over. Two: He needs prayer; October 16th, though very near, is also very far away. With the way the country is going, who can tell? Moreover, with an APC-filled House of Assembly waiting to receive him; how is anyone sure he will not be served the Murtala Nyako bitter pill?


By Bolanle Bolawole

This article was first published in The Nigerian Tribune on Sunday,September 14th 2014.

Last modified: September 14, 2014

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