Judgment Day For Fayemi: Mid-term Report As Ekiti Governor Clocks Two Years In Office

October 16, 2012

One thing about passion is that the fire can blaze very highly one moment, suffusing the entire being with an ethereal glow, transporting both the body and mind to the celestial realm.  But after a while, if the fire is not consistently stoked, and the embers consistently fanned, the fire wanes, and then gets extinguished.  It happens in almost every sphere of life – in love, in other kinds of relationships, in governance – everywhere.

On exactly this day two years ago, October 15, 2010, the Court of Appeal sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State, declared that the rerun Ekiti State governorship election had been won by Dr Kayode Fayemi of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), and not Engineer Segun Oni of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). There was wild jubilation.  Delirious joy suffused not just Ekiti, but coursed through the length and breadth of the country, and even beyond.  Every lover of truth, of verity, of justice, of fairness, had followed the Ekiti election saga with keenness, from 2007 when the PDP was awarded victory, a fact hotly disputed by the ACN, which went to the tribunal.

And what a protracted legal tussle it turned to be!  Months and months of legal brickbats, running into years.  From the lower tribunal to the Court of Appeal, which then ordered rerun election in some local governments.  After the rerun, which spawned another debacle, it was back to the courts for another lengthy trial.  And finally, on October 15, the verdict came.  Fayemi was the lawfully and duly elected governor.  By October 16, he was inaugurated into office.

When a man steps into office in a blaze of glory as Fayemi did, he often lands in a fix.  The expectation from people would be so high, so much so that they think he will just wave a magic wand, and all their troubles will vanish. Poverty, gone. Sickness, vanished. All aches and pains would disappear.  Like a leprous king Naaman, they would approach Elijah, thinking he would just wave his hands over them, and the leprosy would vaporize.  They would never expect to be told to dip seven times in a brackish River Jordan.

So, Fayemi began to rule Ekiti, a land of people with great intellectual prowess, but also a state with flabby financial muscles.   In fact, in the entire federation of 36 states, Ekiti State is number 35 in terms of revenue accruing monthly.  How then does a governor make a difference in the lives of the people?  Dilemma.

And for the first year in office, Gov Fayemi grappled with the riddles.  But he also put on his thinking cap, and began to plan.  By the time he marked one year in office last year, it was with mixed blessings.  Some people were willing to be patient with him, others, who wanted quick fixes, had begun to grumble.  Would the blazing fire of passion exhibited in 2010 be extinguished so soon?

Not discouraged, the governor continued to plan, work, and possibly pray.  The din from the market was vociferous, almost deafening. But he trudged on, surefootedly.  And today, at mid-term, the tide is turning.  Like a chrysalis, the result is bursting forth, and Fayemi’s footprints are now evident in agriculture, tourism, job creation, road construction, social security, education, and many more.

This week, Daily Sun will run series of special reports on Ekiti, a product of dispassionate and independent tour of the state.  And at the end of it all, the reader can judge.  Is Fayemi winning?  Is he not?  Has he passed, failed, or remains in the same class? He has an 8-point Agenda comprising of Good Governance, Infrastructural Development, Modernizing Agriculture, Education and Human Development, Health Care Services, Industrial Development, Tourism, and Gender Equality and Empowerment. How well has he acquitted himself?    It’s indeed judgment time for the Ekiti helmsman at mid-term.  Keep a date everyday.

 By FEMI ADESINA and TOPE ADEBOBOYE
This article was first published in The Sun on 15 October 2012.

Last modified: October 16, 2012

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