A peep into Fayemi’s second term

October 20, 2013

L-R: Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; her husband, Governor Kayode Fayemi; and Senator Babafemi Ojudu, at a Mega Rally, in Commemoration of the 3rd anniversary of Governor Fayemi administration, in Ado-Ekiti.

Kayode Fayemi’s second term, built solely on  the grace of God, and  excellent performance is already assured 

When I indicated last week that this Sunday’s article will be a peep into Fayemi’s 2nd term, some people must have wondered whether I am a Nostradamus or simply playing god. I answer no, to both charges as all I am going to do, like the typical student of society, is to critically interrogate events and trends and from them, draw justifiably valid conclusions. Writing in The Nation of Monday, October 14, 2013, Sam Omatseye, the paper’s Editorial Board Chairman, observed as follows : ‘When on 16, October 2010, governor Fayemi was sworn in, I wrote in this column about the high road ahead of him, and wondered how he was going to tackle a state so idealistic, yet so forlorn. Within a year and half, I drove through the streets of Ado-Ekiti, and witnessed a transformation at variance with what obtained while I left the city on the day of his swearing in: the streets narrow, unlit and dust-laden, the houses discoloured, the brow of its inhabitants shorn of optimism, Ekiti did not seem, even with its new chaperon’s good intentions, capable of the lift you see in its streets today’.

Also writing on the same subject, 23 December, 2012, my brother, Tunde Fagbenle, said: ‘over the years, even those little graces -earlier itemised – had wilted and become virtually the stuff of distant memories. Ekiti land, with all its vaunted brains, had proved not immune to the malaise of a country gone to the dogs; the fate that befell her had befallen virtually the entire old West. Successive (PDP) governments had been preoccupied with the glamour and self-opportunities of office. Lacking in depth, vision and commitment, governance was essentially cosmetic and nothing beyond how to share the monthly dole from Abuja between individual pockets and token gestures of attention to desolate infrastructure within the governor’s very limited horizon’. What they failed to mention with every justified specificity is that from whichever direction you are entering Ekiti today, the minute you hit a smoothly paved road, and could sleep seamlessly if you are chauffeur-driven, you can be sure you are in Ekiti. Such is the amazing network of roads the administration has delivered in three years that you would not but marvel.

To the chagrin of not a few, I have myself written so copiously about these achievements that many are beside themselves with rage but what do I care since these are self-evident things. I have written, ad nauseam too, that a scintilla of apology, I have not, on that score since the Holy Writ admonishes us to adore and seek the good of our little Jerusalem. Indeed, anyone in doubt about my adulation of an administration wholly in the service of Ekiti people should do what the journalist in Tunde Fagbenle did – visit: to see that of a truth: FAYEMI IS TESTED AND TRUSTED, as was boldly captured on one of the signposts at the mammoth 3rd Anniversary Rally in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday, 16, October, 2013 which, not even the very busy, highly regarded Ekiti icon, Aare Afe Babalola, a lover of good things, could afford to miss.

Omatseye and Fagbenle’s words above vividly capture the Ekiti experience until the inauguration of the Fayemi administration and, as the immortal Awo says, since the raison d’etre of government is to work for the good and happiness of the greater majority of its citizenry, there is not the faintest hope, that the good people of Ekiti will ever again elect to go back to those days of rudderlessness and outright profanity, of six governors in seven years – indeed, one was for a day. And because the Ekiti people have twice demonstrated, at elections, that they would see those Egyptians no more, it follows syllogically and realistically, that Fayemi’s second term is, by the grace of God, already assured.

But didn’t I recently write on this page that power is not served ala carte, especially in Nigeria with the PDP’s ever inventive rigging machine permanently at work? Without a doubt, that party, with its many lackeys and quislings, its Labour Party shadowy ally, and all, it will stop at nothing in its attempt to hang on to its induced minor irritation within the APC in the state , to attempt to rig the 2014 election in the manner of the Offa broad day robbery and the more recent macabre dance in the Edo Bye election where it was alleged security men fragrantly protected ballot box snatchers. Add to this, the story going the rounds in the entire Southwest today, that President Jonathan intends to make the Ekiti and Osun elections a staging post for his 2015 ambition and you know there can be no putting anything beyond a party that has been so thoroughly savaged in the Southwest. But they will need to think again. We have asked those of them who still bother to read to go read, or re-read, Dare Babarinsa’s ‘House of War’ and to remember that Ekiti was an integral part of those historic days in Ondo state. Happily, they can boast of some key dramatis personae of that era among their leaders. It was also in circumstances such as this, that I told, then President Yar’ Adua, when our own Yoruba men of power advised him to inundate Ekiti with soldiers ahead the rerun election that, to ever successfully rig again in Ekiti, he would have to come accompanied with coffins since he would have to literally kill Ekitis to the last man.

And that, incidentally, was at a time Ekiti people did not know Fayemi beyond his democracy activism and, therefore, a time when good governance, security of life and property, multi-sectoral development and care for the needy and the elderly among us, were mere dreams. That was also a time when, to savour a good road, you would have to take a trip to Fashola’s Lagos state. But Fayemi we now know, in words and work, in commitment and focus, very much beyond description.

We are well aware that the PDP is no lover of good things. To dispute this, they should point us to their worthwhile legacies, over an 8-year period, across the Southwest whose education they ran aground and left with a depleted and decaying infrastructure. Even with President Obasanjo in office, the Ibadan-Benin Road, which traverses major Southwest cities, was broken into two at Igbara-Oke and you were lucky if your car survived a journey. Week in, week out, at the end of his every Federal Executive Committee meeting, multi-billion naira contracts were announced for various irrigation projects in the North with none ever coming to the Southwest. So appalling was it that at AGBAJO YORUBA, a nascent Pan-Yoruba Socio-Cultural organisation under the interim leadership of Lt. General Akinrinade, a rapid response team, headed by respected Professor Jide Osuntokun, was set up to decry the complete marginalisation of the Southwest. I laughed the other day when I saw them now head to Abuja, their tails behind their backs, to confront the president with allegations of Southwest marginalisation. It is funny, a people who know nothing beyond self, as exemplified by their poster boys, Chief Bode George and Kashamu permanently being at each other’s throat, think they can deceive Yoruba people again.

Like their compatriots in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti people have seen the light and can no longer be deceived. Visit any of these states today and try to mentally picture what it was like a mere five years ago (minus Lagos). In Oyo all you remember is a skin-toning governor superintending over the dirtiest city in Africa. Visit today and see the Ajimobi wonder; the very reason some lazy bones are wimping over a bridge all, but a few, commend. Think of Ogun and what readily comes to mind is the Wale Adedayo’s alleged experience. Osun was under a soldier who is today having his comeuppance, while in Ekiti it was one day one trouble.

Every PDP wannabe governorship candidate in Ekiti or Osun should come back home and point to what he/she did for his community after so many years of Abuja derived opulence. Happily too, Baba has gone, and there can be no more ‘fehingbepon’ – impunity – or a rehash of any mama losing her Christian conscience. Ekiti will be too vigilant for them this time around as we, historically, do not fight unless you went out of your way to want to play us. It is then you see the lion in these genial people of honour. Those among them who would be tempted to play lackeys for the sake of ‘oyele’ (oil) money or appointments, should therefore think twice; as by the special grace of God, Kayode Fayemi’s second term, built solely on the grace of God, and excellent performance, is already assured.


By Femi Orebe

This article was first published in The Nation

Last modified: October 20, 2013

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