The barrage of attacks on the immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, should not surprise any keen follower of political events in Ekiti State. The latest of such attacks is the one written by a faceless Ifedolapo Adesola castigating the person of Fayemi and accusing him of so many unimaginable things. We know where this is coming from and why. A little excursion into political developments in Ekiti from 2007 when Fayemi became fully politically active in the politics of the state till date will enlighten many unsuspecting followers of Ekiti political events.
Dr. Fayemi was Governor of Ekiti State for two terms and was a Minister of the Federal Republic between November 2015 and May 2018. There was none of the positions he held that he was not attacked by social media rats, hirelings, and frustrated and failed politicians who thought he had come to displace them. He was viciously attacked between 2007 and 2010 before he regained his stolen mandate from the Appeal Court, Ilorin. As Governor in his first tenure between October 16, 2010, to October 16, 2014, he was an object of attacks by the group earlier mentioned. The reasons for the attacks are in most cases flimsy and ridiculous. Some said he speaks too much grammar, some said he is too serious-minded for their liking. It is interesting to know that despite transforming Ekiti State within the resources available to him by sitting at least a project in all communities in Ekiti State, these hate-filled detractors will always tell anyone who cares to listen that Fayemi did nothing! Fayemi impacted positively on all 132 communities in Ekiti State during his first tenure and the projects are still there and are verifiable. There are civic centers, renovation of palaces, construction of classrooms, renovation of secondary and primary schools, renovation of general hospitals, and upgrade of basic health centers to comprehensive health centers. Social security for the elderly (owo arugbo) was Fayemi’s novel ideal which was later copied by some states and the federal government. Fayemi reconstructed and rehabilitated over 953kms of roads across the State and this is verifiable. He made Ikogosi Warm Springs a world tourist attraction, he resuscitated Ire Burnt Bricks Industry. He introduced Ilera Laafin (health care for Traditional Rulers in their palaces), brand new vehicles for traditional rulers, the conditional cash transfer, constructed the Ekiti State Pavilion, and the new Governors lodge at Oke-Ayoba. Fayemi introduced free health and free education as well as assisted many farmers with crops and modern farm implements. He ensured that women are considered in the scheme of things in the state and gave them appointments in top positions in government. He established the Peace Corps and the Ekiti State Transport Management Agency (EKSTMA). The LCDA that communities are enjoying today because governance has been brought nearer to them was first created by the Fayemi administration before but his successor canceled them only for Fayemi to re-introduce the LCDAs during his second coming as a result of clamour by the communities. There are many more too numerous to mention yet, Fayemi did nothing!
Also verifiable are the projects sited in every town and no town has come out to deny this. We know that those attacking Fayemi are doing so deliberately and if we list his achievements from now till tomorrow, they have made up their minds and their usual song is, Fayemi did nothing! But to unbiased and fair-minded observers, will assess Fayemi based on his performance.
His enemies increased while he was Governor and it is ironic that many of the new set of enemies are those he appointed and assisted to be elected into National and State Assemblies but that is human nature and political behaviour. Those he appointed were the ones who started complaining that the positions they were given were too small, a Special Assistant wanted to be Commissioner while a Commissioner wanted to be Secretary to the State Government or Chief of Staff. It is this group of people who connived with some members of the opposition that started spreading misinformation about Fayemi’s nonexistent University in Ghana. We are yet to see any graduate of the University till date. The originator of the rumour who later crossed to APC confessed he started the plot and he succeeded in convincing the unsuspecting public that Fayemi actually had a University in Ghana just to make him look bad in the eyes of Ekiti people. When asked why he did that, he simply said it was politics and a game! This lie spread like wildfire till the time of the election in June 2014 and Fayemi lost to Fayose. It was so bad that some members of Fayemi’s cabinet who benefited immensely from the government were the first to own the victory of Fayose and condemn Fayemi. That is the nature of unprincipled and professional politicians.
Fayemi’s enemies increased when Fayose became governor in 2014 as the attacks on his person became more vicious with the aim of killing him politically. Lies were told against him and we still remember the purported N50 million bed in the new Ekiti Government House which was after all not true! Many petitions were written against Fayemi to the EFCC but he was not invited for one day because all the petitions were frivolous and vindictive. We should not forget that President Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP was still President 8 months after Fayemi left as Governor so if there was any genuine case against him as a member of the opposition whom they wanted to deal with, he would have been a regular visitor to the EFCC office.
Fayemi moved on after the loss and was saddled with the assignment of organizing the APC convention which produced outgoing President Buhari. It was the best Convention organized because it was devoid of any rancor as the contestants embraced the winner because the process was transparent. Buhari won the Presidential election in February 2015 and was sworn in as President in May 2015. Fayemi was appointed Minister on November 11, 2015, but before his appointment, the attacks became ferocious just like they are doing now so that he would not be appointed Minister. Fayemi’s traducers were disappointed because he was not only appointed Minister but was given a substantive Ministerial Portfolio of Mines and Steel Development which he turned around and transformed into a major foreign exchange earner and contributor to the National GDP. The fortunes of the mining sector which grew quarter on quarter under his watch, made President Buhari reluctant to release him from his cabinet for the gubernatorial contest in 2018. This is verifiable. As expected from Fayemi’s enemies, he did nothing!
Fayemi resigned as Minister in May 2018 to contest for the gubernatorial seat he lost to Fayose in 2014. Fayemi’s second shot at the gubernatorial seat started as a rumour but when he declared his intention around March 2018 he came like a hurricane and changed the political landscape and calculation and became the candidate to beat. As expected, his enemies increased more than before. There was no bad story that was not concocted against him just to stop him but he was too much and he triumphed over all obstacles and won his election and became Governor for the second time in 2018. We should not also forget that many of those who contested against him were his own cabinet members and those he assisted in getting elected into the National Assembly but he forgave them and appointed many of them into his government.
Fayemi attracted additional enemies to those already on the ground when he was about to end his tenure and the issue of a successor came up. He preferred his SSG, Biodun Oyebanji who eventually won his election with a landslide and is now Governor. Fayemi in his second term improved on the infrastructure development of Ekiti State under his 5 points agenda which he religiously executed. The programmes and projects are too numerous to mention and they are verifiable. He introduced the Transition Bill which was passed into law and this forbids any new government from abandoning the projects of its predecessors. Therefore, Fayemi completed abandoned projects like Oja-Oba, Civic and Convention Centre and resuscitated state assets like Ikogosi Warm Springs, Gossy Water Factory, restored electricity to Erijiyan, Ipole Iloro, and Ikogosi after 3 years in darkness, Oba Adejugbe Hospital, built International Cargo Airport which recently attracted the Nigerian Air Force Base, construction of 136km of roads, rehabilitation of hospitals and renovation of schools. This is also an opportunity to enlighten the ignorant and the misinformed that the Knowledge Zone established by Fayemi led to the granting of the valuable “Free Trade Zone” to Ekiti State recently. The benefits are numerous but only those not blinded by hatred can see it.
Fayemi resuscitated the Ikun Dairy Farm and it is now producing milk daily. Apart from the above projects and milestones, Fayemi’s first Executive Order was to abolish payment of all forms of fees for primary school pupils which was introduced by the previous administration.
Oyebanji as SSG was deeply involved in the formulation and execution of the projects and programmes and some of these are what Oyebanji is still executing as admitted by him at a public function recently. In Oyebanji’s words, “We can always build on the good works the former administration did. Stop making a distinction between the last administration and the present, this administration is an offshoot of the last administration. All what I am doing now is contained in the 30-year Ekiti State Development Plan (2021-2050) put together by Governor Fayemi and myself”. Are the detractors and Fayemi haters still in doubt?
Fayemi and Ekiti stakeholders which cut across all segments, put together the Ekiti State Development Plan 2021-2050, ESDP as a template that would enhance the fast economic growth of Ekiti and make the state the destination of choice to visit, live, work, and invest in Nigeria. It is a tailor-made development programme for the State. Is it not then a paradox that the same Fayemi who produced BAO is now being called a failure because BAO is performing based on the foundations built by the same Fayemi? They are enjoying the dividends of continuity made possible by Fayemi because of his stellar performance as Governor but they are now condemning Fayemi who made this possible? Is there any sense in that?
The only reason behind the recent online attacks on the person of Fayemi is to stop him from being appointed as a Minister as if he has told anyone he is begging to be one. In as much as we are not joining issues with social media rats, we owe it a duty to correct wrong impressions and debunk lies. Just like the issue of the fabled Fayemi’s University in Ghana, they have started with another lie of an imaginary N2.4b ecological fund which they have not been able to report to the EFCC with evidence since Fayemi left office 7 months ago. The faceless writer who calls himself Ifedolapo Adesola has not told us how it is possible for a Governor to steal even N500m in a poor state like Ekiti not to talk of N2.4b which is the equivalent of the average monthly salary bill of the state. Do these faceless hatchet writers think at all? The most unfortunate is that some people because of their hatred for Fayemi will believe this rubbish without even thinking and processing it! What a shame! If the identities of the characters on the social media writing all this trash are unveiled, it will be clear that they are loafers, cringers, and hustlers who would do anything as long as their data subscription and peanuts are assured. Such people should be ignored. Many of them don’t use their real names because many of the write-ups are libelous and they know the implication. Despite the barrage of attacks on his person, Fayemi has developed his loyalists and many that have passed through him and he is still building them. Not a few of them have been promoted politically to the envy of others and this may be another source of enmity for Fayemi but we ask, is there any crime in rewarding loyalty? The answer is no. It will interest these haters to know that one of the good examples of Fayemi’s loyalists promoted is BAO. The question to also ask those crying more than the bereaved is, has Tinubu complained to anyone that Fayemi betrayed him? So why take panadol for another person’s headache tori Olorun?
Let’s even assume without conceding that Fayemi fathers 5 children as the faceless writer alleged, is he too small or too poor to father even 12 children? What’s anybody’s business with that? This is too petty, jejune, and gutter-like. It is even very African to father many children, it is a sign of power and influence for men. So there is no big deal about that even if it is true!
All these attacks like the ones in the past will make Fayemi soar higher, it is his detractors as usual who will become frustrated, depressed, and disappointed. The President-elect knows the character and competence of those who will work with him so all these social media and beer parlour rumours will not play any role in who gets appointed to the Federal Executive Council and other positions. Let Fayemi’s detractors keep wasting their time on social media while Fayemi keeps glowing and reading comical fables while sipping coffee. Fayemi’s political credentials have kept rising amidst the attacks. It is no mean feat for a person in a country of about 200 million people to be Governor twice, Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, President of Forum of Regions of Africa (FORAF), and a Minister of the Federal Republic all within a decade! This may actually attract envy but what can they do about it?
On a final note, is there any great man they have not vilified and attacked? Have the attacks stopped them from reaching their goals or from being great? The answer is no. The political trajectory of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu comes in handy as a good example and lesson to all whose main job is to pull others down. “He who Jah bless, let no one curse” is a popular Bob Marley song. No matter how you try to pull somebody who God has destined for greatness down, you will not succeed because what will be will be. Against all odds and barrage of attacks and conspiracy including personal, official, and institutional, Tinubu became president-elect and come May 29, shall be sworn in as President. This is enough lesson for detractors. Meanwhile, let the attacks keep coming for Fayemi that’s the secret of his success and rising fame. He thrives in controversy and abuses but he has always triumphed over his detractors, this will not be different.
Engr. Bimbo Ajayi,
Chief Sola Ajisegiri
The Ekiti Progressives Coalition