Fayemi in the saddle: Forgetting the past, reaching for the future

Muslims accuse Fayemi of political marginalisation

Last Tuesday, Governor Kayode Fayemi, assumed the mantle of leadership of Ekiti State for the second time.

Fayemi had previously ruled the state between 2010 and 2014, under the now defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).

A native of Isan in Oye Local Government Area of the state, Fayemi was until now the Minister of Mines and Steel in the incumbent Muhammadu Buhari administration.

Upon his venture into politics, Fayemi had worked as a former Director of centre for Democracy, Development, a research and training institution dedicated to the study and promotion of democratic development, peace-building and human security in Africa.

Prior to the establishment of the Centre, he worked as a lecturer, journalist with The Guardian and City Tempo, researcher and Strategy Development adviser in Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

In 2014, Fayemi then an incumbent governor of the state was defeated by the immediate past governor, Ayodele Fayose, of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Fayemi had disputed the result of the gubernatorial election, alleging that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) colluded with security agents to rig the election in Fayose’s favour.

However, he re-reclaimed his crown after winning the July 14th, 2018, gubernatorial election. He had emerged as the candidate of his party in a controversial primary, which was contested for by major political gladiators in the APC in the state such as; Segun Oni, Babafemi Ojudu, Senator Arise, Bimbo Daramola, Bamidele Faparusi, Yinka Akerele, among others.

The Ekiti APC gubernatorial primary was held twice, after the first exercise was disrupted by political touts who had alleged that the chairman of the electoral committee and Nasarawa State Governor, Almakura Tanko, was working to favour an aspirant, while the primary was subsequently postponed indefinitely.

In the gubernatorial election, Fayemi defeated several aspirants, including Kolapo Olushola, of the PDP, who was the anointed candidate of Fayose to replace him. Olushola was then the Deputy Governor the state.

This was amidst protest by the PDP and some election observers’ who alleged that the election was marred by irregularities, intimidation of voters and vote-buying.

However, as Fayemi assumed office, political observers have urged him to focus on the task ahead of rebuilding Ekiti state, while initiating policies that would positively impact the lives of the downtrodden. They also tasked him on job creation.

In his speech at the inauguration programme, Fayemi had vowed to probe the administration of his predecessor Ayodele Fayose, although he had earlier stressed that his second coming was not for vengeance, but to bring the culture of prudence and financial propriety to bear in the governance of the state.

He alleged that the past government took N170 billion loan for projects, which would not stop his administration from delivering dividends of democracy to the citizens.

The governor promised that under his administration Ekiti would not degenerate into the level of allowing school children to pay taxes in their quests to receive formal education, promising to reinstate the N5,000 social security for the elderly and make tremendous positive impacts in the areas of agriculture, social investment and economy.

“In the last four years, Ekiti was governed by a rudderless, inept and egregiously corrupt government, which was led by those who deceived our people through the instrument of stomach infrastructure,”

Analysts have however, faulted the Governor’s decision to probe the previous administration, stressing that it may just be another effort in futility, considering the outcome of previous probes in several states across the country, urging him to focus on repaying Ekiti indigenes who voted for him with good governance and policies that would transform the state.

An activist and National President of Voters Awareness initiatives, Wale Ogunade, advised the governor to diversify the revenue-generating resources of the state and concentrate on the provision of infrastructures in the rural areas rather than wasting time on probe which may not yield any fruit.

“The governor has only four years to rule the state, if the people are saying he did not do well in his first tenure this is the time for him to redeem his image. I would advise him to focus on rebuilding, rearranging and growing the state. The system has been battered, the down trodden have been taken for a ride by the previous government; her should provide roads, tap into the resources and agricultural potentials of the state, pay salaries.

“Ekiti state is rich in mines, rocks and being a former Minister of this Ministry, let him tap these resources, the wastage of resources should stop,” Ogunade said.

But a chieftain of the PDP, Sunday Ekanem, said that he would not be surprised if Fayemi decided to probe Fayose’s administration since the same scenario happened during the former administration, but advised the governor against such move, urging him to settle down for work since he has only four years to go.

 “I am not surprised with his move; considering that Fayose also did same thing to him, he was even banned from occupying public office in the state. If I were him, I would let the past be and focus on the task ahead. Don’t also forget that the result of the election that brought him to office is still being challenged in court. Let create jobs, and provide environment for business to grow in the state”.

Iniobong Iwok

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