In Ekiti, Fayemi rekindles people’s hope in governance. By
The American College football player and coach, Paul Bryant, said: “When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it; admit it, learn from it, and don’t repeat it”.
Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State had admitted he made some mistakes in his relationship with Ekiti people. He also admitted he made mistake in the way he approached the 2014 governorship election. He paid dearly for it, as the people rejected him for being far-detached from their realities at the grassroots.
But in the build up to last year’s governorship, he made it clear that he has learnt his lessons. In fact, at a rally to declare his intention to run at the time, he told the crowd the Fayemi they were seeing is completely different from the Fayemi they knew during his first coming, adding that “mo ti sha pra pra (meaning, he was streetwise and would never repeat those mistakes that caused him his second term in 2014.)
And from the way he approached the election, Fayemi appears to have truly learnt some lessons. At his inauguration in October last year, the governor declared that his administration was not interested in going after the administration of his predecessor, Ayo Fayose.
He was, however, quick to note that his administration would expose documents of what transpired during the immediate past government, maintaining that his administration would be thorough and ensure that the state is moved forward from where it is currently.
“Today, we reclaim our land from those that have held us hostage. We will thoroughly reveal and distribute documents of what happened in our state during the past administration. This state was during the past administration owing salaries of about eight months. We are not interested in trial by the media or witch-hunting but will we will say the truth before our people.
“We may not belong to the same political party, but never again should we allow politics in Ekiti State to be left in the hands of people who don’t understand governance. Never again should we give up our status as honourable men for stomach infrastructure. We are focused on areas of development which include agriculture, social investment and entrenching our economy into becoming great. Our greatest resources are our people. I will not rest until the burning issue of workers’ salaries is promptly addressed.”
True to his words, from his list of 14 nominees, sent to the state House of Assembly for screening and appointment as commissioners last Tuesday, which included Dr. Moji Yaya- Kolade, the governor appears prepared to ensure that only those who know and understand governance and politics run the state along with him.
Yaya- Kolade is one nominee many stakeholders in the state believed should not have been part of his team, having competed against him in the party’s governorship primary.
In bringing a fellow contestant on board, Fayemi may have stunned some people. But he would also have impressed those who have satisfactorily appraised Yaya-Kolade, as bringing more than bagful of experience in health and business.
A nurse, pharmacist and medical doctor, her resume is bound to intimidate anyone in the health sector. This is so because before her relocation to Nigeria, she had also established a health facility in the United States.
Additionally, since her relocation to Nigeria, she has also established herself as a business person, as such the governor would now have to think which one between the health and economic portfolio would best suit her if she eventually scales the screening.
Apart from Yaya-Kolade, the other 13 nominees whose names were read out on the floor of the assembly as having been nominated as commissioners were: Dr. Adio Afolayan; Mrs. Moji Fafure; Mr. Emmanuel Foluso Daramola; Mr. Folorunso Olabode; Mr. Dele Faparusi and Mr. Gbenga Agbeyo.
Others are Mr. Olusoga Davies; Mr. Sola Adebayo; Mr. Michael Awopetu; Mr. Muyiwa Olumilua; Mr. Femi Ajayi; Alhaji Ayodele Jinadu and Mr. Febisola Adewale.
The wait had been full of apprehension, but when the list came, it appears to have gladdened the hearts of all genuine stakeholders as it captivated the essence of Fayemi’s second coming. He had campaigned on the mantra “Reclaiming our land, Restoring our Values”
The list, comprising politicians and technocrats, no doubt signposts the governor’s determination to complete the positive things he started during his first coming.
Before the list of the nominees was sent last week, the governor had shortly after he was inaugurated last October forwarded two nominees, Mr. Dapo Kolawole and Mr. Olawale Fapohunda to the state House of Assembly for screening. The two were subsequently appointed as Commissioner for Finance and Attorney General/Commissioner for Justice respectively.
The appointment of the duo immediately the governor assumed office no doubt underscores his adherence to due process in the administration and financing of the state.
Daily Sun gathered that adherence to due process may have been what helped the governor after he left office in 2014 that made the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) not to bother to call him to account despite the desperate move by his successor to get him hanged.
The appointment of Fapohunda was also indicative of the governor’s penchant to enhancing the rule of law and walking the correct path.
Afolayan is also on the list of the fresh nominees. If he scales through the screening, he would be serving for the second time in the cabinet of Fayemi, having served as Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development in his first term from 2010 to 2014.
During the period under review, he pleased stakeholders in agriculture with his eagerness to upgrade their capacities especially in mechanised farming. He was instrumental to the purchase of 12 tractors for the sector in that period.
Another returnee to the cabinet if he scales the screening as expected is Adebayo, a junior brother of a former governor of the state, Otuba Niyi Adebayo. He served as Commissioner for Works in Fayemi’s first administration, and was a key participant in many of the infrastructure development during that time especially the remodelling of Ado Ekiti, the state capital.
One other old hand on the list is Jinadu. He served as Special Adviser on Political Matters to the governor in his first term. Agbeyo, former chairman of Ido-Osi Local Government Area and member of the inauguration committee, is also on the list.
Faparusi, former member of the House of Representatives who served as the deputy director general of the campaign and who was vital in those fearsome days after the director-general, Opeyemi Bamidele, was shot, is also on the list. He is expected to bear his wealth of experience on the cabinet if he eventually scales through.
Another prominent name on the list is Olumilua, who is the son of the first civilian governor of the state. But his antecedents, it was gathered may have been responsible for his nomination.
He was said to have drew commendations to himself last year ahead of the APC party primaries to choose a candidate for the Ekiti South Federal Constituency, when he withdrew from the race.
Olumilua was said to have stepped down in favour of the former chairman of the Ekiti South Senatorial District, Kayode Babade, saying that the withdrawal was to support the election of someone from Ikere Ekiti which had been denied the seat over the years. His act of self-sacrifice, it was further learnt may have been appreciated by party elders and all other stakeholders.
Fafure, Senatorial Woman leader is also on the list and will add vim and vigour to the cabinet with her passion for mobilisation.
The nomination of Olabode who served as the state Commissioner for Rural Development and Community Empowerment during Fayemi’s first term appears revealing in the view of some stakeholders and political actors in the state. It perhaps could be part of the governor’s resolve to re-energise the spate of community development in the state.
Fayemi created the ministry in his first term in 2013. Olabode’s major brief at the time was to ginger development of the rural areas, considering the fact that about 70 percent of the population of Ekiti people live in the 131 rural communities. He used the community development associations at the time as a link between the rural communities and the government.
The ministry was also responsible for building and renovating the traditional rulers’ palaces which was seen as a community development project. Even more remarkable was the grant of about N10 million to communities for self help development projects, with 10,000 cooperative societies having about 500,000 members as part of beneficiaries.
From all indications that, the combination of technocrats, purposeful politicians and entrepreneurs so far assembled by Fayemi is expected to help restore the verve that was once characteristic of cabinet meetings in Ekiti State.
With much expectation from the new commissioners, it is expected that they would work not only to put their names on the positive side of history, but to realise Fayemi’s promise of reclaiming Ekiti land and restoring the people’s values.