WHO ISN’T AFRAID OF KAYODE FAYEMI? - Soul 2 Soul Mates Blog

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2/03/2018

WHO ISN’T AFRAID OF KAYODE FAYEMI?

WHO ISN’T AFRAID OF KAYODE FAYEMI?
I must confess. Getting engaged in the public discourse of Ekiti State politics doesn’t come naturally. It’s really not in the top bracket of issues of national importance that I look forward to intervene in. But my intervention has almost always been due to some knee-jerk reaction.

This reaction comes either when Fayose do or say something that demeans human decency that makes me to wonder if some people in some remote corners of the world are not giggling and wondering if Nigerians are truly a civilized people, or when someone, in an attempt to lend his voice on what can now aptly be described as the “Fayemi Question” in Ekiti politics makes a fool of himself with comments so illogical and odious to my senses.
But the inspiration for this piece came from a slightly different direction. It was inspired by two interrelated sources. The first was from a brilliant piece by an unknown author that made the rounds recently on social media which was entitled “Who is afraid of Fayemi?” This unnamed author had expressed his dismay that more than 30 of the governorship aspirants in the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their supporters are yet to talk about what they and their principals have in store for Ekiti state if given the party ticket. Yet, they would rather speak derisively about a man who hasn’t even expressed his intention either publicly or privately to join the governorship slugfest.

The piece also admonished the aspirants and their supporters to concentrate on the state’s ruling party and Ayo Fayose, a governor who has, for all practical purposes, turned the state into a wasteland. Speaking of wasteland, a story appeared in The Nation newspaper on Friday, January 26, 2018 with the headline “APC tackles Fayose for allowing liquidation of Gossy Water.”
In the report, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state had “blamed the governor (Fayose) for allegedly creating an unfriendly atmosphere for businesses, regretting that instead of building on [the] initiatives of his predecessors to sustain job-creating businesses,” Fayose have “created conditions that hampered businesses with attendant job losses.” The report added that the “board of Warm Spring Waters Limited had given liquidation notice to stakeholders, citing failure of the company to pay its debts and other challenges, one of which was lack of electricity supply for three years, including the non-patronage of the company’s product by Fayose’s administration because the company was the initiative of (Fayemi) his predecessor.”
I felt bad about this report not only because of the imminent death of a company and its resultant effect on workers who would no longer have incomes to sustain themselves and their families, but also the mention that Ikogosi Warm Spring itself (which is the company’s water source) is now diseased, no thanks to Fayose’s penchant for killing all things that ennobles civilization. The Ikogosi Warm Spring was one of the places I visited for the first time at the tail-end of the Fayemi administration.

I could not believe how he had transformed this place into a world-class tourist resort. Being a lover of nature, I was immediately attracted to this resort because of its serenity, its air quality and its regal appearance. I immediately concluded that it was a perfect place to escape from the Lagos ‘madness’ on occasions. About a year after Fayemi left office, I drove by the resort to spend just a few hours before proceeding to Ado-Ekiti. It was then I knew that the place was on a nosedive because the gate-keeper at the first entrance was nowhere to be found for close to half hour of waiting. And I left in disgust. One can onlyimagine how Fayemi himself would feel now with all the reports about how his works are deliberately being dismantled by his successor right before his eyes to the eternal detriment of the state and its people.
There’s hardly any point in lamenting anymore about what Ekiti has become under Fayose. The present governor is a classic embodiment of that time-tested truism that you cannot give what you do not have. Fayose also personifies another age-long adage that no matter how a pig is expensively dressed, it will always find its way into the mud to revel and scavenge because the mud is its natural habitat. Perhaps, the history of Fayose’s emergence on the political scene of a state that prides itself as having the highest academically credentialed number of people per capita and the subjection, if not resignation of this very same people to the most inhumane treatments by their governor should be left to sociologists and political scientists worth their onions to unravel.
But what about John Kayode Fayemi?
Perhaps there’s no one that has affected the politics of Ekiti state in profound ways (in a relatively short period of time) with the intensity and curiosity he generates since the state’s creation than Dr. Kayode Fayemi. It’s for this reason that, at intervals, one must interrogate what may have been responsible for a public personality with no history of political brigandage behind him or known to having any earth-shaking oratory prowess to have become an issue that has now transmuted into the

“Fayemi Question.” What is it that unsettles some people about this man that even Fayose—-with his self-acclaimed fearlessness—-had to resort to constitutional illegality just to keep him away from the state’s political landscape? Why are people intuitively disoriented that there’s a “Fayemi Question” yet, doesn’t seem to know exactly what the “Question” really is, let alone having an answer? For someone who could have walked the length and breadth of Ekiti State without anyone noticing less than a decade ago to now become a compelling issue in Ekiti politics should also be a subject of curiosity for sociologists and political scientists. It is perhaps against this backdrop that the “Fayemi Question” in Ekiti state politics should be interrogated with a view, once again, to attempt to decode the man and his essence.
Man has been sufficiently documented as having a mortal fear for what he doesn’t understand. Chief Obafemi Awolowo was sufficiently misunderstood at the initial stage of his political life by a significant segment of people in close proximity (his own people) with him. One then wonders if Fayemi may not be following the same trajectory as the late sage at least at the earliest state of his political life. Like Awolowo who ‘unseated’ his people from their comfort zone of reckless superstition and ignorance into modernity within a relatively short spate of time when they were hardly ready, the novelties and intellectual approach that Fayemi brought into governance when he ruled the roost in Ekiti that the people may not have prepared for (at least not so soon) may have contributed—-in the main—-to his being misunderstood.

Like Awolowo, Fayemi probably has in his DNA a fundamental principle that society must be constructed along those values and principles that defines them even when they’re hardly ready or when they may have lost or when they’re yet to come to any appreciable understanding of those values and principles. In other words, he shares this innate belief with the late sage that a leader may not reflect the people he leads. That he must be—-in the main—-a discernible notch above their base and primordial instincts.


This belief must have triggered the social reconstruction or engineering—-which has been loosely defined as the art of using centralized planning, through giving the people the power to order their own priorities in an attempt to manage social change and regulate the future development and behaviour of a society—-they both presided over in their geographical enclaves. To have uprooted some of the dominant paradigms that had become second nature to some members of society with new building blocks as seen in the novelties in the nooks and crannies of the state during Fayemi’s time could be unsettling.
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