On Tuesday, October 16, the immediate past governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Peter Ayodele Fayose walked leisurely into the headquarters of the EFCC in Abuja.
“I’m careful not to give into theatrics when times are tough. I don’t like it when somebody gives into outside pressure and puts on a show for others.” – Tony La Russa
In matters bordering on the histrionic, he could easily pass as a champion. But even at that, not many could have imagined that he would stretch his theatricalities to such a degree.
On Tuesday, October 16, the immediate past governor of Ekiti State, Mr Peter Ayodele Fayose walked leisurely into the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja.
Just as his successor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi was being installed in Ado-Ekiti, ‘Peter the Rock,’ as he is fondly called by his supporters, made his way into the Commission’s office, accompanied by his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike and a motley crowd of admirers.
Clad in the habit of a resolute wayfarer, Fayose was attired in a blue T-shirt and blue trousers, with
a matching blue cap, even as a bag dangled from each of his shoulders. His T-shirt was emblazoned with the intriguing inscription, boldly carved in white upper-case letters: ‘EFCC, I’M HERE!’
Even in incarceration, he has accused the agency of plotting to eliminate him.
For weeks, Fayose and the EFCC had engaged each other in assorted dramas. As his tenure – and immunity from prosecution – neared its end, a letter from the EFCC alerting all the security agencies to an alleged plan by the outgoing governor to flee the country before the expiration of his administration was leaked to the media.
The Commission had declared that Fayose had questions to answer over his receipt of about N1.3 billion from former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki in the build-up to the governorship election in Ekiti State in 2014. The former governor has consistently denied the allegation.
On September 10, Fayose wrote the EFCC to deny the charge. He intimated the agency of his resolve to report at its headquarters in Abuja by 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 16.
On Saturday, October 13, Fayose had embarked on a valedictory walk around the state capital. Bearing a board with the inscription, ‘Ekiti Kete, Thank You and Goodbye,’ the former governor averred that posterity would give him an excellent score.
But even as he remains a guest of the EFCC, Fayose, who has in the past four years remained a vociferous critic of President Muhammadu, has yet to wean himself off his famed theatrics. He is said to have rejected an administrative bail offered him by the EFCC, even as he insists on his immediate prosecution. Already, the agency has procured a court order to keep him for two weeks. As these are going on, photographs of houses allegedly recovered from Fayose in Lagos and Abuja have also been published in some segments of the media.
Fayose had no background in the theatre. Yet while his reign lasted in Ekiti, the state was hardly in short supply of drama, with the then governor always the sole actor or the leading character.
Renowned for popularising the nebulous concept of ‘stomach infrastructure,’ Fayose would, during festivals, line up people in the streets of the state capital and personally hand each a few cups
of rice. Fayose relished eating with the common folks at local canteens and quaffing local gin with the ‘boys’ at dingy palm wine joints.
A video clip went viral earlier in the year, where Fayose allegedly tongue-lashed the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe after the top Yoruba monarch beseech him to be more humane in his demolition exercise in the state capital. The royal father had pleaded with the governor to issue advance notices to would-be victims before the bulldozers came roaring.
But Fayose took umbrage at the monarch’s comments, insisting that the demolitions would continue. He vowed that never again would he respond to summons by traditional rulers, asserting that he was a busy person.
He has, on many occasions, publicly insulted former President Olusegun Obasanjo and threatened to beat up the octogenarian.
In December 2016, Fayose presented the 2017 Budget to the House of Assembly. After his speech, he took the gavel, named himself the ‘Speaker’ of the House and promptly declared the budget passed, to the bewilderment of the legislators.
Once asked on live TV what he had done to guarantee the success of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in his state, Fayose replied that he always fried garri with the women.
Born on November 10, 1960 to a pastor father, Fayose grew up in Ibadan, Oyo State capital. He has a Higher National Diploma from the Polytechnic, Ibadan. He was also governor between May 29, 2003 and October 16, 2006 when he was impeached.
His traducers in Ekiti have always accused him of turning the state, whose people are renowned for their love for education, into one ruled by illiterates and thugs.