Every discernible non-partisan mind would accept incontrovertibly that the second term of Governor Ayodele Fayose has been meritorious in diverse ways. It has been of tremendous benefit to the masses in the areas of infrastructural development, political stability, human capital development, and in sustainable peace as a hallmark of good governance.
When a governor superintending over a state that is economically and financially challenged like Ekiti is being highly rated to have performed resoundingly well, various factors must have been responsible for the feat. One, such governor must have come with a glowing passion to render selfless service to the people. Two, he must have been Spartan and prudent in fiscal management. Three, the state House of Assembly must have cooperated well and ultimately, the Deputy Governor must have keyed into his principal’s agenda and played along loyally and commitedly without harbouring clandestine and serpentine scheming to rock the boat.
A critical dissection of Governor Fayose’s government would lend credence to the fact that all these pivotal factors were coalesced to bring about the radical development being enjoyed in Ekiti today under Governor Fayose’s superlative leadership. Mistrust and unhealthy rivalry between the governors and their deputies had been identified as a major snag in the socio-political advancement of our dear country. The ill-fated impeachment of Governor Fayose in his first term, removal of former Governors Rasheed Ladoja of Oyo State, Peter Obi of Anambra, Joshua Dariye of Plateau, Muritala Nyako of Adamawa, will suffice to corroborate the assertion that the deputy governors could serve as impediments and saboteurs to their bosses.
During the first term of Governor Fayose, he came with so much energy and mission to salvage the masses that had been alienated by some few elites. But the political instability of that era which was largely predicated on internal squabbles and unbridled ambitions within the then ruling party derailed the mission. Some ambitious politicians had created a wedge causing serious political upheaval that abruptly terminated that government.
Fortunately, Governor Fayose was lucky to have been spiritually guided to choose a deputy, Prof. Kolapo Olusola Eleka to drive this vision in his second coming. The governor – deputy relationship has been seamless and hitch-free in the last three and half years and those making political capital from the crisis between the duo have been permanently put at bay for Ekiti to benefit.
At various fora, Governor Fayose had openly attested to and commended profusely, Prof. Olusola’s commitment and loyalty to service. In many of these occasions, he succinctly branded him a ‘stabilizer’ and intellectual machine in the running of his government. Many times, the governor would drop the hint, though jocularly that loyalty shall be rewarded, but nobody ever thought that this shall come in the way of adopting his deputy to succeed him.
At a time in the history of Nigeria, when some deputy governors were being treated like slaves by their principals, Prof Olusola was deeply engaged in governance superintending over the Ministry of Education while also playing various sensitive roles in Governor Fayose’s government. With the look of things, the governor’s trust in his deputy is boundless and the continuity agenda further substantiated this assertion. Under Prof. Olusola’s watch, Ekiti has been ranked first in NECO examination in Nigeria twice; 2016 and 2017 respectively. He brought Ekiti from a dismal 35th position in 2014 to this lofty and enviable academic position that had earned the state national respect. Probably because of the experiences of his first term in office, Governor Fayose at the maiden press conference commemorating his victory and declaration on June 22, 2014, unambiguously stated that he will leave the government with his deputy on October 16, 2018 and allow Ekiti to choose a new set of leaders to pilot the state. The sudden change of mind confirmed that Prof. Olusola has performed well and could be trusted with power.
However, the deputy governor’s adoption as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party has raised furore. It has divided the party and fence-mending efforts are ongoing to placate the aggrieved. Though, democracy allows unfettered freedom for people to contest elections, but Prof. Olusola as a governor will consolidate the gains of democracy for Ekiti people. He has been part of the success stories of the past three and half years and it will be to the benefit of the masses to allow the speed of development to continue without breakage.
Running of disjointed policies has been identified as the bane of Nigeria’s development and a financially challenged state like Ekiti must ruminate deeply over this. Lagos State that has been adjudged as a blossoming and flourishing economy in Africa had realised this since 2007 and had taken a decision to allow unbroken continuity within Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s political family. I have the unwavering belief that Ekiti will never remain the same if the ‘continuity’ that has become a mantra and agitation of its proponent becomes realizable in the July 14 governorship poll.
The view point was written by Dalimore Aluko, a class teacher at Ikere High School, Ikere Ekiti.