Dr. Kayode Fayemi who last Saturday emerged as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the July 14 governorship candidate was quick to make profuse apologies to the people of the state over perceived errors committed during his first term.
Dr. Fayemi’s apology was in the wake of perceptions that he could be on a vengeance mission if he wins the election and becomes governor. The outgoing governor of the state, Mr. Ayodele Fayose is, however, taking joy in the emergence of Fayemi as the candidate of the APC affirming that Fayemi is a known commodity for him.
Even though Fayose is not a candidate in the election, his name, image and person is going to reign supreme in the forthcoming election. Prof. Kolapo Eleka who days earlier emerged as the candidate of Fayose’s Peoples Democratic Party, PDP was the anointed candidate of the governor. It is thus not surprising that the election is being seen as a duel between the outgoing governor, Fayose, and his predecessor. Fayose has boasted that it is going to be a repeat of the 16-0 slap he handed on Fayemi in 2014.
However, only few would forget that Fayemi was during that election under some restraints including the weight of the military and police that were reportedly deployed to the advantage of Fayose. Now those circumstances have changed.
Olusola’ major strength lies in Fayose, and it is noteworthy that his loyalty to his principal, earned him the ticket. Fayose has been single-minded about his support for his deputy, and this has made him lose many of his political allies who were not happy about his decision.
Apart from age being on the side of Olusola, he is known to be very diligent, hardworking and principled. As an epitome of humility, he radiates love and affection towards people around him.
Again, his unflinching loyalty to his boss, the Executive Governor of Ekiti State is notable and has made both the young and old people of Ekiti adjudge him as “Stabilizing Factor,” which has also earned him the anointed status as the next governor.
Record in Governance
Olusola is also coming into the contest with the alluring credential of having successfully coordinated the state’s significant jump in the educational sector. His impact was visible as the state moved from 34th position under the preceding regime to 11th position in the WASC examinations in 2016. The state also came 1st in the National Examination Council, NECO examination for secondary schools in 2017. Under his supervision, the state also came top in the JETS (Junior Engineers, Technologists, and Scientists) Interstate Quiz Competition in 2017. The state also was first in the STAN (Science Teachers Association of Nigeria) organized Science written and quiz competitions.
Eleka is entering the election with his party divided following the assertions from some that Fayose imposed him. Prince Dayo Adeyeye despite his assertions of a free and fair primary conducted by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has been unforgiving of the governor.
Olusola is seen by many in the state as a political liability, a neophyte, and greenhorn whose administration as governor of the state would be remotely controlled from the Afao-Ekiti country home of Fayose.
Political watchers and analysts told Vanguard that his learning period of state’s craft would be too long that by the time he’s learning to have a grasp, his tenure would have expired.
He is also seen as too much of an elitist. An example of this was how he relocated his aged father from Ikere-Ekiti to Government House, over complains of people coming to seek help from his old man.
Big War Chest
Fayemi is believed to command enormous war chest and goodwill, which he could bring to bear on his ambition at will. When it comes to his convictions, he does not relent, and he is known for being frontal in any attack. A typical Ekiti man, he is stubborn and rugged and bold.
A resilient fighter who never gives up, from 2007 to 2010, he consistently engaged Segun Oni in a battle of attrition, which eventually led to his installation as the governor of Ekiti State.
Perhaps, this explains why Governor Ayo Fayose has been consistently coming on him with series of stumbling blocks to stop him from contesting for the governorship seat of the state. He saw him as a major threat.
Record In Governance
While in the saddle as governor, Fayemi to his credit made some achievements many of which were novel to the state. Aside from completing projects he inherited from Oni, he initiated so many other programmes and projects which made the state to be a model in open governance.
Bottom to top approach budgeting was introduced, whereby he would tour all the 133 communities in Ekiti to ask for their needs, and he ensured that those felt needs were included in the budget. Youths were engaged in so many programmes like the Youth Volunteers, Ekiti Traffic Management, Youth in Agriculture to mention a few. Also 25,000 elderly were enrolled in social security scheme, where they were being paid N5,000 each.
There is also the compulsory five kilometres of tarred roads in each of the 16 Local government areas of the state. Development partners flooded the state, offering assistance in many areas of need. He built legacy structures like the new government house In Oke Ayaba, Civic Centre, pavilion and remodeling of Ikogosi which became a pride of place and the state signature in Tourism. Industries, like Ire burn bricks, roar back to life.
Dr. Fayemi is coming into this election with a divided house as was manifested during the botched primary penultimate weekend. Senator Babafemi Ojodu so much believed that Fayemi had compromised the primary process that he withdrew few days to the primary.
Bad Record with Civil Servants
One of the problems that keep digging Fayemi is his relationship with the workforce in the state, some have even gone to the extent of saying that his second coming might be mainly for vengeance, which he’s been denied repeatedly.
Teachers have not forgotten the Needs Assessment Test he wanted to force down their throats. Civil servants would also remember his introduction of examination as condition for promotion, which according to some of the workers in the state was meant to favour some of his own.
Over Zealous Aides
Political watchers also pointed to his inability to rein in his overzealous lieutenants, who were given a free hand to operate with reckless abandon. They said Fayemi has a way of delegating politicking to his lieutenants which may not serve his best interest.
People are also concerned that he plays elitist politics and rarely speaks the language people want to hear.
But whether he has changed will determine how far he can go in dislodging the incumbent who is bent on making his deputy his successor.