By Akinpelu Yusuf
The governor of Ekiti state is no timid governor. He speaks truth to power and he is known to a man, not only of many words but a man of his words.
A day after he was declared winner of the June 2014 Ekiti state gubernatorial election, he dropped the hint to quit with his deputy, Professor Olusola Eleka, come 2018.
He did talk about the constitutional stipulation of how an elected officer can only be sworn in twice.
“I have taken one and I will take another one in October,” he said. “After that, I will find my way to my house. Again, I have chosen a Deputy Governor and I have told him from the beginning that the two of us will pack our load and leave the Government House because I don’t want a deputy that will start playing politics behind me when we are in government and will be distracting me. I don’t want that again,” he added.
“So, he is practically here for me to look after certain things and ensure that we succeed. When I am going, I will hold his hand and say bye to Ekiti people.”
He added that Fayemi, the ousted governor, “is his brother and will forever remain” his brother. He therefore advised his supporters not to foster any trouble since electioneering process had come and gone.
“The governor (Fayemi) is the leader of our state as of today. He has conceded defeat. He is my brother and forever will remain my brother. He has contributed his quota, he has done his best like every other governor that has served and we must continue to give him the necessary respect that he deserves.”
However, four years on, Governor Ayodele, seemed to have a different thing on his mind. Although, he didn’t run for office as he promised. But he openly declared his intention to have his deputy as his successor. He went as far as boasting the assurance of him being “the first Ekiti governor to have a successor from his own party.”
The station was Channels TV and the programme, Sunday Politics. The anchor, Seun Okinbaloye, asked, what gives you this confidence?
Fayose didn’t let him land, “I’m telling you…I’m more than popular. I’m with my people.”
Seun didn’t let it go cold before quested him with “Is it about street popularity…?
Fayose’s response too was sharp and quick: “I’m the first Ekiti indigene to win and defeat two incumbent governors in two different attempt,” he boasted. “My name is Peter Ayodele Fayose.”
“Despite all the wars they waged I’m the first Ekiti son to be governor twice in Ekiti,” he further explained. “I will be the first Ekiti governor that will have a successor from his own party. I’m telling you!”
“If they are mad in the head, they cannot be mad inside Ekiti o,” he gestured with his index finger pointing at his head.
“I heard what they are doing and I’m just looking like a bat. I behaved like this: look like a bat,” he added, with his left check resting on his left hand.
Here, Seun took the initiative to drop the hardball. “It’s gonna be interesting if Ekiti people vote your party out because the question would be what have you done?”
Fayose’s patience couldn’t hold him to let Seun land. He cut in sharply, using his left hand to fumble with his black cap.
“Seun,” he called, “I don’t like this kind of question. I’m a politician of note. Yesterday, I was frying garri with some women. Go and speak with people nah. The way they are speaking around will never do anything. I don’t have time. July 14, here, let them bring INEC here, Chief of Army Staff. I have heard what they are doing. When you carry fire, the moment it enters water, that fire will die!”
Though, Fayose’s dream and overflowing braggadocio never came to be, his words of 2014 will never be forgotten. The discrepancy in his words in 2014 and actions in 2018 has secured a space in the expansive pages of history. And it surely cannot be erased.