GOVERNOR Kayode Fayemi had been widely acknowledged as having performed very well. His re-election was, therefore, supposed to be taken for granted. But in the June 21 poll, he lost woefully to Ayo Fayose, former Governor of the state. Here are what might have gone wrong:
HOW FAYEMI’S TRUSTED AIDE, YEMI ADARAMODU RUINED HIM
Yemi Adaramodu was the Director of Communications of the Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation. He was later appointed Chief of Staff to the governor. He would, however, upon his appointment, become so powerful that many within and outside government circles believed he was the de facto governor. Many other aides of the governor were forced to gravitate towards him. A source said there was a time local government caretaker chairmen were to be appointed and Adaramodu alone picked 12 out of the 16 nominees and they were all approved by the governor.
“He succeeded in alienating the governor from so many political interests which would have been useful for him in his quest for a second term in office. He was able to create an alternate power centre within the government which he used to dispense favour in furtherance of his own rumoured governorship ambition in 2018. His house and office were always a Mecca for those looking for one favour or the other from government. There were allegations that a hit squad was being run without Fayemi’s knowledge. The squad was accused of being behind the attack on Labour Party members in Emure-Ekiti where one Foluso Ogundare was killed. At this point, Fayemi began to cut him to size. He had been pencilled down to head the re-election campaign committee but this was not to be as he was stripped of most of his powers but the damage had already been done,” an online portal, The Cable claimed.
WHEN TINUBU’S MEN DUMPED HIM
The insinuation that Fayemi might likely be picked as APC Vice Presidential candidate didn’t help him politically as this was not welcome in the corridors of APC powers. The massive support he would have received from Lagos for his re-election bid diminished and vanished. To complicate his case, he was also said to have failed to “lubricate” the relationship in the last four years.
“He failed to understand that somebody spent money, time and energy to make him Governor in the first place,” an APC stalwart complained.
HUMILIATING TEACHERS/CIVIL SERVANTS WAS ALS0 HIS ALBATROSS
Anyone who understands the politics of Ekiti will know that no politician can be in the bad books of teachers and civil servants and expect to win any election in the state. Fayemi got into trouble with them as soon as he came into power. First, was the issue of promotion and payment of the new Teachers’ Salary Scale, TSS. Fayemi was said to have told teachers he would not be able to pay the money because of lack of funds. That was in 2011. But a month to the election, he announced he would implement it. In the same vein, the Service Reclassification Exercise (SRE), though good on paper, was a political suicide. The exercise saw to demotion of some principals to vice-principals and vice-principals to classroom teachers. In fact, some of those affected could not accept the “humiliation” and as a result put in retirement notice. Primary school teachers refused to take the reclassification examination but they were also aware that should the governor come back, they would be in trouble as they would either be forced to take the test or face the sack. It was these aggrieved workers that worked against Fayemi’s second term bid.
HE WAS A LEADER WITHOUT POLITICAL STRUCTURE
It was also alleged that Governor Fayemi might have lost to Fayose because he had no political structure.
Political observers said he was just on his own without foot soldiers.
FAYEMI WAS NOT POPULAR
Fayose might have a lot of scandalous allegations still hanging over his head and one or two issues to sort out with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), but the candidate of the PDP and winner of the June 21 governorship election in Ekiti State is very popular. Peter Ayodele Fayose is a strong grassroots mobiliser who understands the language of the common people.
His position and words are so much in tune with theirs that they see him as part of them. “Across the three senatorial zones, Fayose remains a very popular politician whom the electorate was ready to forgive for his past “sins” and give him their mandate. During his campaigns, he was pulling massive crowds anywhere he went.
“In fact, during the mega rally in Ado-Ekiti when President Goodluck Jonathan came to present the PDP flag to him, his vests were being sold to party members when ordinarily, they should have been distributed free of charge. In contrast, Fayemi, despite being Governor for almost four years, still did not have that touch with the common man. They saw him as a “foreigner” and “intellectual” who knew little about them,” the Cable added.
EKITI ALARMING DEBT PROFILE
Ekiti people complained before the guber election that Fayemi was “collecting” loans to their detriment. They were even more worried by the fact that the loans were not being channeled to their immediate needs.
HIS PROBLEM WITH STUDENTS
Governor Fayemi didn’t enjoy good working relationship with students. From the alleged interference with student unionism to denial of their bursary, they had every reason to vote out their number one public enemy!
OUTSOURCING CONTRACT TO OUTSIDERS
It was reported in Ekiti that most of the projects Fayemi embarked on were handled by contractors outside Ekiti. Sadly, they said even labourers employed were non-indigenes. According to our sources, the gutters in Ado Ekiti were even by outsiders which angered the Ekiti people that he neglected them and barred them from making ends meet. Even the lawyers in the state, we learnt, were not happy with him. According to one of their executives who spoke to ENCOMIUM Weekly, they stood for him while he was fighting for his mandate but immediately he got into power, he abandoned them and engaged services of lawyers outside Ekiti. That was one major reasons they abandoned him for Fayose.
PHANTOM EMPLOYMENT FORMS
Fayemi also sold employment forms to Ekiti people, especially the youths, but this didn’t give them the very much desired job.
In many cases, like we pointed out, the job seekers were humiliated with irrelevant and annoying tests simply aimed at disqualifying them. And while they mourned their loses, Fayemi’s men smiled to the banks. So, Saturday June 21, was payback time.
INTIMIDATING FEDERAL MIGHT
Did the Federal Government invasion of Ekiti land with security operatives affect Fayemi in any detrimental sense? Yes, it did. There were indeed protests from the APC challenging the fact that Fayose was being over protected by the military, police, DSS and even the men of Civil Defence. And with the alleged detention/ harassment of APC chieftains, the coast was clear for Fayose to easily walk into victory.
FAYEMI, FAYOSE SPENT N7.5 BILLION ON EKITI GUBER POLL
IT was alleged that the gladiators in the just-concluded Ekiti election really left no stone unturned to achieve their gubernatorial ambition. Impeccable sources revealed to ENCOMIUM Weekly that the governor-elect, Fayose, spent an estimated N3 billion while Fayemi splashed about N3.5 billion. Their counterpart, Bamidele equally rolled out an estimated N1 billion, totalling about N7.5 billion!
According to our source, the governor-elect got funds from PDP chieftains who believed he is the people’s choice. The Presidency reportedly supported Fayose with N1 billion, while other bigwigs such as Prince Buruji Kashamu, amongst others, keyed in into his campaign funds which he used judiciously.
We also learnt he gave out over 30,000 bags of rice to the masses and money to over 10,000 students as upkeep throughout the election. That became necessary when the incumbent governor closed down schools out of fear that they will not vote for him. Fayose quickly stepped in to salvage the situation and it worked magic for him. We equally gathered that all the ward members were adequately motivated by Fayose.
The 16 local governments were not lacking in funds which motivated them to go extra mile in working for him. The rest of the funds went into campaign materials, publicity and promotions as well as logistics.
Although, the incumbent governor, Fayemi spent hugely, it was allegedly misspent in the wrong direction by key people he entrusted things to. And by the time he rolled out money and gifts to woo the masses, it was too late. According to our source, the masses collected his money but said he was not there for them when they needed it most but only came out to woo them for election purposes. In fact, a source who pleaded anonymity revealed to us that aides and people who should have supported him used his money to vote him out.
Like Fayose, the bulk of Dr Fayemi’s funds was also channeled to mobilization, media and publicity and oiling of APC propaganda machinery. It was not unlikely that Fayemi got funds from his party.
Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele, on the other hand was careful in spending much. He is not rich and has few friends around him who were willing to support him. That was why he spent minimally. Most of the revenue he got was spent in mobilising his people and re-establishing his party structure which was relatively new.
APC KEEPS MUM
The defeat by PDP may have humbled the APC. The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Muhammed was not in the mood to speak with ENCOMIUM Weekly when we called him for APC’s position on Sunday, June 22, 2014. He, however, forwarded to us Dr Kayode Fayemi’s congratulatory message to Ekiti Governor-Elect.
APC JITTERY AS HURRICANE PDP SNEAKS IN
With Ekiti out of APC’s grip, fear has gripped their other governors who might likely lose their states in future elections. The support of the presidency ever ready to deploy whatever it takes to have their way, Hurricane PDP may be lurking around. It would be remembered that APC has lost three guber polls in recent times. The states include Ondo, Anambra and now Ekiti.
FAYEMI’S REACTION AFTER HIS WOEFUL DEFEAT
Impeccable sources within the Fayemi’s camp squealed to ENCOMIUM Weekly that immediately Governor Fayemi heard the news on Saturday evening from his aides that the result so far indicated Fayose was winning marginally, he stood up dejectedly, went into his bedroom and locked up himself.
HIS DOMESTIC STAFF ALSO PROTESTED WITH VOTES
We also gathered that Governor Fayemi lost out because he was so close to the rich and neglected the masses. Admittedly, he was praised for embarking on industrial development such as a mall, N2 billion government office, roads, among others, his policies were not in response to the basic needs of the masses. A source revealed to us that he was like a stranger to his own people and lacked the working relationship with his people.
For instance, we reliably gathered that his domestic staffers complained that when they greet him in the morning he doesn’t acknowledge them. We confirmed this on Saturday, June 14, 2014, when the indigenes lamented that when they greeted or hailed him he didn’t respond unlike Fayose who while in government and afterwards, still related with them and identified with their basic needs such as stoves, food etc.
“Ordinary people of Ekiti have Fayose’s phone numbers, and this endeared him to them all.”
PROPAGANDA MACHINE ACTIVATED
From the allegation of giving out bags of expired rice to Ekiti electorate to monetary inducements, Fayose’s camp had more than enough stones of scandals coming from Fayemi’s men. And paying Dr. Fayemi back in his own coin, Fayose’s camp spinned wicked tales of the governor building a N10 billion university in Accra, Ghana. Recorded in a song by self acclaimed social crusader, Kunle Ologundudu, it was alleged that the University of Governance and Leadership (as the institution is called) at Spintex Road, Accra, Ghana is wholly owned by the out-going governor.
There was also the allegation of a N2 billion property of the Fayemis on 18 plots of land at 60/78, Ambassadorial Avenue, Accra, Ghana.
WHEN APC CHIEFTAINS CRIED FOR HELP
As the Ekiti election drew nearer, APC chieftains noticed that the state had been occupied by security agencies deployed by the Federal Government. And they had to cry out even as they alleged harassment and intimidation. It would also be recalled that the movement of APC governors who were in town for the grand finale of Fayemi’s campaign in Ekiti were restricted by security agents. Affected were Rivers state Governor Mr. Rotimi Amaechi and his Edo counterpart, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
The situation didn’t change the day before the election and on Saturday as the leaders of the APC including Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu were practically chased out of Ekiti.
The governor-elect of Ekiti, Mr. Ayo Fayose, on Sunday, June 22, 2014, dedicated his victory to the people of the state.
Fayose said his victory reflected the wishes of the people of the state.
The governor-elect, who spoke with ENCOMIUM Weekly, through his Chief Press Officer, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, described the election that produced him as free, fair and credible.
He promised to improve the living standard of the people by providing job opportunities and making education affordable.
FAYEMI BREAKS RECORD
Did you know that Dr. Fayemi is the first incumbent governor in the present political dispensation to be woefully beaten by his opponent in all of the 16 LGs in the state? That is true. In fact, in Nigerian politics, sitting governors rarely lose elections and when they do, especially when their parties deny them ticket, they lose gallantly. That was not the case with Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, who was white-washed by PDP’s Fayose.
WHAT SENATOR BABAFEMI OJODU SAID
‘APC Loss, Opportunity To Rebuild’ – OJUDU
SENATOR Babafemi Ojudu, representing Ekiti Central, said the loss of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the just concluded governorship election in the state is an opportunity to rebuild the APC and build a party that will subscribe to ideas and ideals.
“We have to re-organise our party. Mistakes have been made, lessons have also been learnt. It appears that a few of us who are leaders seem to be miles ahead of our people. It is time for us to build a party that will subscribe to our vision.”
Ojudu urged members of the APC not to give in to despair or be distraught, noting that democracy is about the majority which has spoken clearly about their preference.
Ojudu congratulated the governor-elect, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, expressing the hope that he would not see his victory as a whip against perceived opposition, but rather as an opportunity to correct mistakes of the past and plan a better future for Ekiti State.
He urged Fayose to eschew violence and allow peace to reign in the state.