Home The Politico Governor Fayose’s Redeeming Value, By Tunde Rahman

Governor Fayose’s Redeeming Value, By Tunde Rahman

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When Governor Ayodele Fayose told whoever cared to listen that his wife, a prophetess, had prophesized that he would return to the governorship seat, not many took him serious. But his wife’s seeming outlandish prediction came to pass in the end. In the beginning of the June 21, 2014 Ekiti governorship race, of the 13 aspirants or so then angling for the state’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket, Fayose emerged the preferred candidate. He was more or less foisted on the party as candidate for that election by former President Goodluck Jonathan and company in Abuja. Fayose went into the real election and also emerged winner, defeating incumbent Governor Kayode Fayemi of APC (though with the benefit of hindsight now, some would allege that Fayose and co obtained the victory through foul means). Governor Fayose alias Osokomole is one man God has tremendous love for or so it seems. He is also a prayer warrior. You would recall how House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara more or less attributed his emergence as Speaker to Fayose’s powerful prayer. Dogara said he had never seen a man pray that powerfully as Fayose did for him.

Governor Fayose
Governor Fayose

Indeed, God gave Ekiti governor a second chance after his disastrous first time. Fayose was forced to abruptly leave the governorship seat and the country after he was impeached. That was in 2006 during his first term when the sun set on his governorship and political career. But God gave him a rare opportunity to return to that exalted seat, perhaps to right the wrongs he committed in his first term. Fayose was inaugurated for a second term on October 16, 2014, the same date in 2006 he was removed from office. The rest, as they say, is now history.

Now, some other persons with that kind of humbling experience would thread the path of rectitude for the rest of his life. To be fair, Fayose started that way, I mean on a path of moral correctness. He started with the right rhetoric on assumption of office again. At every turn, he said he would now dedicate his life to service to the people. But he soon went back to his rampaging, rabblerousing way. By the way, why is Governor Fayose so cantankerous? He has made himself a thorn in the flesh of the Buhari government. It would have made more sense if his attacks were constructive. More often than not, it was to play to the gallery. But those close to him say he is posturing as ‘Leader of Opposition’ in order to position himself to possibly grab the vice presidential slot in 2019 under a Northern presidential candidate. Former PDP National Chairman, the embattled Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, had also fingered Fayose’s alleged 2019 calculations at the root of the fractured relationship between the two of them. Yet Fayose had said shortly after his election in June 2014 that he would quit politics in 2018.

I find it difficult to understand Governor Fayose’s kind of politics, I mean his politics seems perplexing to me. He is full of contradiction in reason and reality. He professes one thing and rubbishes the same thing. He canvasses one thing and does the exact opposite. I will explain with two clear instances. Like I pointed our earlier, when he embarked on his second missionary journey, he promised to devote his life to serve the people. The bulk of the people who allegedly voted for him are civil servants, artisans, okada riders and what have you. He promised the people heaven on earth. He was then dubbed the Governor of Mekunnu. However, the same people he said he would work for, he now seems to be riding roughshod over them. He has slammed all kinds of taxes on them. Not only is he owing Ekiti workers backlog of unpaid salaries, he also seems to be mocking them. When they embarked on strike over their pay, he said he was also on strike with them. Yet, from recent revelations, he maintains a fat account in the bank. I will soon return to this.

The other case in point is over his statement that he was not afraid of either EFCC or ICPC’s probe. Speaking in February this year during the foundation-laying ceremony of the multi-billion naira Erekesan Market in Ado-Ekiti, Fayose said he would fulfill all his promises to the people of the state, adding that due process had been followed in all his dealings. He had said: “I will concentrate on my work and would not be distracted by anybody making effort to discredit my government. I’m ready for any investigation from anybody; ICPC or EFCC, a man with good intentions fears no foe. I know that I have so many enemies and that is why I have been following due process in all my dealings. There are enemies for me when I sleep and when I wake up, so I have to be careful. I don’t want my enemies to latch on to technicalities to get at me.

“Ekiti is the only state where people want to discredit any good thing you want to do. As a leader, you must be fearless as long as your agenda is for development. I’m assuring you that in spite of the harsh economic situation, I’ll fulfill my promises in the budget and I’ve got more for you. You aren’t seeing anything yet.”

 

Zenith Bank

But when the EFCC launched into an investigation of his accounts, Fayose wanted the heavens to fall. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission allegedly discovered a hefty sum in his Zenith Bank accounts, which the anti-graft agency claimed was traceable to the money meant for arms procurement by the Office of the National Security Adviser under Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd). EFCC immediately froze the accounts. Governor Fayose has dragged the anti-graft body to court, saying the agency’s action is illegal and criminal. He says as a sitting governor, he has immunity and that EFCC has no right to freeze his accounts. The fact that activities of sitting governors can be investigated by the police or anti-graft bodies has been already established under the law. Also, that a serving president or governor can be dragged to court over civil matters has been established as well. But under Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution, can the EFCC freeze the accounts of a sitting governor? I don’t think so. But my opinion does not amount to much here. Governor Fayose’s case against the EFCC will help establish the true position of the law on the matter. That would be Fayose’s major contribution to constitutional democracy and jurisprudence. Who says the Ekiti governor does not have his own positive value?

 

Abia: INEC’s Hurry to Crown Ogah Indecent

Why for the life of me did the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), a usually reticent body when it comes to implementing court decisions, plunge Abia into the present unnecessary confusion where the state now parades two governors, with its hurried decision on the leadership change? INEC is characteristically slow in implementing court decisions, so why did the electoral body hastily issue Certificate of Return to Mr. Samson Uche Ogah in the extant case? The judgment of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which sacked Governor Okezie Ikpeazu over tax evasion, was given on Monday. By Wednesday the commission had issued Certificate of Return to Ogah.

Dr.-Samson-Ogah-320x180

Why the hurry? This hurry seems suspicious and it calls the commission’s assumed impartiality to question. Giving an explanation for its action, INEC’s Deputy Director, Publicity, Nick Dazang, admitted that the commission indeed received Ikpeazu’s Notice of Appeal, but explained that the notice did not come with a stay of execution. That’s absolute bunkum I dare say. Granted that an appeal does not necessarily operate as a stay of execution, though Governor Ikpeazu claimed he also filed an application for stay of execution along with his appeal, what happens to the 21-day window granted Dr. Ikpeazu under the law, precisely under Section 143 (1) of the Electoral Act. That section provides that“if the election tribunal or the court, as the case may be, determines that a candidate returned as elected was not validly elected, then if notice of appeal against that decision is given within 21 days from the date of the decision, the candidate returned as elected shall, notwithstanding the contrary decision of the election tribunal or the court, remain in office pending the determination of the Appeal”. Also, Section 143 (2) provides that the candidate shall remain in office pending the expiration of the period of 21 days within which an appeal may be brought, even though an appeal may not be filed. In this case the appeal was filed and with a stay of execution. So is INEC playing games with the Abia case?

*Rahman, former Editor, Thisday on Sunday Newspaper, is the Managing Editor of Western Post Newspaper.

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