Those of us who are football enthusiasts are familiar with the word “legend”. We know that not all players who play for a particular team could be regarded as legends.
For instance, Thierry Henry of France plied his trade as a footballer in many European clubs but of all, it was only in Arsenal Football Club that he could be regarded as a legend.
Meanwhile, in Ekiti State, the only politician who receives encomium everywhere he goes is no other person but Chief Ayodele Fayose. This is not because he is the one who pilots affairs of the state, the reason is borne out of his rapport with the masses and his outstanding performances in the state.
By history, he was the second executive governor of the state. His predecessor, Otunba Niyi Adebayo who he defeated in his bid to run for a second tenure recently opined that Fayose became governor by accident but the right thinking citizens of the state knows that Adebayo only made a political statement to thrill those who facilitated his recent appointment.
It is not an understatement that Adebayo is not known to many young people in the state and the reason could be as a result of his lackluster performance as the first Executive Governor of the state.
Fayose via his stupendous achievements between 2003-2006 exposed glaringly the failure of Adebayo who defeated Professor Tunde Adeniran in the 1999 gubernatorial election in the state by embarking upon projects that his predecessor never thought of.
Permit me to say that Fayose’s performance during his first tenure made Ekiti people tag him “Architect of Modern Ekiti”.
It was glaring that Fayose would have defeated anybody presented by the opposition party in 2007 but due to the conspiracy of political gladiators in the state, they tried to dim his shining political career.
Fayose’s exit ushered-in Engr. Segun Oni as standard bearer of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He won the election but after a while, the Court of Appeal in Ilorin ruled for a re-run election in the state. Though INEC declared Oni the winner, the outcome of the court case instituted by Fayemi against Oni showed the popularity of the man who was illegally impeached in 2006. He worked against Oni until the man he wanted in power got it from Oni.
Oni tried his best but most of the projects he executed were commissioned by his successor and a man who spent almost the same days which Fayose spent in his first tenure cannot be called a hero where we have a political don who commands respect of all and sundry. Let me say it is only when the best (Fayose) is not available that the available (Oni) will be the best.
The most hated governor in the history of the state is Dr. Kayode Fayemi and the reason Ekiti people hate him that much is not far fetched, he rode on them to power and squandered the opportunity. This is the man from whom much was expected but he failed due to his obnoxious policies. I doubt if Ekiti people will ever forgive him on the huge debts which he plunged the state into.
Ayo Fayose defeated Kayode Fayemi in the 2014 election and those who were successfully brainwashed by the propaganda of the APC were hurling insults on the people of the state for voting out APC. They came up with a lot of ugly words to discredit the election that produced Fayose but in spite of their noise and evil efforts of the then 19 APC lawmakers to remove Fayose from office, Ekiti people stood solidly to defend the mandate freely given to their governor.
Despite the paucity of funds in the state, Fayose is gradually and systematically justifying the confidence reposed in him by Ekiti people in 2014 by making more ceaseless efforts to embellish the face of the town in the area of infrastructural development.
Part of the projects that make Fayose a man to be talked about in Ekiti is the dualization of Ado- Ekiti roads, Fayose’s Market, Flyover bridge, The King’s market, new court complex, Olayinka Adunni Women Centre to mention just a few.
Amongst the crop of politicians in Ekiti and Nigeria, Fayose is the only one who has defeated two incumbent governors in two popular elections, and he is the first and only Ekiti son who will ever be regarded as a voice of the main opposition party in Nigeria, the only Ekiti governor who will travel to the East, North and and be hailed by the people.
I will end this piece by saying Osoko is now a major factor in Nigerian politics. No one like God but his records will be difficult to surpass.
Written by Alonge Olufemi Alonso.