As the hands of the clock tick faster toward Tuesday’s handover ceremony, outgoing Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, will be hoping to use the last few hours to make amends of some of the loopholes that might have transpired during his reign.
Known for his usual ‘outburst’, Fayose will be relieved while leaving behind one of the state’s biggest responsibilities, a task he would assume to have been fulfilled against all odds.
It is no more news that he will be handing over to the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governor-elect, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on Tuesday after polling highest votes declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the July 14 governorship election. However, what is more interesting is the fact that the state will be witnessing a new change of power.
The grassroots governor, as he is known by some of his followers, has used the past one week to paint himself a worthy servant of the state by taking a ‘marathon walk’ with placards across the streets of Ekiti, to appreciate the support of the people during his four years in power.
As it has been the normal feelings of Nigerians, during Fayose’s ‘Thank you marathon walk’ tears rolled down the cheeks of many who lined up the streets to bid him farewell en route the Akure Airport, Ondo State, where he had to catch a flight.
In the same week, he commissioned a new Secondary School in Afao Ekiti named Gifted Academy International and the Ekiti State Ministry of Finance complex within the government house premises in Ado-Ekiti that also show his love for infrastructural development.
More importantly, Fayose also handed over the instruments of office to the Head of Service, Gbenga Faseluka, at a special valedictory State Executive Council meeting at the new Governor’s Office in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
In his words, “What has a beginning must have an end. It is not the number of years spent but the quantity and quality of achievements.
“I thank the people of the state for their cooperation and urge them to extend same to the incoming administration. I’m a man who came, saw and conquered. I can’t finish all, I have done my best.
“History will be kind on me as a man who has given his best to the people.
“I will remember all for your support, I bear no grudges against anyone.”
Such were the kind words of Fayose that makes him appear like a ‘saint’ that can not harm a housefly. Truly, his years as governor of Ekiti will forever be remembered for the good, bad and ugly, regardless of his ‘well coated words’.
However, what becomes of Fayose’s fate after the handover ceremony on Tuesday? Will he be arrested by the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) after the ceremony? Or will he be graciously forgiven for some of his unguarded comments made during the 2015 general elections against President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“My tenure expires on October 16, so this is the journey to Abuja. It is safer to be in Abuja than to be in Lagos and be creating impression that you want to escape.
“There is no seaport in Abuja, EFCC doesn’t need any drama, I am a man of courage, I have told them I’m coming and I’m on my way to them.
“So, after a meritorious service, anybody who wants to call me to question, I’m available to them, just one call away. And my going now is my demonstration to them that I’m a man of my words.
“I’m not scared of anything. I always say to people that the life of a man does not consist in the abundance of what he has; life is for the courageous not for the weak. I have served well, I have defended the common man in this country and I will continue to defend them.
“I will never be cowed by anybody, it is important to speak truth to power, and I will not allow myself or any Nigerian to be oppressed,” Fayose said, as he prepared for life outside the governor seat.
Fayose has told whoever cares to listen that he would not be part of the handing over ceremony slated for Tuesday, not for the hatred of Fayemi but to fulfill the promise he made to the EFCC that he would be their guest on the very day he leaves office.
EFCC had placed the outgoing governor on watch-list based on the fact that they thought he may leave the country immediately after leaving office to avoid answering any question bordering on the financial transactions in the state while he calls the shots. Whether the EFCC will arrest him on appearing in their office on Tuesday is left to be seen!
By Augustine Akhilomen