Ayo Fayose: A Populist Setting Pace for the Philosopher Kings

Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State is undoubtedly an unusual character whose next political move cannot be predicted. He sleeps and wakes up formulating, and implementing fresh ideas which his critics go back to study and implement without acknowledging him.


As a public servant, his modicums of operations are tailored toward ameliorating the suffering of the downtrodden. Fayose is a performer and a man of uncommon ideas. Ironically, he is hated by the elites who could not stop implementing his ideas.


Osokomole, as Fayose is fondly called by his admirers, is a man who love dining and wining with the common people. According Duncan McDonnell, a British Scholar, a living creature like Ayodele Fayose is called a POPULIST.


The record of Fayose’s unprecedented achievements during his first stint and currently, as propelled by his populist political philosophy, is an attestation to his unique story.


In the light of the foregoing, The Elite Times’ Publisher, Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye and Editor, ‘Deji Oso, in this all-encompassing article, wrote more on the political ideas and the feats of Peter Ayodele Fayose.


Some leaders are made; some are born. Indeed, Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose is not only a born-leader but a successful leader whose political curriculum vitae are synonymous to excellence. Fayose, being a populist maestro, remains the only Governor elected twice in Ekiti State.

Fayose defeated two incumbent Governors in Ekiti and his second stint was symbolic in the history of Ekiti State as he defeated the then incumbent Governor Dr. Kayode Fayemi in an unprecedented manner in all the 16 Local Government Areas.


No doubt, Fayose’s democratic populism has endeared him more to the people at the grassroots and across the length and breadth of Ekiti; thereby enjoying an all encompassing legitimacy and acceptability among the his people, which therefore justifies the submission of Joseph Lapalombara, who noted that, “ Legitimacy is not a question of legality but a state of mind”.


Before we proceed, we will like to subject this piece to an academic exercise by conceptualizing Populism and Philosopher King.


For the purpose of conceptual clarification, we shall define Populism in line with Cas Mudde (2016) postulation, that: “populism is an ideology that considers society to be ultimately separated into two homogenous and antagonistic groups: “the pure people” and “the corrupt elite”.


Suffice to Cas’ opinion, Governor Fayose has assumed the status of a frontier of both the homogenous and antagonistic groups in defence of the pure people against the oppressive tendencies of the corrupt elites and principalities of power in Nigeria.


Daniele Albertazzi and Duncan McDonnell also define populism as an ideology that “pits a virtuous and homogeneous people against a set of elites and dangerous ‘others’ who are together depicted as depriving (or attempting to deprive) the sovereign people of their rights, values, prosperity, identity, and voice”; all of which Governor Fayose has continued to exhibit as the true voice of opposition in Nigeria.


In a book titled The Republic, Plato argues that kings should become philosophers or that philosophers should become kings or philosopher kings, as they possess a special level of knowledge, which is required to rule the Republic successfully.


Although, Plato’s conception is rooted in utopianism, yet, the thrust of Plato’s work has continued to manifest in modern society, using Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State as a case study.


 Fayose’s Populist-Driven Initiatives: Chronicle of Achievements


The index used in measuring the efficacy of any government is determined by the number of good programmes, initiatives and policies formulated and implemented to better the lots of the people.


Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose, in pursuance of his vision for a better Ekiti-as the friend of the common man, has achieved some major accomplishments via his people-oriented initiatives and practicable administrative strategies.


Amongst the achievements of Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose as the Executive Governor of Ekiti State include:



  1. Stomach Infrastructure: Stomach Infrastructure is not as new as people think. The concept evolves from politics of the belly which is dated to antiquity; it also has a strong link with the welfarist ideology of the west, which prioritizes the primacy of physiological needs in consonance with the Abraham Maslow’s postulation on hierarchy of needs. Dr. Peter Ayo Fayose’s stomach infrastructure programme was conceived out of his passion and love for his people. The constant donation/distribution of food stuff and little cash to the poorest of the poor is a way of alleviating the effect/impact of poverty on the people in the face of economic recession as being currently witnessed in Nigeria today.


  1. Education Development: Ekiti State goes by the epithet Fountain of Knowledge. Ironically, Ekiti State has not been at its best in terms of academic performance in Senior Secondary Schools Examination. Ekiti State was rated 35thPosition in NECO Examination in 2003; and then came Dr. Ayo Fayose as the Governor (during his first term) and through his radical policy on Education, he was able to turn the negative story of Ekiti around as students performance in Ekiti State moved from 13th position in 2004 to 7th position in 2005; after which, Ekiti came 2nd position in NECO and 1st Position in WASC Examination in South-West, Nigeria in 2005. During his second stint (present dispensation), Governor Fayose has repeated the same academic feat as Ekiti State moved from number 34th in 2013 to become 1st in Nigeria in 2016 and was rated best in the history of performance with a record-breaking score of 96.48% in national performance in NECO Examination.


  1. Double Carriage Way, Ado-Ekiti Flyover and Effective Road Maintenance: Governor Fayose as the Architect of a Modern Ekiti initiated double carriage way in Ekiti State during his first tenure. Upon his assumption of office during his second voyage as Ekiti State Governor, he has continued with his urban renewal plan as the Governor has completed and commissioned more than 12.5km of dual carriage ways not only in Ado-Ekiti but Ikere, Emure, Ise, Efon and Ikole-Ekiti respectively. Same efforts are being put in place in each of the council headquarters, while the flyover from Fajuyi to Ejigbo in Ado-Ekiti is currently under construction.


  1. Modern Market Revolution and Infrastructural Development: As part of the plans for the development of infrastructure in Ekiti State under the present day government, Governor Fayose has embarked on the demolition of the old market structures especially Ekiti State capital, Ado-Ekiti; where he want to put in place new and befitting modern markets as replacements. Also, most of the dilapidated primary and secondary schools in Ekiti State are currently undergoing serious facelift and renovation; not to forget the Funmilayo Olayinka Women Development Centre built by Governor Fayose, an edifice named after the deceased Former Deputy Governor of Ekiti State.


  1. Anti-Grazing Bill: The violent killings of civilians in Agatu in Benue State and Enugu State by the Fulani herdsmen pose serious threat to the nation’s security. The recent attacks of Fulani herdsmen on the people of Oke-Ako in Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti and farm settlements across the state call for the attention of Ekiti State Government. Hence, the recent promulgation of the anti-grazing bill as the right counter-measures to checkmate the insecurity and terrorism instigated by the Fulani herdsmen.


  1. Opposition Voice: Democracy without opposition is nothing but anarchy and dictatorship. Nigeria under the President Buhari is synonymous to a prison yard where people are gagged and restrained from exercising their fundamental human rights, given the President’s intolerance for criticism and opposition; yet, amidst so much fear and intimidation, Governor Fayose has continued to lend his voice in protecting Nigerians while constantly checkmating the excesses of the President Buhari. Governor Fayose’s has turned into a thorn in the flesh of the ruling party considering his unabated popular crusade against President Buhari’s anti-economic policies on devaluation of naira, ill-timed deregulation of the downstream oil and gas sector, subsidy removal, recession, etc. In fact, it has become an indisputable fact that Governor Fayose is the only voice of the opposition in Nigeria.


  1. Past Legacies: The achievements of Dr. Peter Fayose during his first stint as the Governor of Ekiti State got him the accolade of the “architect of modern Ekiti State”. Governor Fayose built Fountain Hotel, Trade Fair Complex, Lady Jibowu Hall, New Government House, Fajuyi to Police Headquarter Dual carriage, Ado-Ikere dual carriage, Ado-Ilawe boundary dual carriage, Ado-UTH dual carriage etc. The records remain unmatched till date and same has continued to speak through the sand of time.


  1. His Second Term Feats: Despite the outage of funds and economic recession currently killing businesses and delaying actions and programmes of government and governance in the nation of Nigeria, Ayo Fayose has made it a point of duty ti keep putting smile on the face of the people.


To this end, the accomplishments of Mr Governor (ongoing and completed) were empirically chronicled and hereby reproduced as follows:



  1. Adunni Olayinka Women development Centre.
  2. Ongoing construction of 1.3km Overhead Bridge in Ado-Ekiti
  • Dualization of Ikere-Ekiti Township Road.
  1. Dualization of Ise-Ekiti Township.
  2. Dualization of Awedele-Bank road.
  3. Dualization of Efon Township Road.
  • Dualization of Ikole Township Road.
  • Dualization of Afao-Ekiti Township Road.
  1. Construction of Car Wash-Housing road, Ado-Ekiti.
  2. Construction of Onala-Police headquarters road, Ado-Ekiti.
  3. Reconstruction of Iropora-Asa road linking Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government to Ijero Local Government.
  • Rebuilding and Refurbishment of Ewi Palace, Ado-Ekiti.
  • Completion of Mini-pavilion at Ewi Palace, Ado-Ekiti
  • Accreditation of all courses in the Ekiti State University and the University College of Medicine.
  1. Hospital Infrastructural Development and Accreditation of Ikere General Hospital for Houseman-ship.
  • Funding of Teachers Day yearly and donation of three cars to the best teachers in primary and secondary schools.
  • Appointment of headmaster general and tutor general to motivate teachers.
  • Reorganization of the Nursing School Curriculum leading to the achievement of 100% pass rate in National Nursing and Midwifery examinations.
  • Construction of a massive Business District and Down-Town Centre in Ado-Ekiti to be completed by August 2017.
  1. Successful organizing of Agric Summit with active intervention and implementation of resolutions in the sector to aide diversification and improved Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
  • Successful Organizing of Education summit and strict implementation of the resolutions with the output seen Ekiti becoming FIRST in National Examination Council (NECO) performance in 2016.
  • Construction and completion of Fayose market phase 11.
  • Construction and completion of Egberun Market, Ikere-Ekiti.
  • Ongoing construction of Oja Oba International Market, Ado-Ekiti to be completed by August 2017.
  • Construction of Bisi Market Extension at Ado-Ekiti.
  • Civil service reform and repositioning on ICT intervention to stop leakages and minimise corrupt practices.
  • Continuous Implementation of Human-Capital Development (Stomach Infrastructure) to the less privileged.
  • Commencement of social security of N5,000 monthly to 10,000 indigent citizens
  • Empowerment and mobilization of palace chiefs in Ekiti State to key into and support government programmes and policies across the grassroots.
  • Conduct of local government election to allow governance at the grassroots. Ekiti, until recently that Ondo Joined remained the only state in south west Nigeria that have a democratically elected council officials.
  • Granting of full autonomy to local government by stoppage of Joint Account and Allocation Council (JAAC).
  • Donation of wheelchairs and medical equipments to the handicapped across the local government areas.
  • Building of a gigantic hostel at Erelu Adebayo Motherless Baby Home, Iyin-Ekiti.
  • Implementation of and the test running of deferral and exemption in nall the hospitals in Ekiti State.
  • Provision of Borehole and Pipe-borne water for cummities such as Erio, Igbaraodo, Ikere, Ilupeju, Ijan while efforts are in top gear to increase diesel supply to Ero Dam for the benefit of mankind.
  • Multiple Executive Bills passed into law by the Ekiti State House of Assembly to ensure overall Good Governance and Community Development in Ekiti State.
  • payment of N5,000 to 10,000 indigent people monthly
  • Distribution of over N500million to artisans as revolving loans
  • Lastly, Ekiti, according to United Nations Information Centre is today the most peaceful state in Nigeria.





No doubt, the chronicle of achievements of Governor Fayose cannot be altogether contained in this article. The secret of his success however steams from his populist philosophy that is characterized with team-spirit, simple nativism sand-street credibility.


Oshokomole (like he is fondly called) is a typical son of Ekiti. He is a no pretender, who expresses his mind regardless of whose ox is gored. Hence, enjoys the trust and confidence of his people.


Although, there could be few challenges such as non-payment of workers’ salaries as a result of the drop in Federal Government’s monthly allocation; nonetheless, Governor Fayose is set to offset all outstanding arrears of workers in no distant time.


No governor can match the records of Fayose in terms of meritorious performance and legacy projects since Ekiti State was carved out of Ondo State 20 years ago. Fayose has been the one setting agenda while his critics who pride themselves as Philosopher Kings builds on his ideas.


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