Fayose: One Man, Numerous Battles, Manifold Victories

By Sunshine Anifowose


The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose does not need much introduction in the Nigeria political firmament. He has fought and conquered battles at political fronts that no living Nigerian has ever encountered and triumphed.


Fayose first launched himself to Nigerians when after defeating the political Golgotha within his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), went on to end the second term ambition of the first executive Governor of Ekiti State, Otunba ‘Niyi Adebayo to become the second executive governor of the State in May 2003.


Fayose was removed on October 16th 2006 via the conspiracy of people who prided themselves as “Cream of the Crop of Ekiti” and a retired army general in civilian uniform. The then owners of Nigeria ganged up against Fayose, coaxed the commoners and removed the insignia of power from the Afao-Ekiti born politician at gun point.


The fiery speaker, after his impeachment ran for his dear life. He resurfaced again on December 2nd 2007 to face the allegations of sleaze slammed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), a decision that led to his incarceration at Ikoyi prison for 33 days.


In 2009, he picked up the gauntlet with those who sent him to prison within his party in Ekiti. He engaged his successor, Segun Oni in a fierce battle and true to himself; he did not relent until Oni was sacked from office on October 15 2010.


Fayose aligned with the immediate past governor of Ekiti, Kayode Fayemi to, via a constitutional avenue, dethrone Oni from office. However, instead of Fayemi compensating Fayose for assisting him to stardom, the Isan-Ekiti born caged Osokomole, as Fayose is fondly called by his admirers and others who got him powers of incumbency.


Undeterred, Fayose came out in 2011 to seek for the votes of  his people to represent them in the hallowed chamber of the national assembly but the people he aided to power truncated his ambition by corrupting the electoral process. Money and the instrumentalities of power and the media were used to turn the electorates against him on the Election Day.


Fayose, after the poll, retired to drawing board to re-invent and re-tool. And after months of hibernating politically, the father of four returned back to the party that launched him to reckoning, politically.


He rejoined the PDP. He was re-registered. The enemies within his party fought against his return. He triumphed. Fayose’s men took over the PDP structure in Ekiti State via a free and fair election. He was also granted waiver to vote and to be voted for within the party.


In October 2012, Fayose declared his ambition to re-contest for the governorship seat of Ekiti State. Out of 32 Aspirants interested in the governorship seat, 31 waged war against him. Fayose humbled them all.


Fayose won the primaries of his party on March 27 2014 to run for Governorship election slated for June 21 2014. Fayose, also known as the Architect of Modern Ekiti State, was to face an incumbent, Kayode Fayemi, a PhD Holder in War Studies.


As the Election Day draw closer, the atmosphere in Ekiti was tensed. Fayemi had the media and the Elites strongly behind him but Fayose relied on the poor and the poorest of the poor.

On June 21 2014, the power of populism battled the power of Elitism. Fayose Triumphed. Fayemi lost.


After the winner and the loser emerged, Fayose’s foes moved to prevent him from being inaugurated but their plans collapsed like the war of Jericho. From Afao-Ekiti, his country home, Fayose moved to the government house at Oke Bareke, Ado-Ekiti amidst fanfare.


Nevertheless, as soon as Fayose was sworn on October 2014, his detractors picked up the gauntlet again. The losers of the election who had earlier accepted defeat dragged Fayose to the elections petition tribunal. Again, Fayose emerged victorious. He won.


Not satisfied, the losers again, dragged Fayose to the Appellate Court, yet he (Fayose) conquered. The opposition dragged him to the Supreme Court. He climaxed. Courts did not only refuse to nullify the mandate given to Fayose by the people of Ekiti State, the impeachment of Fayose in 2006 was nullified by the Supreme Court.


From the courts in Abuja, Fayose’s antagonists proceeded to the fountain of knowledge. The gladiators Fayose defeated on June 21 2014 ignited another war against him because he did not tow the pact which some leaders within his party took prior to President Buhari’s victory on 28th March 2015 general election. Fayose refused to compromise. The opposition were embittered that only Ekiti was not swept off by the Buhari’s revolution in the entire south west geo-political zone!


The then APC dominated (19 out of 26) Ekiti State House of Assembly moved to impeach Fayose. The governor was issued an impeachment notice through the social media. However, the attempt to impeach Fayose was resisted by the ever-resilient people of Ekiti State.


On 11th April 2015, the people of Ekiti State delivered another verdict against Fayose’s foes. For the first time, one party won all the 26 assembly seats in the Ekiti State House of Assembly. Fayose’s men climaxed.


Not satisfied with the defeat suffered at the polls, the 19 APC lawmakers forged ahead in their bid to end the reign of Fayose as Ekiti’s helmsman. They tried all they could do to truncate the mandate democratically given to Fayose by the people but the errant interlopers failed.


Despite that Fayose extended hands of fellowership to the 19 APC lawmakers, paid all their entitlements, yet, they (lawmakers) chose to tow the pact of destruction. The traditional rulers and Elders of Ekiti pleaded with the lawmakers to sheath their swords, but they declined.


The opposition boasted that if Fayose is impeached, heaven would not fall. But instead of the impeachment to prevail, Fayose’s foes were swept off by heavy political rainfall.


The opposition against Fayose had also attempted to use the illegal report of the military in respect of the June 21st 2014 election to sack Fayose from office to no avail. The men of the Department of State Services (DSS) have been used to coerce, harass and intimidate Fayose’s men without a breakthrough.


A member of the state House of Assembly, Afolabai Ariyo representing Efon constituency, without contravening any law of the land, was abducted by the men of DSS in Ado-Ekiti and kept inside detention for 23 days without allowing him access to his lawyers and Doctors.


Furthermore, in a clear disregard for section 308 of the 1999 constitution that conferred immunity on Deputy Governors, Governors, Vice-President and the President, the operatives of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on June 21 2016 frozen the personal account of Fayose domiciled at Zenith Bank.


However, reason prevailed as Justice Taiwo Taiwo of Federal High Count sitting in Ado-Ekiti on December 2nd 2016 declared the action of the EFCC as illegal and a flagrant abuse of section 308 of Nigerian constitution.


Fayose, to the Elites is a man of questionable integrity but let me say without any fear or favour or ill-wound that the Afao-Ekiti born politician is not a man of dubious characters as his critics have posited, his mistakes being a Biological Animal, notwithstanding.


From my direct and indirect observation, Fayose is loathed and abhorred by the elites masquerading as agents of progressivism not because he has been delivering dividends of democracy to his people with reckless abandonment; the today’s leader of opposition in Nigeria is despised because he embraced populism to the detriment of elitism.


The Lagos and Abuja based Elites detest Fayose’s frankness and boldness. The Peter Ayodele Fayose that I know and that i am presently serving is not arrogant, proud, pompous, cruel and irresponsible, contrary to the affirmation of his opponents.


My own Ayo Fayose is calm, intelligent, humble, honest, frank, factual, respectful, simple, caring, highly responsible and very hard working. Fayose is known by the people of Ibadan, his place of birth as an intrepid creature embedded with fearlessness of heart.


Uncle Ayo was neither born with silver spoon nor hoary cloth. He was named Ayo (happiness) by his parents because he brought them joy while his admirers nick-named him Osokomole (warrior) because today, he’s the rock of Ekiti politics.


Anifowose is the Personal Assistant to Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State on Administration and Stomach Infrastructure.


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