By Kehinde Okonugta
Firstly, let me congratulate Mr. Ayodele Fayose on his emergence at the Ekiti poll. Without mincing words and from all the pieces of information at my disposal, I didn’t hear that the activity in any polling unit was disrupted, therefore it is commonsensical to accept that the major verdict of the Ekiti people, which is that Dr. John Kayode Fayemi is not good enough for them, in good fate. It is also important to congratulate him, his followers and other numerous Ekiti people who believed so much in him and in his ideology.
Yes, the election process was tough, but here we are, it is over. I appreciate everyone who stood by us in the pursuit to ensure that Dr. Fayemi re-emerged. I thank those who criticised us and called us names. I thank friends and families who kept believing in us even when it looked windy and weedy. Sincerely, lessons have been learnt and taught. Only God crowns, but I owe my appreciation to Dr. Kayode Fayemi in whom I have learnt more above governance, state politics and the people, even as a non-appointee of his government. Yes, I saw his programmes, what he had for the people and I was obviously okay with them. Most of them fixed up with my idea and my perception about the road we can take as a people towards actualising our goal of a better Nigeria.
Since it is important I set the record straight, I wish to state for record purpose that the result of the poll is a reflection of what we cherish in this part of the world. It is undisputable that JKF lost at the poll not because he under-performed, but because he was perceived to be far from the people. Yes, I also agreed, but refused to go by, but this is Nigeria. May be an American or a Russian who only cares about the security of himself and his people would not have given a damn about his disposition, so far the state is developing. May be a French man would not have cared about such, so far he goes to work and makes his money. May be our priorities in this part of the world are different, but this is my country, I appreciate people for their belief, my country is my country and I shall forever hold her in high esteem.
The future of Ekiti now lies in the hand of someone the people had tested before. The destiny of Ekiti now lies in the hand of their REBIRTH FAYOSE. Surely, every society deserves the leaders they have. May be Dr. John Kayode was wrong not to have walked on the street. May be he was wrong to have bluntly asked the teachers to write the competence test. May be he was wrong to have accepted the centralisation of fees payable by EKSU students. May be he was wrong not to have ordered an early reversal of students’ unions proscription. But the Dr. Fayemi that I know is not a typical Nigerian politician who pretends and loses his principle on the obvious quest for popularity and pretentious populism theory. Definitely from what I know about him, Dr. Fayemi is not a typical Nigerian politician. Just like Mallam El-rufai called himself an accidental public servant, I confidently say, JKF is an accidental politician.
Whether we like it or not and for those who care to listen, JKF will go on October 16th, but he has made his good marks. He will go, but know he will forever be remembered for his principle and what he has achieved and will still achieve before he finally quits. I know in programmes, it is obvious to the world that he has tried, but then , here we are, the people want a governor that will eat with them on the street and treck with them in the market square. But I know, in future the people will come to realise how lucky they were to have had someone like him governed them. I know he will leave office but won’t carry the Governor’s office at the Oke-Ayooba to his compound in Isan-Ekiti, Ibadan or any other place. The roads he has constructed and renovated will live with the Ekiti people. I know the world class renovated ikogosi warms spring will remain the property of Ekiti. I know his OPERATION RENOVATE ALL SCHOOLS IN EKITI will remain a legacy in Nigeria. I know while I cannot be proud I used a Desktop computer or a phone when I was in secondary school, an SSI student can be proud to tell his future children that he used a laptop in school when he/she was in Secondary school. This is a legacy that will not only live with our younger generation, but a challenge that is posed to our leaders that yes! If an 8 year old American child can successfully operate a computer, our younger children here can also do that. There is a legacy of commitment to the agricultural sector and I know the YCAD programme shall remain with the people of Ekiti state. I appreciate his philosophy as an upright public servant, I know history has absorbed him well.
For the several chats I had with my friends, my lecturers, my bloods, I appreciate. Obviously, either now or later, it is certain some day, people must demand for change and for the diverse reasons many have sought it now, either for selfish reason or in the interest of the state, our conscience will remain with us. I am only glad, JKF didn’t lose on the plata of under-performance. He lost on his objectivity. He didn’t mix up politics with governance as people expected. As a young man, I preferred who tripped more for good governance than the cheaply politics, I chose to support him. I know that it is with good governance that we can have our future secured. I will never regret my support for him. He knew that it is only with good governance that the problem of poverty can be reduced and sooner or later majority of our youths can be properly employed. I was proud to support this master plan and my conscience is clear for life.
Today, I accept every responsibility for my action. I thank God for a day like this. I thank God for the decisions I took amidst odd reactions. I know history has absorbed me and I can raise my head high.
To the people who were co-travellers in the struggle, I appreciate you all and to those who were opposed to our belief, it is well. May be someday, we will come to realise the consequence(s) of our efforts today. I shall continue to pray and work for the progress of my country.
Once again, I wish Mr. Ayodele Fayose and the people of Ekiti well.
Regardless of the outcome of the election, I like to re-state that we will never rescind on our decision to ensuring that our country becomes better. JKF and his wife ‘Erelu Bisi Fayemi’ remain my golds and I remain un-apologetic to anyone. I prefer to continue on this minor and rough road which I hope in many years to come will yield good for us.
In the face of adversaries, wants, happiness, consistency and courage to stand by one’s belief makes one a man of dignity and valour.
I now understand what politics is in Nigeria, it is clear to me that people like us do not fit into the crumple political system of Nigeria.
Kehinde Okunuga via email@example.com