There have been outcry across Ekiti State, as Bisi Fayemi, former first lady and wife of former governor and Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Kayode Fayemi, stormed the capital city, Ado, to declare her husband’s intention to run in the July gubernatorial race.
The former First Lady had during the week gathered some women drawn from across the 16 local government areas of the state to the All Progressives Congress (APC) party secretariat in Ado Ekiti to announce that her husband will be contesting in the coming governorship election in the state.
Fayemi was humiliated out of office by incumbent Governor Ayodele Fayose who won overwhelmingly across the sixteen local government councils in the state to return the state back for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
But Fayose, on resumption of office had accused Fayemi of fraudulent practices while in the saddle, among which was the sourcing of a 25 billion naira bonds which the incumbent governor said was questionably appropriated.
The allegation culminated to the setting up of a panel of inquiry which investigated the matter, found Fayemi guilty and subsequently issued a white paper in which he was banned from holding any political position in the state for ten years.
Since the Monday episode, Ekiti people have been reacting to the “backdoor declaration” by Fayemi, saying it was alien to Nigerian politics where aspirants are expected to visit the party secretariat themselves to declare their intent to party leaders.
An Ekiti based socio-political organisation, Ekiti Citizenship and Governance Centre, ECGC, said the declaration by proxy portends “fatal consequences for the Ekiti State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, which the people now look up to as the only saviour from the present shame, poverty and governmental ineptitudes as represented by the government of the day.”
Publicity Secretary of the group, Abayomi Ogundele, described Fayemi’s declaration of intent through the wife as a slap on the collective psyche of the Ekiti people whom he said his government grossly undermined to warrant the 2014 ignoble ouster.
“Here is a former governor who was summoned to come and give account of his stewardship but declined. The probe led to his indictment and subsequent ban from political activities for ten years but he still think he could blindfold us, testing the waters by every means and now staging same through his domineering wife.
“We are here reiterating that we are opposed to the aspiration of Dr Kayode Fayemi, who is so arrogant, proud, who disrespects democratic institutions and who also have been found to have acted in questionable manner with state finances.
“We shall not fold our arms to allow a repeat of an arrogant government that was so much detached to the people,” Ogundele said.
It was gathered that the move to join the Ekiti guber race by Fayemi started December 2017 but was then stunted as his close associates and aides advised him against such on the believe that he could not win the election for the party based on public perception of his leadership style.
Several dates had been subsequently been flaunted for Fayemi’s official declaration but none came to be true until his wife’s declaration last week.
The array of suspense and its attendant frustration has done so much damage to whatever remained of Fayemi’s popularity as majority of his faithful who he all the while kept in the dark, have found sojourn with other visible aspirants.
A section of APC loyalists in the state are of the opinion that Fayemi is not running but deploying tactics to raise money from friends and associates who would be throwing in money to support the phantom aspiration.
“Fayemi is in a very juicy ministry and some of us who are conversant with his antecedents know that he is only doing this to make money from strong political associates outside the state who are unaware of his zero popularity down home and would be throwing in money to support is faked ambition,” a APC chieftain in the state who preferred anonymity claimed.
Mrs. Fayemi who stormed the APC, secretariat in Ado-Ekiti, to tell women in Ekiti State to support her husband who is yet to make a public declaration was received by the Deputy Chairman of the party, Mrs. Kemi Olaleye, Women Leader, Mrs. Dupe Bakare and some women leaders across the state.