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On Kayode Fayemi’s Unending Jousts…How Nigeria’s Steel Minister’s Knack For Controversies Robs Him Of Peace

On Kayode Fayemi’s Unending Jousts…How Nigeria’s Steel Minister’s Knack For Controversies Robs Him Of Peace
May 10
10:22 2018

Peace is overrated. Ask Dr. Kayode Fayemi. The seeds of peace and slumberous calm wilted in his yard ever since his foray into politics. It will be recalled that while he served as executive governor of Ekiti State, his four-year tenure was fraught by endless challenges, political conflicts and controversies.

Interestingly, the differences among the All Progressives Congress (APC) 33 aspirants jostling to take over from Governor Ayo Fayose in October may appear irreconcilable after the botched primary election of last Saturday in Ado-Ekiti; one man who appears to be further plagued with seemingly irreconcilable conflicted interests is the Minister of Steel and Mine Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.

As we speak, Fayemi substantively holds his ministerial office, though he has been transversing the length and breadth of Ekiti State selling his much maligned candidacy to the Ekiti electorate. Nobody knows what his next line of action would be if he wins the primary and when the one month leave expires at the end of the month, taking into consideration that the governorship election takes place in July.

Fayemi may have been granted an annual leave of one month by his principal, President Mohammadu Buhari, critics see this as morally wrong, setting a bad precedent and a total departure from what used to be norm. The practice hitherto used to be outright resignation from public office before throwing one’s hat into the ring.

Example has been cited of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan era, precisely October 15, 2014, when in one fell swoop seven ministers serving under Jonathan resigned from the cabinet to pursue their governorship ambitions in their various states.

They were the then Information Minister Labaran Maku (Nasarawa), Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu (Ebonyi), Labour Minister Emeka Wogu (Abia), Minister of State for Education Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Minister of State for Defence Musiliu Obanikoro (Lagos), Minister of State for Trade and Investment Sam Ortom (Benue) and Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs Darius Ishaku (Taraba). Ex-President Jonathan mandated them to turn in their resignation which they all did.

While he has not be found to have flouted any known law in discharging his rights; his ambition, viewed from the prism of morality, is being accorded some questionable tags. Running for governor is not a tea party and should not be an exercise to be carried out on a part-time business; not even when one heads a ministry as very important as Ministry of Steel and Mine Development. One just has to give way to another.

Apart from the fact that Fayemi’s ambition has brought about some frenzied resurgence to Ekiti politics, refusal of many of his former allies and appointees to step down for him has cast a scant eye on his influence within the rank and file of the party leadership and followership in the state. Not a few people believe that if he has such acceptability as he is trying to make the public see, he should have prevailed on some of the aspirants to step down for him.

Another dilemma the bespectacled academician-turned-politician needs to prepare for is post primary election crises which are likely to rear their ugly heads, with the depth of animosity towards him by a couple of other aspirants after he has accused them of being responsible for the violence that trailed the botched primary in Ekiti. Fayemi has a history of participating in primary election that witnessed defections of co-aspirants when 13 out of the then 16 governorship aspirants of the then Action Congress cross-carpeted to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2007 after a controversial primary that threw up Fayemi.

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