BusinessDay

Ekiti: Fayemi couple deserve our eternal gratitude

How natural a phenomenon is it to have the kind of governor and wife of governor that we have in Ekiti State in the persons of Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, MON, and his wife, Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi? We certainly have two for the price of one.

There is also no doubting the best guess that they are a power couple, who have endeavored to pour all that they are into transforming a backwater state to a front-burner one.

Before the phrase “power couple” is misunderstood, let me give both the dictionary definition and corporate usage of the term. The dictionary defines power couple as one consisting of two people who are each influential or successful in their own right.

In the day-to-day usage, the relationship of a power couple relies mostly on their business-minded lifestyle. One of their similar traits is that they are ambitious, but they create time for each other. They have the same business and work together.

When at work, they switch to work mode, and when they leave their place of work, they become all loved up.

We may want to take it for granted that Dr. Fayemi is after all a normal politician who had the ambition to become a governor and succeeded in doing so, while Erelu Fayemi was thrown up as the First Lady being wife of a governor.

But isn’t there more to that? Looking at how Fayemi came to power in 2010, denied of it in 2014, reclaimed it in 2018, and considering all what the couple have been able to pump into Ekiti, then we should see the hand of God and that of providence in their coming to govern Ekiti at the two odd terms that they did.

In terms of performance in office, the Fayemis have done superbly well in transforming the state from a pitiable one to an admirable one.

There was a time when Ekiti was a one-week-one-trouble state. It was believed then that only rascals could govern Ekiti and no one who abhors staining his reputation would venture to govern the troubled state.

They said we, Ekiti people, were very stubborn and unappreciative, that we could only be governed by those who are going to chastise us and feast on our stupidity. They said ours was the home of 419 and “Yahoo” But all that changed with the Fayemis, and we are now being regaled as people of trust.

Even as they should be winding up and counting their blessings, the Fayemi couple remains untiring in their value-adding.

Governor Fayemi keeps reiterating his resolve to ensure he delivers the legacy projects embarked upon by his administration to the people of the state before the expiration of his tenure on the 16th of October, while Erelu Fayemi could not just stop improving the lots of the women.

Add to these the fact that they were able to secure a smooth transition from one administration to the other for the first time in the history of the state and the assurance that whatever path of advancement they have charted for the state will not be truncated, then we can say that Ekiti had never had it this good, and a Joseph has passed through our Egypt.

Across the country, there is this sense of mistrust in the government, which often makes it quite tough to attract developmental projects to States.

There is nothing as tough and turbulent for the foreign partners as trying to explain things to the chief executive of a state what the requirements of getting a grant are, despite their willingness to help develop the States.

Stories have it that developing partners are always skeptical in acceding to the needs of the people, when proposed by many state governments. But not Ekiti of the Fayemi era; our needs are being met even before they are asked.

The developing partners said it was easier for them to work with the combined understanding of Gov. Fayemi and his wife Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi.

Just recently, the World Bank allocated twenty-five million dollars out of the five hundred million dollars earmarked for the project known as Adolescent Girl Initiative for Learning and Empowerment, AGILE in seven states of the federation.

Ekiti was the only state that benefitted from the grant out of the 16 states in the entire southern part of the country, courtesy of the efforts the Fayemi couple put into securing it. Knowing that they will be leaving, any self-motivated governor would have overlooked it. But that’s not the way of the Fayemis.

While distributing the grants to all the public secondary schools in the state, the First Lady, Erelu Fayemi, assured that the schools in the state would enjoy the grant, which she and her husband had facilitated, for the next five years!

This is just one of the several benefits, and I am not going to bore us here with the numerous achievements of this God-sent couple or how tirelessly they’ve worked to move Ekiti forward in their eight years sojourn, since a lot will still be said in the course of celebrating their finishing well and strong.

Rather, I will attempt a guess of why they are who they are to us. Both Kayode and Bisi Fayemi are adventurous, creative and think abstractly.

They both share openness as their personality traits. This simply means that they are both rich in imagination and insight. People like them are curious about the world and other people, and are eager to learn new things and enjoy new experiences.

Read also: Guess work as Fayemi prepares exit note: What future?

Kayode and Bisi Fayemi are a perfect pair to whom everyone can relate. They neither brag nor fob people off. In terms of temperament, many people have come to see Dr. Fayemi as predominantly melancholic and Erelu Fayemi as predominantly sanguine.

A melancholic person is taciturn, no doubt, but has the tendency of being analytical, quiet and down-to-earth. A sanguine person on the other hand is optimistic, social and bubbly. The chemistry of these two temperaments is superbly inseparable.

Melancholy-Sanguine has a natural beam. They are therefore analytical, systematic, and sensitive to the needs of others. This is a versatile, productive combination that works well with the Fayemi couple.

There is no gain saying it that the Fayemi couple cannot be jobless after leaving the Government House. Just like the Clintons or the Obamas as ex-POTUS and FLOTUS, outside the government house, the Fayemis will be incredibly busy on very important and most times, highly visible engagements.

They will either be assigned by government or by international agencies. National institutions, organisations, groups or even governments cannot stop inviting them. They will become sucked into the vortex of international diplomacy, CSO activism, party assignments, giving lectures and so on.

The Fayemi couple will be waving the seat of Government bye this October after spending eight years interspaced with four interregnum years between 2014 and 2018. The Fayemi couple will formally hand over to the Oyebanji couple as the incoming Governor and incoming First Lady.

Already, both couples, the outgoing and incoming, are jelling well and have a clear understanding of the direction Ekiti should go.

The Fayemis thus deserve nothing short of our eternal gratitude and reverence. That the gratitude is eternal means it will continue for a very long time. Their influence upon our lives in Ekiti is profound, so our soul must bear them eternal gratitude.

Dipe writes from Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State

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