Guess work as Fayemi prepares exit note: What future?
Many questions are currently running riot in the minds of many Nigerians about the next job of the out-going Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State.
With the conclusion of the off-season gubernatorial election in the state Saturday to early morning of Sunday (today), his exit from the Government House Ado-Ekiti has become sacrosanct.
Fayemi has enjoyed his tenure as the job has taken him to every part of Nigeria by virtue of his position as Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF).
Before he mounted the soap box the second time to seek for a fresh mandate in 2018, Kayode had been a made-man, having held different influential positions across the globe.
As he takes a bow from office in a few months time, having installed a successor, he must have envisioned his future, part of which must have informed his recent foray into the presidential race that suffered a hiccup.
Indeed, he must have wished to step up on the nation’s political ladder when he purchased his party’s form to contest for its presidential ticket for the 2023 general election. But the high wire politics in the All Progressives Congress (APC) forced him to recant, stepping down at the eleventh hour for Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a development many analysts have described as a trade off.
Fayemi was among the 23 presidential aspirants screened by his party. While a number of them were reportedly not cleared, he was among the lucky ones that scaled through.
In Nigeria, the dream of many governors in their last tenures, is to go to the Senate, where elder politicians who had been everything in the nation’s political arena, retire to after active service. But Fayemi neither picked a form for the senatorial race nor coerced the headquarters of his party to retrieve a mandate already given to another person to enable him be at the Senate by all means. Observers say that the only hope for him to remain politically relevant could be if his party wins the presidential election in which case he could be given a ministerial slot.
Fayemi was minister of Solid Mineral Development before he stepped back to Ekiti to contest the 2018 gubernatorial election and won.
It is unlikely if he would return to his teaching or journalism profession or other fields of endeavour where he had excelled before venturing into politics, after the expiration of his tenure of office.
The experience in Nigeria is that political office holders who left their professions never return to such professions. They hang around the corridors of power.
It is also expected that he would take active role in the presidential campaign of Tinubu by investing time and resources for an expected harvest.
Having nursed and helped Oyebanji to win a resounding victory at the election, Fayemi must however, avoid the mistake of his colleagues who failed to realise that yesterday is no longer today.
Being meddlesome has created a lot of bad blood between many predecessors and successors. He will do well to resist the urge to think he is still in charge of Ekiti when Oyebanji should be calling the shots.
A peep into Fayemi’s life
After his first degree in 1984, he proceeded on the mandatory one year National Youth service Corps from 1985 to 1986, during which he was a lecturer at the Nigeria-Police Training College in Sokoto. After his service year, he served as a Research Officer at Development & Management Consultants in Ikeja between 1987-1989.
When he moved to the UK to pursue his doctoral studies between 1991 to 1993 he worked as a Research Officer at the African Research and Information Bureau in London. In 1992, he was a Tutorial Fellow at the War Studies Department at Kings College, London during his doctoral studies. Later between 1993 to 1995, he was the Strategy Development Adviser of Deptford City Challenge in London and later served as the Secretary General of the Media Empowerment for Africa (The Radio Foundation) in London between 1995-1997.
He was also a journalist with The Guardian and City Tempo; and the Editor of Nigeria-Now, a defunct political monthly magazine. In 1997, Fayemi returned to Nigeria where he established the Centre for Democracy and Development Centre for Democracy & Development, a research and training institution dedicated to the study and promotion of democratic development, peace-building and human security in Africa, where he served as Director from 1997 to 2006.
Kayode Fayemi has taught in Africa, Europe, the Americas and Asia. He has also served as an adviser on transitional justice, regional integration, constitutionalism, security sector reform and civil-military relations issues to various governments, inter-governmental institutions and development agencies. He was the main technical adviser to Nigeria’s The Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission (Oputa Panel), which investigated past abuses and served on the Presidential Implementation Committees on Security Sector Reform, NEPAD and the Millennium Development Goals.
Fayemi was technical expert to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on small arms and light weapons and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa on governance issues. At other times he has served as a consultant to the OECD on Security Sector Reform and chaired the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative’s Committee of Experts on developing guiding principles and mechanisms of Constitution making in Commonwealth Africa.
Now, with a robust international exposure, would Fayemi return to his forte in the academia of continue to loiter on the corridors of power.
It is said that once one is politically exposed in Nigeria, the aroma of free food and perks of office no longer allows one to leave the arena. This can be confirmed from the array of old politicians who before their forays into politics were accomplished technocrats, medical doctors, among others, but who after leaving political office refused to go back to their professions.