Ayodele Peter Fayose, well known for his outspokenness and controversial status, is the Governor of Ekiti State and circumstance unofficial spokesman for the opposition party, the PDP. For the umpteenth time, he is at loggerheads with President Buhari, especially, his trip to China to seek for financial aid. Meanwhile, Fayose was in China too, seeking for investors to his state. According to him, his mission in the Guangzhou multinational business symposium was to canvass for technology transfer and not the financial aid campaign of Mr. President to China.
This is not the first time Fayose would publicly criticize government policies of Buhari either on politics or the economy. His constant attack on the person of Buhari and the government of APC is always very fierce that one would begin to wonder what manner of governor is he, who abdicates his state responsibility, but gleefully engrossed in public disagreement with his president and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, who presides over the council of state that he (Fayose) is a member.
It is indeed amazing how a governor, in this current dispensation is so antagonistic and disrespectful to the office of the president. This, obviously, is not how to be a governor—when a state governor directly or indirectly hijacks the responsibility of the spokesman of the PDP, and being so pompous to admit his gaffe. It calls for a source of concern in that, Fayose’s uncouth statements are becoming too numerous.
Fayose’s public office record is completely immersed in controversy. In his first sojourn as a governor, he was formally impeached by his state house of assembly after a bogus poultry farm project he established to siphon state money all in the name of doing something. Fayose decided to crossover to the opposition party after his displeasure with his party bigwigs, especially, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Not quite long, he defected back to PDP to continue his political career. Again, the circumstance leading to his emergence as the new governor of Ekiti is but a cheat. The ruling party of the day successfully manipulated the instrument and manpower of election, returning Fayose as the winner of Ekiti State governorship election to the chagrin of political pundits in the country.
Away from the above background, right from the time of Buhari’s campaign for president, Fayose has been very critical of every policy of both Buhari and his party. Though he was not a contender in the presidential election, his relentless clamour to bring down President Buhari was second to none. With the eventual victory of Buhari, one would think that the incessant public harangue by Fayose should at least subside for peace to reign. Unfortunately, Fayose’s case is no retreat, no surrender. His continuous vituperation on the person of the president is quite expensive and very ridiculous.
There would always be a room or pardon for political disagreement between opposing parties in any political setting. In other words, there would be a clash of interest pertaining to governance or public policy, but when it comes to the interest of Nigerians economically-wise or security-wise, political actors should endeavour to exhibit friendliness and not over-heat the polity. As a result of Fayose’s flagrant abuse of his governorship status, he can be regarded as the enfant terrible of Nigerian politics. The word ‘enfant terrible’ was previously used by this writer to describe Donald Trump — another rude, comic character who is aiming to become the next United States president. Fayose rightly fit into this description after causing serious commotion leading to the 2015 presidential election in Nigeria; he became a nuisance to the sensitivity of everybody.
What manner of governor is he that brings the position and the person of the president of his country to disrepute? His president was far away in China negotiating for financial assistance in order to fund the 2016 budget and execute other developmental projects, he is here in Nigeria castigating the idea of taking loan from China, to the extent of writing a scathing letter condemning the economic policy of Buhari as well as requesting that any financial aid to be rendered to Nigeria by China should be jettisoned. This is really unfortunate and embarrassing to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, that the governor of a state under the Nigerian federation would use himself as a devil’s advocate in an attempt to thwart the fortune and goodwill of Nigeria in the eyes of a foreign partner like China. So pathetic it is.
What manner of governor suddenly becomes the mouthpiece of his national party instead of his people in Ekiti state? The confusing aspect of this strange behaviour by Fayose is that, his voice is not always loud on issues of national interest apart from the decisions taken by the president. That is when the spirit of opposition comes over him, taking possession of his cognition to construe matters from another angle different from his standpoint. He does this so distastefully that you would be ashamed that his kind is a governor in a highly educated state like Ekiti.
President Buhari’s mission was not only to seek for financial assistance, but also to initiate collaboration in the area of infrastructure development, commerce, agriculture, technology and other areas that could enhance bilateral trade between China and Nigeria. However, the attention of Fayose was simply drawn to the idea of taking a loan which he viewed incorrect, considering the current economic situation of the country.
Meanwhile, borrowing from China is favourable in the long run because of the benefits attached. One of the goals of President Buhari is to fast track infrastructure development. So, partnering with a country that has got the technology and expatriate is not a bad idea. As part of the bilateral agreement with China, most of the projects appendage to this loan will also be supported by China in the course of this administration.
Fayose’s attitude may land him in serious trouble. Of course, the people of Ekiti State are not spared in the misfortune that may come their way because of their governor. The president may just decide to excommunicate Fayose due to his embarrassing and disrespectful statements. When the president would be visiting other states for federal projects, Ekiti State is certainly going to be “on a long thing,” a consequence of their discourteous governor.
Mr. Fayose’s lack of respect for the president has got to stop. How many governors in the country trade words with the Federal Government? There are many projects or activities that can keep him busy instead of constituting nuisance to the polity. Ekiti State needs his total commitment as a governor to actualizing his numerous promises. It is even hypocritical for Fayose to be critical of Mr. President’s trip to China, when he himself is also looking for foreign investors to fund his airport project. Certainly, Ekiti State does not have the money to fund such a gigantic project. From a logical perspective, he would eventually resort to take a loan in order to execute the project. And if the devil will help him, there should be no proper account for the money, just like the poultry farm project that got him impeached. Ekiti people should prepare for a serious indebtedness courtesy of their overzealous governor.