A top member of the People’s Democratic Party in Ekiti State, Yemi Olayinka, has described the level of maturity demonstrated by outgoing Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi as one that reflects the beauty of the Ekiti people.
Speaking on Sunday, during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, to discuss the outcome of the Ekiti State governorship election which produced Mr Ayo Fayose of the PDP as winner, Mr Olayinka extolled Mr Fayemi for putting the interest of the people of Ekiti State ahead of his personal ambition.
Expressing his pride at the level of friendship displayed between Governor Fayemi and Mr Fayose, he noted that Fayemi had demonstrated the kind of maturity and sportsmanship that is unusual but highly needed in the Nigerian polity.
He revealed that Governor Fayemi called Ayo Fayose on the morning after the election to congratulate him and extend his hands of fellowship to move the state forward, with Fayose also warmly accepting and reciprocating the gesture.
“I think it’s a very fantastic development, it’s going to change the politics of Nigeria, it’s going to send a lot of positive signals to every politician in Nigeria that when you lose an election, it’s not a do or die thing. You can extend the hand of fellowship because of the development of that state.
“The people should be the priority, the state should be the priority beyond your personal ambition, and that is what Fayemi has demonstrated”, he said.
Olayinka, who said that he never doubted Fayose’s chances of victory, also revealed that the major secret behind his party’s victory at the polls was the revelation that the people were disgruntled about the leadership of the All progressives Congress in the state.
Although, he admitted that he never expected a landslide victory, he attributed the margin to the decision of Ayo Fayose to choose his running mate from Ikere Ekiti, which he claimed had the second largest voting pattern in the state.
He also added that the decision of the PDP to pick another key figure in the state, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, as a ministerial nominee also turned out to be a masterstroke which boosted the hope of the people and swung the decision of the people in his favour.
Fayose’s grassroots popularity was also named as a major strength that gave him victory, with Mr Olayinka citing several instances of his approaches at reaching out to the people; “They love this guy because he mingles with them, he talks to them, he shares with them”, he said.
While acknowledging the hard work of Governor Fayemi in some sectors in the state, Olayinka held that the Ekiti people just wanted Fayemi to go. He added, “A lot of people cannot even tell you why they want Fayemi to go, because I’ve asked questions.”
He noted that this was a lesson to Nigerian politicians that they should not take connection with their people for granted as they were an integral part of politics.
Olayinka also condemned the Competency Test policy initiated by Governor Fayemi for teachers in the state as a fundamental error that backfired. He argued that the policy was wrong for the quality and the politics of it as it was disrespectful for senior civil servants to be so demoted.
He seized the moment to assure Ekiti State people that the Governor-elect, Ayo Fayose, would provide better leadership, adding that the level of maturity he had acquired since he last governed the state makes him a better person who was better equipped to surpass all the works he did during his first tenure as the Governor of the state.