Kayode Fayemi: Celebrating a quintessential statesman @ 55, By Michael Opeyemi Bamidele

Posted by News Express | 9 February 2020 | 1,115 times

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•Governor Fayemi

Just like every situational challenge, social crises do have their concomitant solutions being created with them side by side by the natural hands of providence. The Nigerian situation has thrown up true leaders and visionaries who are equal to the task and are as such determined to rise up to the occasion to bring about positive and laudable changes in the lives of the people. Supreme leaders determine where generations are going and develop outstanding leaders they pass the baton to. Their durable strength of character as well as their deep sense of responsibility naturally throws them out as great servant-leaders whose commitment to humanity is never in doubt.

Among the leaders in this category, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi has proved his mettle as a political figure that is destined to lead the people of Ekiti State from the gloomy valley of darkness to the path of light. A progressive intellectual and pro-democracy activist of no mean stature, Dr. Fayemi contested in 2007 for the governorship of Ekiti State and after three and a half years of protracted legal battle, the Appeal Court (sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State), on 15th October, 2010 declared him the duly elected Governor of Ekiti State.

During his first term, Governor Fayemi brought greater meaning to governance in Ekiti State. Apart from ensuring rapid infrastructural development across the State, the JKF administration heralded the transformation of Ekiti economy from an erstwhile agrarian state to a growing hub of commercial and industrial activities. In the bid to reduce the poverty level among the people, Dr. Fayemi introduced several micro-finance and empowerment schemes in support of micro, medium and small scale business enterprises, which elicited a higher level of productivity among the unemployed graduates and young school leavers in Ekiti State. Fayemi's compassionate leadership spirit made him to create the monthly N5000 stipend for the aged and senior citizens in Ekiti State. Given his strong belief in human capital development, Fayemi did not only improve the welfare conditions of the State's workforce but also ensured the development of their capacity for excellent service delivery through cutting edge world class trainings and skill advancement. These lofty achievements and many more giant leaps of the Fayemi administration endeared him to Ekiti people.

Before his re-emergence as Governor of Ekiti State on 14th July, 2018, the people were in dire need of a purposeful, visionary and dependable Governor who does not only have the strength of character and capacity required to bring her lost glory back from sabbatical but one who has equally garnered the requisite professional and political experience to transform Ekiti economy, tackle poverty and unemployment and restore hope back to the teeming workers, artisans, farmers, women, youth and children who have been subjected to biting and harrowing livelihood conditions during the four years of the PDP administration.

It is quite refreshing that Dr. Kayode Fayemi’s second term has renewed the hope of Ekiti people in democratic governance. He has re-invented governance in Ekiti and has deliberately re-engineered the wheel of progress with a view to restoring the lost values and bringing the glory of Ekiti State back from sabbatical.

His second term as Governor of Ekiti State, has not only brought to bear his huge wealth of experience in public service at the State and Federal levels, but is also not leaving anyone in doubt that he is a quintessential statesman of global reckoning. Fayemi hit the ground running by making giant leaps in restoring the lofty values which were eroded during the locust years of the accidental administration which he succeeded. Fayemi faced governance head long, he restructured the State's education sector; he has repositioned the private sector as the dynamo and driver of Ekiti economy and had equally engendered several life-transforming policy initiatives towards growing the agricultural, tourist and solid mineral sectors of Ekiti State.

Fayemi is a quintessential statesman, a notable leader in his own right, an erudite scholar of international pedigree, a seasoned development expert, a consummate politician and conscientious statesman. Today, as the Chairman of the Governors Forum, Fayemi had once again, taken leadership to the next level. His deep understanding of the peculiar Nigerian situation and the pervading crisis of underdevelopment in Africa had informed the purposeful direction and visionary leadership he is offering his colleagues in the Forum.

Most recently, the prominent strategic role of Governor Kayode Fayemi in the ingenuous conception, establishment and launching of the South-west Regional Security Network, otherwise known as ‘Amotekun,’ speaks volume of Fayemi’s versatility in governance as well as his progressive and populist stance in ensuring that the people of the Southwest and its environs are protected from the criminal activities of the evil marauders. An international security expert himself, Governor Fayemi appreciates the imperatives of community policing, he understands the extent to which the men of the Nigerian Police Force had been overwhelmed by the contemporary security demands across the nation and did not beat about the bush. Following incessant kidnapping, armed robbery attacks and gruesome killing of innocent people in many States, including the Southwestern States, Fayemi and other Governors in Yoruba land seized upon the challenging reality of the moment to invent a home-based security network that is capable of effectively complementing the efforts of the Nigerian Police Force in the Southwest. No wonder that this great initiative has been greeted with very resounding applause and encomiums to the chagrin of some critics and skeptics that are not in tune with the security reality we have found ourselves as a nation and as a people.

On this occasion of his 55th Birthday Anniversary, our dear JKF, my bosom friend, brother, comrade, compatriot, political associate, benefactor and leader; has evolved as a political giant of national and international repute, a shining role model in modern statecraft and a glowing star of global reckoning.

On behalf of my wife, Oluyemisi, my children, my extended biological family and political associates as well as the good people of Ekiti Central Senatorial District, I sincerely wish Your Excellency more glorious, more rewarding and more prosperous years ahead.

Sen. Michael Opeyemi Bamidele is Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.


Source: News Express

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