EKITI: GOVERNORSHIP CANDIDACY AS BUSINESS VENTURE
It was a journalist friend that first called my attention to the N750 million assets declared by the judiciary installed governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi. My friend had said sarcastically; 'All you do is send stories, stories and stories while others are making good money for themselves by just pursuing governorship ambition.'
Not getting what he meant, I probed further and he responded, saying; 'Haven't you seen the assets declared by Fayemi in the newspapers? My God, that guy is worth N750 million! He lived in a rented apartment in Maryland, Lagos up till 2005 that he declared his governorship ambition you know? And between 2006 and October, 2010 that he was a governorship candidate, he made over N700 million for himself and here are you still writing stories? You better declare for governor too after all, you are now a political journalist!'
With that last statement, I could not but agree with my friend that governorship candidacy has indeed become a veritable business venture with which one can become a billionaire within a twinkling of an eye. Dr. Kayode Fayemi is a case study and if he could make N750 million through this venture, why can't I?
In his assets declaration, Fayemi claimed that before he became governor, he had in his local and foreign accounts N27 million, with buildings and undeveloped property he owns with his wife in and outside Nigeria valued at N474 million.
The buildings include a compound of three buildings in Ibadan valued at N73 million, a compound of eight buildings at Isan-Ekiti valued at N120 million, a three-bedroom duplex in London valued at 280,000 pound sterling and a four-bedroom detached duplex at Atlanta, Georgia, USA, worth US$250,000.
Others are a six-bedroom detached house at East Legon, Ghana, valued at US$650,000, an undeveloped plot of land at Guzape District in Abuja valued at N30 million, an undeveloped plot of land at Lekki Phase 1 in Lagos valued at N25 million and an undeveloped plot of land at Ambassadorial Enclave, Legon, Ghana valued at US$250,000.
Fayemi also claimed that he had nine vehicles valued at N73 million. Fayemi's business, Amandla Consulting, is valued at N50 million and his household items such as generating sets, electronics, furniture, equipment and others, are valued at N80 million!
So, why won't I also venture into this highly lucrative governorship candidacy business? More so that I still remember vividly that in late 2006 that I visited Fayemi in Isan-Ekiti, he only had a bungalow that was just completed. But between that 2006 and October, 2010, he built additional seven buildings. Hence, there are eight buildings worth N120 million in the compound now!
To this end therefore, I, as a former shoemaker wish to put all shoemakers in Nigeria on notice that I might need their generous donations to the Lere Olayinka for Governor Appeal Fund. Also, as a journalist, I am imploring all my colleagues in the pen profession to begin to set aside 10 percent of the contents of any brown envelop they receive from now on. And to my political friends, associates and even enemies, they should have it at the back of their minds that I will need fund to prosecute this laudable agenda and I promise, I will give them the freedom to choose whatever appointment or contract they desire when I become governor!
However, for me to succeed in this venture, I will surely require the expertise of Fayemi in this new money making venture because he is no doubt the reference point in the business of Governorship Candidacy Nigeria Plc.
Fayemi would have to lecture me on how a man, who was living in a rented three bedroom flat in Maryland, Lagos as at the end of 2005 and did not do any other job since 2006 apart from gubernatorial candidacy was able to acquire such stupendous wealth under four years. If a man, who some people said they assisted to kill a snake in the Shagari Type Mercedes Benz he drove to Ado in 2005 is now worth N750 million, then he must be a genius and if I must succeed in this governorship business that I am about venturing into, I must have to learn the rudiments of making millions from governorship candidacy from him.
If the same Fayemi, who was quoted in an interview published in The Nation newspaper of November 11, 2010 that; 'There were days in the struggle that I could not boast of five thousand naira in my account and I had to depend on my wife for sorting out family challenges'now claim to be worth N750 million, I sure need to undergo tutelage under him.
For instance, Fayemi claimed that he has a four bedroom detached duplex at Atlanta, Georgia, USA valued at $250,000. However, it is on record that it was the Adesokans (Gboyega, Segun and Yinka) that usually provide accommodation for Fayemi whenever he travelled to USA. It was in the house of the Adesokans at Atlanta, Georgia that he (Fayemi) slept for days the last time he travelled to USA before he became governor.
So, if Fayemi has a house in USA as he claimed, he needs to lecture me on the reason he choose not to use it.
It is also necessary that Fayemi educate me as to what his salary was as Director of the Centre for Democracy & Development (CDD) between 1997 and 2006 that he resigned to join politics.
How much was his wages/salary as Secretary General for Media Empowerment for African between 1995 to 1997, Strategy Development Officer for Deptford City Challenge in London between 1993 and 1995 and part-time Research Officer with African Research and information Bureau in London between 1991 and 1993 (presently a Senior Research Officer in top universities will earn £42,000 per annum coming to an after tax of about £2,400 per month)?
I need all these information so as to be sure that the N750 million assets were not just made-up to prepare grounds for looting and deceive people like myself into dumping our profession for a governorship venture that would not bring the desired monetary gains.
The moment I get satisfactory information and training from Fayemi as to how he was able to make N750 million from governorship candidacy under four years, I won't waste a minute before declaring my intention to contest the Ekiti State governorship anytime that it becomes vacant.
Olayinka, a journalists writes from Okemesi-Ekiti