EKITI: THE REIGN OF ALAAFIN AOLE

The article titled; “Ekiti: The return of Alaafin Aole” published by this writer 18 months ago heralded the inauguration of the judiciary imposed governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi who I likened to the then Alaafin Aole, the last ruler of the old Oyo Empire. Now chroniclers of history can safely pry into the activities of Fayemi between then and now to present the character of his reign.

Those who are versed in the history of Oyo empire would recall that the reign of Alaafin Aole, the one who was referred to as Oba Afepeja (the monarch who fight with curses) was characterized by vengeance, wagging wars of revenge against towns in Yorubaland. Despite the covenant made by Alaafin Ajagbo that no Aare Ona Kakanfo(War field marshal) must wage war against Iwere-Ile, his maternal town and that any Aare Ona Kakanfo who flouted the covenant would die miserably, Alaafin Aole ordered Afonja, who was the then Aare Ona Kakanfo, to attack Iwere-Ile and bring to him the head of its Baale (village head). This led to the event that made Alaafin Aole to commit suicide and the eventual collapse of the old Oyo Empire in 1793.

Today in Ekiti State, no one is in doubt as to the fact that Governor Fayemi is living up to his name as a reincarnation of Alaafin Aole! Some have even described the governor as the "educated "version of former Governor Ayodele Fayose, who Fayemi teamed up with people like Mr. Femi Falana and Senator Babafemi Ojudu to foist on Ekiti a reign of political and judicial gridlock yet unrivalled in the annals of politicking in the country.

Fayose, who was referred to as "Jogunomi " ( let the war breath)then was all out against his perceived political enemies, attacking, harassing and intimidating them. Chief Remi Oguntuase (Remog), whose popular Mobil Petrol Station, Ajilosun, Ado-Ekiti was allegedly destroyed by Fayose's men is one of the living witnesses to the reign of terror in Ekiti State then. This writer had his own taste. I am yet to forget how a black market warrant of arrest was procured against me sometimes in 2005 and how arrangement was made for me to be severely beaten at the Ado-Ekiti prison. I escaped arrest by a stroke of luck and the judge, who gave the order, was to tell me the whole story four years later! As it was during the "Jogunomi"(Fayose) era, in Fayemi's Ekiti, you must see no evil, say no evil and hear no evil against the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) government. If you do, you run the risk of being visited by his Aare Ona Kakanfo Deji Adesokan, a ka Jaruu (an SSS deserter) and such visits always leave pains, sorrows, weeping and gnashing of teeth behind!Ask the family of late Adeleye Awolumate in Osun-Ekiti, ask members of a group called "Ekiti Koya" ask leaders of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) that were suspended from work just because they led protest against non-payment of the N19,000 minimum wage promised the council workers by Fayemi, ask leaders of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), whose congress was disrupted by Jaruu and his gun-wielding thugs, ask Alhaji Ademola Salami, whose multi-million naira petrol station in Ado-Ekiti is being threatened with demolition if he refuses to join ACN, and ask those who attended a youth programme at a popular hotel along Ado-Ikere road recently. They all have sad tales to tell.

As a continuation of Fayemi's vengeance mission against the Vice Chancellor (VC) of the Ekiti State University (EKSU), formerly University of Ado-Ekiti (UNAD), Prof Dipo Kolawole, last Thursday, he was arraigned in an Ado-Ekiti Magistrate Court for alleged N91 million fraud. Prof Kolawole was accused of forging the letterheads of the university to commit the crime alongside two other people that were said to be at large. The two other accused were the university former Bursar, Mrs. F. M. Fapounda and manager of the university branch of the United Bank of Africa (UBA), Dipo Ajala, an in-law to Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) senator and Fayemi's lawyer, Anthony Adeniyi.

Fayemi had sacked Prof Kolawole in a controversial manner and the former VC had approached the court to challenge his removal. Pressure on Prof Kolawole to drop his suit against Fayemi and the State government was rebuffed, leading to his arraignment in court on Thursday under a “Holding Charge” with an intention to hound him into detention.

Curiously, part of the allegations against Prof Kolawole was that he forged the university letterheads, leading to question as to how and why a VC would forge letterheads of a university under his control.

Was Fayemi also unaware of the Police Investigating report, audit report and House of Assembly probe report that cleared Prof Kolawole of any financial wrongdoing, particularly the one on which he was charged to court?

Most importantly, what interest was Fayemi serving by sending officials of the State Board of Internal Revenue to the courts to ensure Prof Kolawole's bail condition was frustrated? Why was Mr. Julius Ajibare, Personal Assistant to the State Attorney General, Mr. Dayo Akinlaja in court, demanding to know Prof Kolawole's bail condition?

As posited by a group, the Movement for Peace and Good Governance in Ekiti (MOPEGO), which berated Fayemi over the trial of the former VC, what sane minds can deduce from the above posers is that Fayemi is just persecuting Prof Kolawole because he refused to withdraw the case he filed to challenge his unlawful removal as EKSU VC as demanded by the governor.

Inside Fayemi, the Alaafin Aole of Ekiti, fire of vengeance is still burning. The smoke is covering his sense of reasoning and history. Even as a student of History, Fayemi is so beclouded by the smoke coming out of the fire of vengeance burning inside him that he no longer remember Bashorun Gaa, Efunsetan Aniwura, Mobutu Sese Seko, Samuel Doe, Idi Amin and Saddam Hussein. Also, the recent stories of Muamar Ghadafi, Hosni Mubarak and Charles Taylor do not make any meaning to the vengeance-seeking Fayemi. To him, anyone who is not on the same page with him politically must be cut down and he has an Aare Ona Kakanfo Jaruu to lead the war for him.

His predecessor, Segun Oni had had to bear series of unproved allegations hauled at him to smear his image. A contract review panel hurriedly concocted series of lies and the government came up with a spurious Whitepaper. Oni or his aides were never confronted nor given any opportunity to defend themselves. One of the allegations was that Oni extended road construction to neighboring states of Osun, Ondo and Kwara in a move by Oni to ensure that Ekiti and the neighboring communities reap the economic benefits of the road network for agriculture and small scale industries. He was asked to refund the value of those roads!

Ironically the ACN governors have been on rooftops shouting regional integration for the South West.

Even Fayemi who should be delivering on his promises to Ekiti concerned himself with mundane issues of whether Oni's picture should hang on the wall of former Governors! His battles of vengeance is sure to litter his score card, while the people battle with the litany of abandoned road projects, inflated contracts,unpaid commitments, scrapping of worthy projects of his predecessor on education, health, industry etc.The scars of this political diatribe will live on the psyche of the people for long!

As I said 18 months ago, like Alaafin Aole, Fayemi will not give himself to reasons, not minding that God, who is the only one that gives power, said in Leviticus 19:18, "Do not seek revenge or bear grudge against a fellow Israelite..." Like he has been doing since he was manipulated into power through judicial robbery, Fayemi will continue with his reign of vendetta. And like Alaafin Aole, the day he (Fayemi) will confront his own Apomu and Iwere-Ile is near only that when he is consumed by the flame of vengeance, Ekiti will still remain and shall be governed by others,yet in the womb of time.

Olayinka, a journalist, wrote in from Okemesi-Ekiti

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Articles by Lere Olayinka