Ekiti 2014: As Adeyeye Becomes The Issue
Few weeks ago, I was with a friend somewhere along Bank Road in Ado-Ekiti when I met one of the leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State. The man, who was one of the prominent figures in the Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo administration did not mince words in declaring that majority of the leaders of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) were against Governor Kayode Fayemi's second term ambition. He however lamented the internal crises in the State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying; “some of us are just hoping that PDP will put its house in order and present a credible candidate.”
When I probed further as to the issue of candidate he was expecting the PDP to present, the man said; “someone who is not a stranger to the politics of Ekiti State. I mean someone whose government will not foist another four years of capital flight on Ekiti State as being witnessed presently. In PDP, I have seen people like Dayo Adeyeye, whose politics cut across the two major political divides in the State because he has been around for a long time and we can vouch for his integrity and love for Ekiti and its people.”
The import of this man's comment did not dawn on me until last week when I read an article titled; “Our Ekiti Awolowo,”written by one Abiola Olufemi.
Olufemi had written of PDP aspirants; “Most garrulous of the pack is Prince Dayo Adeyeye, erstwhile Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), who seems to have appointed himself the spokesperson of the crises-ridden and violence-certificated Ekiti PDP probably because the party's PR machinery has gone to sleep.”
Then I realised how hard the Prince Dayo Adeyeye headache is hitting the heads of current occupiers of Ekiti State government house, and I have not stopped pitying them for realising so late that Adeyeye is the issue as far as the next year governorship election is concerned.
For the Ise-Ekiti prince, the path he is threading now, and for which the State government is already catching cold is a kind of path he had thread before.
For three years, he was the Spokesperson of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), and evidently, he did his job so effectively. Also as the National Publicity Secretary of the pan Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere between 2001 and 2004, he was not found wanting.
The level at which Prince Adeyeye was effective at his job as Afenifere and AD spokesperson earned him a participation as the youngest member of the South-West Delegation of 20 to the Nigeria Leaders of Thought Conference held in Abuja in 2001. The delegation led by late Pa Abraham Adesanya, included eminent Yoruba leaders like General Adeyinka Adebayo (rtd), Chief Olu Falae, General Alani Akinrinade, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, Chief Richard Akinjide, Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Dr. Omololu Olunloyo.
Apart from the prominent roles he had played in the AD and Afenifere, Adeyeye was also a staunch member of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), and he did not become a NADECO member by accident. He was an Adviser on Policy and Press Matters, MKO Abiola for President Campaign Organisation. Therefore, his membership of an organisation that fought for the actualisation of June 12, 1993 presidential election was just like a man struggling for the seeds he participated in the planting to germinate.
Obviously, with his credentials and political antecedents, Adeyeye as PDP candidate will deny the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate some of their campaign gimmicks. This is because when they parade their human rights and pro-democracy activism, NADECO and Afenifere membership and progressivism, they cannot be any better than Adeyeye. Even more than they may have done, Adeyeye had been part of Odua Development Council Summit where eminent Yoruba leaders produced a blueprint for the all-round economic, cultural, and political advancement of Yorubaland.
Interestingly, in trying to disparage the person of Adeyeye, the hatchet writer of the APC government wrote that he (Adeyeye) left hundreds of uncompleted projects in the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB). Yes! Several SUBEB projects were completed while many others were ongoing before the ACN government was foisted on Ekiti people.
As chairman of Ekiti SUBEB, Adeyeye changed the face of public school buildings in the State with the introduction of storey buildings and tiled floors and provision of school furniture. It is on record that it was during his tenure as SUBEB chairman that school pupils stopped carrying furniture to school from their homes.
Many of the building projects embarked on during his tenure as SUBEB chairman were completed before October 15, 2010 that the Segun Oni-led government was ousted. It thus remains to be told how Adeyeye could have been the one to complete ongoing SUBEB projects that the Fayemi-led government inherited.
For his unprecedented feat in SUBEB, he won the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) award as the best chairman in the South-West in 2009, with N70 million given to SUBEB as prize money to build new structures. That was the first time Ekiti State won the award. Also in 2009, Adeyeye was adjudged the most innovative SUBEB chairman in the country and was poised to winning the best chairman in the country, which should have earned Ekiti State a sum of N700 million.
Because he was confident on his performance as Ekiti SUBEB chairman, Adeyeye had said while declaring his governorship ambition; “You all know the innovation I brought into Ekiti primary education in just two years, when I was the Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) in Ekiti. I will replicate this and take Ekiti to a higher height, if I am elected.”
And knowing the minds of Ekiti people concerning the present use of the State resources to develop other lands, which have caused capital flight in the State, he went further to assure that: “I am ready to tap the local talents in Ekiti, who are familiar with the plight of the people, to develop our dear state, if elected.
“I believe in party supremacy. I will appoint people who help us during the election into the executive council. I will not import people from anywhere.
“The importation of brains, to me, is of no use. There are a lot of talents in Ekiti that people can rely on, even in the PDP State Working Committee. The late Awolowo performed wonders in the old Western Region by making use of local talents, not foreigners.”
Adeyeye could not have reasoned otherwise because as a political scientist, he understands governance and politics. He knows the essence of carrying people along through adequate communication because he is a journalist. And above all, Adeyeye understands the importance of rule of law in a democracy because he is a lawyer.
Therefore, today in Ekiti, Adeyeye has raised the bar. He is talking about developmental issues even as those in power have through their orchestrated media war embarked on character assassination, obviously because they have realised that he (Adeyeye) is the main issue.