Dr. Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti State Governor) A Lost Asset by Oluwaseyi Oduyela/Washington, DC

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Dr. Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti State Governor) A Lost Asset Oluwaseyi Oduyela/Washington, DC I must confess that before yesterday, I knew little about Dr. Kayode Fayemi. His name did not ring much bell when I heard he contested for Ekiti governorship election. It may appear that the last person I remembered very well as Ekiti State governor was Otunba Niyi Adebayo; but when Dr. Fayemi lost the election like his counterpart (Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola) in Osun in 2007, no one believed that he will still bounce back as the governor. I did not read much about him in the media. All I know is that he is one of Senator Bola Tinubu’s boys. The media portrayed Fayemi as one of Tinubu followers. Looking at Tinubu junketing all over the world, and seeing Dr. Fayemi around him, on his entourage, made me to believe that this man, from Isan Ekiti, is one of Tinubu’s disciples. Yesterday, that thought evaporated and I was astonished to know that Fayemi’s pedigree is higher than that of his so-called Leader. Tinubu did not make Fayemi, Fayemi was already made. In fact, he is an international figure higher and greater in accomplishment than the Asiwaju himself. Dr. Kayode Fayemi attended the prestigious Christ School Ado Ekiti, just like my dear Editor Gbenga Alaketu, graduated from University of Lagos, went to Ife and had his PhD from King’s College, London. He had his PhD in War Studies, specializing in Military-Civil relations. He has done extensive research in Democratization, Constitutionalism, Security Sector Governance, and Regionalism in the Global Context. Dr. Kayode Fayemi is a former Director of the Centre for Democracy & Development, a research and training institution dedicated to the study and promotion of democratic development, peace-building and human security in Africa. He has also worked as a lecturer, journalist, researcher and Strategy Development adviser in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. He was Strategy Development Adviser at London’s City Challenge; research fellow at the African Research & Information Bureau in London, UK, reporter with the newspapers, The Guardian and City Tempo, editor of the political monthly, Nigeria-Now, management consultant at Development and Management Consultants and lecturer at the Police College in Sokoto, Nigeria. No one knew that Dr. Fayemi played a prominent role during the struggle against Abacha’s Tyranny. He was responsible for the founding and management of the opposition radios – Radio Freedom, Radio Democracy International & Radio Kudirat and played a central role in the opposition’s diplomatic engagements in exile. He gave a vivid account of the process and roles played in the setting up of Radio Kudirat in his book “Out Of the Shadows.” Dr. Kayode Fayemi has lectured in Africa, Europe, the Americas and Asia. He has also served as an adviser on transitional justice, regional integration, constitutionalism, security sector reform and civil-military relations issues to various governments, inter-governmental institutions and development agencies. Did anybody remember that he was the main technical adviser to Nigeria’s Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission (Oputa Panel), which investigated past abuses? He was also a technical expert to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on small arms and light weapons and United Nations Economic Commission of Africa on governance issues. He is also a member, Africa Policy Advisory Panel of the British Government. At other times he has served as a consultant to the OECD on Security Sector Reform and chaired the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative’s Committee of Experts on developing guiding principles and mechanisms of constitution making in Commonwealth Africa. It was thrilling to me when I learned that Dr. Kayode Fayemi is a Fellow of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Ibadan, Adjunct Professor of Security Studies at the African Centre for Strategic Studies, National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., USA. He was also a Visiting Professor in the African Studies Programme at Northwestern University, Evanston, USA in 2004. Dr. Fayemi serves on numerous Boards including the Governing Board of the Open Society Justice Institute, Baobab for Women’s Human Rights, African Security Sector Network, and on the Advisory Board of the Global Facilitation Network on Security Sector Reform and on the Management Culture Board of the ECOWAS Secretariat. Now how can someone with this resume follow Tinubu around the world? Fayemi is not a rising star; he is already a star at age 47! Why would he bury all he got, all he has made to be Tinubu’s follower? I still don’t understand how an international figure like Fayemi will now want to become a tribal integrator. From a very reliable source, Dr. Fayemi was once muted for the position of Under Secretary at the United Nations. Tinubu can never dream of such in his life time. Fayemi accomplished all these without contesting election. This is a man respected all over the world. At 47 he had accomplished so much and now self-dimming his own star? Being the Ekiti State governor, to me, is not a reward for what Fayemi has done in his life. Why would a great mind like Fayemi follow Tinubu to the The US Democratic Party National Convention (summer of 2012), bought seat for $5,000 and watch Tinubu’s Media Assistant-Sunday Dare lie that President Obama invited Tinubu to the Convention? Why? Why? I still cannot understand why and how we kill our great minds. When they talk about NADECO, we hear about Alani Akinrinade, Anthony Enahoro, Abraham Adesanya, Tinubu but the likes of Fayemi did not cross our minds as prominent role players. We did not even remember Chief Jumoke Ogunkeyede who lost his house in New York because of his roles and fight for democracy during the dark days of Sanni Abacha. Chief Ogunkeyede’s issue will come up later. The likes of Dr. David Akanji, Mr. Jolaoso and more were involved in the fight for democracy during the Abacha dark days, these men fought from exile but we know nothing about them. Dr. David Akanji, even with his physical challenges, (visually impaired) was actively involved in the Pro-Democracy activism of those days. Isn’t it ironical that the likes of Tinubu will have the likes of Fayemi following him around when the reverse should be the case? These are two people with different pedigrees, two people with diverse intellectual pedigrees. Is it because Fayemi is 47 and Tinubu is 60? Do we now see leadership from age’s point of view or from the pragmatic view? I still wonder why Mr. Bayo Onanuga one of those I respect most in Nigeria media, will pick Tinubu over Fayemi. Fayemi as it is, is the Chief Executive of Ekiti State, but I believe strongly and I know that he himself knows that he is under-employed and under-utilized in that position. I asked my friend who brought this issue up yesterday on Fayemi’s motive to want to pursue tribal agenda with Tinubu with the international image he as built for himself. I was wondering why we have not really felt his presence in Action Congress of Nigeria as the brain of that party. With his resume and what ACN stands for I see cognitive dissonance and I keep wondering if this is truly the Fayemi with the fat resume or someone else. Becoming the governor of Ekiti State is not a reward for Fayemi’s accomplishemts. What baffles me is how the likes of Fayemi allow themselves to be buried by lesser intelligent people. How they allow themselves to be used and suppressed. Why would people we see as elders want to kill future leaders of tomorrow? Simply for selfish gains? It is disturbing that people of our generation are doing this to our generation. Allowing ourselves to be used by older generations when what we are offered are just crumbs. Anthony Enahoro was 29 when he moved the motion for self-government in 1956. Yakubu Gowon became head of State in Nigeria at age 29. Barack Obama became US President at age 46. At 47, Fayemi already has a resume of a Presidential candidate and yet he follows the likes of Tinubu who have become professional politicians. The likes of Fayemi are and should be seen as alternatives to governance in Nigeria. Dr. Fayemi, what is the essence of your accomplishments if it all ends at the feet of some self-serving, greedy and intellectually bankrupt politicians. The French Philosopher, Renes Descartes, once said: “Cogito Ergo Sum”- “I think therefore I am.” Existence and essence are two different things. I remember now the Serenity prayer: God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change Courage to change the things I can and The Wisdom to know the difference. About these ads

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