The Oasis Reporters
March 26, 2018
A professor of Building Technology at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Kolapo Olusola Eleka, was surprised at the hurried and frenzied interest a man suddenly had in him.
But that man was no ordinary guest. Everyone knew him as the governor of the sleepy south western state of Ekiti, noted for producing one professor per square metre, even when the laid back state has little or no industries. In Ekiti State, one was either a farmer or a teacher, and pounded yam was the staple.
Then President Olusegun Obasanjo as president behaved more like a garrison commander who could remove any governor that he didn’t like, and appoint new candidates that would do his bidding.
Ayo Fayose was the unfortunate governor who fell foul of Obasanjo’s secret and personal code. Fayose was forced out of office and his then deputy was fingered as the point person in the unfortunate impeachment saga. As Fayose bit his toe nails in regret, he waited for the shadow of Obasanjo’s towering darkness to disappear, and a few years down the line, came President Goodluck Jonathan.
Kolapo Olusola Eleka’s father was to receive former governor Ayo Fayose in his sitting room. The honoured guest had a message for the old man.
“Pa, I’m so sorry. The Party is insisting that you cannot be my running mate in the forthcoming gubernatorial election on account of your advanced age”, Ayo Fayose began in that hot season of 2014 as then PDP candidate in the Ekiti governorship election.
Fayose had wanted a much older man who would be too matured to think of stabbing him in the back or rocking the boat.
All the same , Pa Eleka took it in good faith and was happy enough that he was even considered as a potential candidate. He visited Fayose to express gratitude. While he was there with Fayose, his phone rang and his son who had accompanied him said, “Daddy, doctor wants to talk with you.”
According to the New Telegraph, an online blog, “Fayose thought it was a medical doctor monitoring Papa’s health and excused him so he could have some confidentiality”.
When he rejoined his visitor, Fayose asked him the nature of the illness that warranted a doctor monitoring his movement. Pa Eleka surprised Fayose when he told him he had no such troubles and that the person who just called him was his son.
“So you have a medical doctor son?” Fayose asked, to which Pa Eleka responded that the son in question was a PhD holder and lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University. Fayose asked if he could meet the son and a meeting was arranged for the next day.
On meeting the younger Eleka, something in Fayose told him that was his deputy. The rest became history.
Based on his first tenure experience that was cut short by six months with the alleged secret hand of his deputy, Fayose minced no words in telling Olusola that he should focus on being deputy governor only, without hope of succeeding him as governorship candidate.
Eleka acquiesced. After all, his teaching job at the Obafemi University, Ile – Ife awaited him. Four years of experience as deputy governor was more than enough addition to his curriculum vitae.
He was contented to be a loyal deputy. And loyalty was Fayose’s most prized attribute. Including of course, humility. Eleka had both in suffusive quantity. He obeyed the governor implicitly and never went beyond his brief.
While princes played at the court, Olusola kept his distance and respected his brief. Unknown to him, Governor Ayodele Fayose was keeping watch over his mien. He was thoroughly satisfied and like a thunderbolt, Fayose sealed the succession dreams of the princes at play in the court. He made a ‘U’ turn and announced “Deputy” as his preferred candidate in the forthcoming gubernatorial election coming up on July 14 this year.
The shock and consternation in the comity of princes and oh, princesses in the court at Ado Ekiti Government House is better imagined than explained. True characters are revealing themselves and reviewing their mien. But Fayose is a resolute person. A good planner and an adroit keeper, he knows how to catch all his balls.
Eleka too, has his impeccable credentials. He will borrow street cred from the man who’s been there and being a praying pastor of the Christ Apostolic Church, CAC himself, God will help him.
Fayose on his part, called it as the wish of God and he’s going to back his deputy,
Olusola, who is as shocked as everyone else about the turn of events.
This will be a prize for unassuming loyalty and quintessential service.
In the coming months, nerves are expected to calm down, mountains would be made plain and Ekiti State will have its breath of fresh air.
It will be very interesting.
Additional material : New Telegraph