Guess the job as Fayemi prepares a release note: what next?
Many questions are currently swirling around in the minds of many Nigerians as to the next post of incumbent Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State.
With the conclusion of the state’s off-season gubernatorial election Saturday through Sunday morning (today), his exit from the Ado-Ekiti government house has become sacrosanct.
Fayemi enjoyed his tenure as the work took him to all parts of Nigeria by virtue of his position as Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF).
Before riding the soapbox for the second time to seek a new term in 2018, Kayode was a made man, having held various influential positions around the world.
As he steps down in a few months, having installed a successor, he has had to consider his future, part of which has had to inform his recent foray into the presidential race which suffered a setback.
Indeed, he must have wished to climb the country’s political ladder when he purchased his party’s form to compete for his presidential ticket for the 2023 general election. But high-level politics within the All Progressives Congress (APC) forced him to recant, resigning at the eleventh hour for Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a move that many analysts described as a compromise.
Fayemi was among 23 presidential candidates selected by his party. While a number of them wouldn’t have been erased, he was one of the lucky ones who made it.
Read also: Ekiti elects the 7th governor since the return of democracy
In Nigeria, the dream of many governors in their final terms is to go to the Senate, where former politicians who had been everything in the country’s political arena, retire after active service. But Fayemi neither chose a form for the Senate race nor coerced his party headquarters to claw back a mandate already given to someone else to allow him to be in the Senate by any means. Observers say the only hope for him to remain politically relevant may be if his party wins the presidential election, in which case he could be awarded a cabinet post.
Fayemi was Minister of Solid Minerals Development before retiring to Ekiti to contest the 2018 gubernatorial election and won.
He is unlikely to return to his profession as a teacher or journalist or other areas of endeavor where he had excelled before venturing into politics, after his term expires.
The experience in Nigeria is that political office holders who have left their professions never return to those professions. They hang around the halls of power.
He is also expected to play an active role in Tinubu’s presidential campaign by investing time and resources for an expected harvest.
After nursing and helping Oyebanji win a landslide election victory, however, Fayemi must avoid the mistake of his colleagues who failed to realize that yesterday is no longer today.
Being prying has created a lot of bad blood between many predecessors and successors. He will do well to resist the urge to think he is still in charge of Ekiti when Oyebanji should take the lead.
A Glimpse into Fayemi’s Life
After his first degree in 1984, he pursued the compulsory one-year National Youth Service Corps from 1985 to 1986, during which he served as a lecturer at the Nigeria-Police Training College, Sokoto. After his year of service, he worked as a research officer with Development & Management Consultants in Ikeja between 1987 and 1989.
When he moved to the UK to pursue his doctoral studies between 1991 and 1993, he worked as a research officer at the African Bureau of Research and Information in London. In 1992 he was a Tutorial Fellow in the War Studies Department of Kings College London during his doctoral studies. Later, between 1993 and 1995, he was Strategic Development Advisor to Deptford City Challenge in London and later served as Secretary General of Media Empowerment for Africa (The Radio Foundation) in London between 1995 and 1997.
He was also a reporter for The Guardian and City Tempo; and the editor of Nigeria-Now, a defunct political monthly magazine. In 1997, Fayemi returned to Nigeria where he established the Center for Democracy and Development Center for Democracy and Development, a research and training institution dedicated to the study and promotion of democratic development, consolidation of peace and human security in Africa, where he served as Director from 1997 to 2006.
Kayode Fayemi has taught in Africa, Europe, the Americas and Asia. He has also served as an advisor on transitional justice, regional integration, constitutionalism, security sector reform and civil-military relations to various governments, intergovernmental institutions and development agencies. He was the principal technical adviser to the Nigerian Commission to Investigate Human Rights Violations (Oputa Panel), which investigated past abuses and served on Presidential Sector Reform Implementation Committees security, NEPAD and the Millennium Development Goals.
Fayemi was a technical expert with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on small arms and light weapons and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa on governance issues. At other times he has been a consultant to the OECD on security sector reform and chaired the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative’s Expert Panel on the Development of Guiding Principles and constitution-making mechanisms in Commonwealth Africa.
Now, with robust international exposure, would Fayemi return to his strong point in academia to continue strolling the halls of power.
It is said that once one is politically exposed in Nigeria, the smell of free food and office perks makes one unable to leave the arena. This can be confirmed by the range of former politicians who, before their forays into politics, were consummate technocrats, doctors, among others, but who, after leaving political office, refused to return to their profession.