Fayose moves to ready PDP for 2018 guber poll

Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State


• Sacked Commissioners Regret Unfulfilled Expectations
• Fayose Showed Courage And Tact – PDP

When Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose met with all his political appointees about three weeks ago, they thought the parley would afford them the opportunity to bask in the euphoria of the success recorded during his June 21 victory rally, during which he celebrated the 2014 defeat of his predecessor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

On that day, the Government House, Ado Ekiti, was filled with jubilant appointees, who constantly reminisced over the now popular “16-0 victory,” which is how they chose to refer to the clean sweep of all the 16 local councils by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Expectedly, they must have hoped for a repeat performance in next year’s governorship. Sadly, most of them left the venue of the meeting with gloomy faces as it turned out to be a valedictory session of sort.

Fayose, who thanked them for their loyalty and support for his government, also hinted of a possible cabinet reshuffle. That notwithstanding, many of them believed it was going to be a minor shake-up, while some had reasons to complain in silence, how their expectations were yet to be met by the government that has not only allegedly starved them of funds, but also did not allow them express themselves.

Fayose runs an unusual kind of government, which some of the sacked commissioners said did not hold up to five State Executive Council (SEC) meetings since they assumed offices on July 2, 2015. The governor hardly operates from his office, as he is much more comfortable working from his official residence, where commissioners queue to see him with their files.

According to a source, “You have to gauge his mood even before you can discuss official matters with him, but he is blessed with sharp, retentive memory.”The Guardian gathered that the sacked commissioners this year have not received their salaries, or imprest to run their office, a situation that made most of them lose their goodwill in their respective constituencies.

A story is still making the rounds of how a commissioner was lambasted by members of his ward because he could not “reach out” to them during the Easter celebration. Despite the litany of complaints from some of these former cabinet members, who got their sack letters exactly two years after they got into office, none of them wanted to lose their jobs, even though some have little or no political value.

The affected commissioners are: Owoseni Ajayi (Justice); Toyin Ojo (Finance); Kayode Ojo (Works);  Bisi Kolawole (Environment); Lanre Ogunsuyi (Information); Kehinde Odebunmi (Agriculture), and Kolapo Kolade (Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters).

Others are Olurotimi Ojo (Health); Deji Adesua (Public Utilities); Jide Egunjobi (Education); Mrs. Olayinka Ogundayomi (Women Affairs); Tayelolu Otitoju (Lands), and Gbenga Olajide (Budget and Planning).

It was gathered from sources close to Fayose that the decision to dissolve the cabinet was “a collective decision made by some governors that commissioners should be relieved of their appointments after serving for two years, in order to inject new vigour into governance.”

Sources also disclosed that the governor had to dissolve the cabinet to pave way for some of them that have governorship ambitions to try their might in the forthcoming poll next year, while some of them were alleged to be holding nocturnal meetings with the opposition APC, with the intention of dumping the PDP.

A reliable source disclosed that the threat posed by the opposition, and the need to have a strong cabinet that can contribute to grassroots mobilisation towards winning next year’s election is the chief reason why the governor fired his cabinet members.

The source also disclosed that some former commissioners, who are political heavyweights in their constituencies may be reconsidered for appointment. “What Fayose did is normal and expected because we are facing another election next year. We are in opposition to the Federal Government and we need some commissioners that can pull serious weights in their local councils towards winning the next election. That was the mistake Fayemi made, as some of his commissioners were political featherweights, and could not pull strings during the election, “ the source stated.

It added: “Fayose has identified some of them that are only professionals but politically naïve, you don’t need them now. You need core politicians that have political value to survive challenges that the opposition will bring next year. The new set of commissioners will be tested politicians.”

It was also gathered that another reason why the governor dissolved the cabinet was to pave way for reconciliation with the splinter group validated by the court as the main PDP in Ekiti State, after the Supreme Court judgment being expected before the end of this month.

Another source, however, ruled out possibility of Fayose dumping the PDP, saying talks were going on with the splinter group to consider some of their members in the new cabinet in the spirit of reconciliation.

According to the source: “The cabinet had to be dissolved because we are expecting the Supreme Court judgment anytime from now, and we must incorporate some members of the splinter group into the new cabinet because we do not want to go into the election with a divided house. If you know how the strained relationship between Opeyemi Bamidele and Fayemi badly affected APC in the last election, you will agree with the governor that he needs everybody because we want continuity, whether the Supreme Court gives Fayose a nod to re-contest or not.”

The PDP faction loyal to Fayose, which is in stout support of the cabinet dissolution, commended the governor for his courage to do the appropriate thing at this time. The party said the decision would afford other members of the party an opportunity to serve the state again.

Rising from the State Working Committee (SWC) meeting, the party resolved that even though the decision to appoint and dissolve cabinet is exclusively that of the governor, Fayose had consulted with the leadership of the party and other stakeholders before bidding them farewell.

According to the party, the dissolution couldn’t have come as a surprise to any party member because the governor had intimated them of his plans over two months ago.The party equally commended the governor for giving party members, who served in the dissolved cabinet the opportunity to serve the state at this time when some states found it difficult to appoint commissioners for almost three years after the state governor had been inaugurated due to economic depression, which the country has been plunged into by the APC- led Federal Government.

The SWC also commended the former commissioners for their meritorious services to the state, adding that its was noteworthy that none of the commissioners soiled his or her integrity during the period they were in office, a situation it said defined the PDP as a party peopled by men and women of high moral standards.

The party, however, enjoined the former commissioners to continue to be upright and loyal to it as the high level of loyalty and mobilisation was needed now, as it would to a great extent determine their future appointment or otherwise.

An APC source, which spoke on the issue said the party was not interested in the development, dismissing Fayose’s government as a “failed government without redemption.”The source said, “APC is not interested in whatever happened to the sacked commissioners; nobody felt their impact because they served under a despot who will never take advise from them. Ekiti is already looking beyond that government and the PDP.”

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