Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti State Governor-Elect, has listed “respect for leaders” as some of the Ekiti values he hopes to restore when he assumes governorship of the state for a second term, beginning from October.

Although he didn’t say so expressly, he was probably referring to the outgoing Governor of the state, Ayodele Fayose, who seemed to relish every chance to have a go at 75-year-old President Muhammadu Buhari.

Since Buhari emerged presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in late 2014, Fayose has consistently rebuked him for his age, once going as far as saying Nigeria was about to go the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua way. Yar’Adua was the President who assumed office in May 2007 but died in May 2010 after battling terminal illness, which included a lengthy, unlawful medical trip abroad. 

Fayose was about the fiercest critic of Buhari’s own extended medical vacation abroad in 2017, even though the President duly handed over to his deputy.

Even when Buhari clocked 75 in December 2017, Fayose couldn’t resist a dig, including in his congratulatory message: “I am not a fan of an old man and this is not personal and peculiar to President Buhari. We need an agile president come 2019.”

It appears Fayemi took special note of all those utterances, as he said while addressing reporters in Isan-Ekiti on Sunday, shortly after he was declared the winner of the governorship election: “The victory of this election, I believe, is for reclaiming the land and restoring the values of our people.

“Our values in Ekiti are respect for our leaders, commitment to our people, non-brigandage, non-criminality and so on.”

Fayemi also dedicated his victory to the people, arguing that it is indicative of how the 2019 elections would turn out.

“This victory is a victory for all, it is not a victory for only Gov. Kayode Fayemi, it is a victory for all the Ekiti people,” he said.

“It was not just an Ekiti election; I want people to understand that this election has a lot of significance to the future of democracy in Nigeria.

“The fact that we have witnessed a free, fair and transparent election process has huge importance for similar exercises like Osun state next door to us and eventually the national elections in February 2019.”

 

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