Fayose: Role of a Tranquil House, One Year after

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By Stephen M. A. Gbadamosi

I recently read the book, There Was A Country: A personal History of Biafra, by one of the leading lights of literature in Africa, Chinua Achebe, and my conclusion, after devouring this masterpiece of a craft, was that the author’s angst was not so much against a particular ethnic stock as the mutual suspicion and betrayal among a conglomeration of people that had several opportunities of building an entity that could rule the world and they bungled all. A house that stands against itself cannot stand, so goes the saying. As this aphorism applies to all shades of human relations, so it does to various relations among and within all levels of governance.
Government, like all societies or entities that target success, must be cohesive; there is no gainsaying that. And this, I think, the people that formed the highest echelon of the Bashorun Ayodele Fayose-led government in Ekiti State had thoroughly thought out the moment they assumed positions of leadership, before they hit the ground running.
It is known to all, all the challenges face by the administration from the outset. What remains to be known is the secret of the success of the government within a spate of one year. To me, apart from answered prayers (as virtually all those who make the top hierarchy of the government, in one way or the other, are servants of God), is cohesion and oneness of purpose. The case of the state House of Assembly caught my attention the most.
At different non-formal fora, some people have argued to my seemingly inattentive hearing that it couldn’t have been otherwise, since most of those who constituted the new Ekiti House were former functionaries of his government in his first coming (it doesn’t matter even if a handful of them were among those who forcibly pushed him out of office), while others had said that the current members of the House would not risk being pelted with stone by the public, if they attempted antagonism to the executive (as a result of the electorate love for the governor). I think in the final analysis, both schools have a point. But what is largely unknown to the general public is that members of the House do have divergent views on issues, but that there is a way they finally come to the roundtable to harmonise their views and settle for a consensus. Speaker of the House, Pastor Kola Oluwawole, has said many times that the fear of the terror the last House allegedly unleashed on the innocent masses had always been on the minds of every member of the House, who regularly voice out that whatever would lead to havoc on those who elected them would not be condoned by the House. Thus, on every issue at stake, members of the House would first remove any option that could snowball in hardship in whatever mould on the constituents.
As a result, all of the decisions that the House had had to take had been rigorously debated. The result is that the governor has always had a solid legislative ground to build his executive executions on. A good example is the resolution of the House on the state pavilion constructed by the last administration. The resolution of the House on the non-completion of and haphazard work done on the project formed part of the reasons the governor asked the people of the state to mark his word that he would not embark on a white Elephant project in his tenure.
That the Fayose-led government has refused to owe the state workers their salaries like its predecessor is also partly a product of the stand of the House that a workforce with empty stomach cannot give any desire output. This was why the Assembly expressly gave the resolution for the state to be part of the Federal Government ‘bailout plan’ when the federal allocation to the state began falling short of the amount needed to pay the workers monthly.
Besides, where the government is thinking of how to shore up the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to reposition its financing and redirect it from the erstwhile dependence on Abuja allocation, the Ekiti House did not shy away from tabling all the available indices and exhaustively discussing how to harness the untapped resources of the state for improved IGR. The development gave birth to the passing of the Ekiti State Mineral Resources Development Agency Bill 2015 into law.
On all fronts, the House has been in tandem with the developmental stride of Governor Fayose, but not at a cost of friction during debate of issues. It is just that the members have vowed that any step that would truncate the peace and happiness currently sweeping through the state would not be taken by the current honourable House. The people must expect the synergy to continue throughout the tenure of the Fayose-led government for the state to be restored to its path of greatness.
As a matter of fact, the governor has said that as God, in His infinite mercies, gave him the grace and conviviality to continue to serve his people till the age of 55 years (and he is still counting), he would not depart from the path that the Almighty had set him on. Little wonder the state House of Assembly, in conjunction with traditional rulers in the state, recently, at a special plenary of the House in commemoration of his birthday, reviewed his actions, performances and dispositions towards governments, both at the states and federal levels, and came up with the verdict that Fayose deserved to be recognized as Leader of Opposition in Nigeria. The decision, they said, was borne out of the Ekiti governor’s lone voice in the wilderness against the perceived dictatorial tendencies of the current president, his outspokenness where perceived shortchanging of the masses was noted in federal politicking, among others. Thus, the Ekiti House wishes the people’s governor and the conscience of true opposition politics in present-day Nigeria, a la Mahmud Waziri of the past, the strength to continue in his people’s service.
Happy one-year anniversary to a cohesive government; Happy 55 birthday to a great leader; happy anniversaries to Leader of Opposition in Nigeria!

Gbadamosi is Special Assistant (Media) to the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly
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