The test of strength is not about keeping on but how you come back from defeat. The mental fortitude and ability to learn from why you lost in the first place cannot be taught. This fortitude and ability to evolve and learn characterise the victory of Kayode Fayemi, the Ekiti state governor-elect.
The political spotlight shifted to Ekiti state as the electorates trooped out on Saturday, July 14, to cast their votes and appoint the next governor of the state as the incumbent’s term draws to a close. Though over 10 parties put candidates forward, it was a two-horse race between the APC on whose platform Fayemi ran and the PDP, the party of the incumbent governor, Peter Ayodele Fayose.
Deemed fair by electoral observers, Fayemi was, after due collation of the results, declared the winner of the election, polling 197,459 votes; 19,345 more than the PDP candidate, Professor Kolapo Olusola.
In 2014, Fayose made a comeback to the governorship position at the expense of then Governor Kayode Fayemi. It was, like Saturday’s election, keenly-contested and ended with the surprise defeat of the intentions of the incumbent. In the four years since that defeat, Fayemi licked his wounds while carrying out his duties as the minister of solid minerals development, a post he resigned from in May 2018 when he declared his gubernatorial intentions.
Fayemi’s resilience is, however, not surprising. A former Director of the Centre for Democracy & Development, lecturer, author, journalist and strategy development adviser, he was a key member of the Nigerian opposition to military rule in exile. This period saw him saddled with the responsibility for the founding and management of the opposition radios – Radio Freedom, Radio Democracy International and Radio Kudirat.
We congratulate Dr Fayemi on the victory attained at the polls and hope along with former President Olusegun Obasanjo he reciprocates the trust of the electorates “by doing everything you can to strengthen their faith in democracy and in its ability to bring about improved material conditions and better service delivery to them”.