Unarguably, the trending question is: WHO WILL SUCCEED PRESIDENT MOHAMMADU BUHARI? This question permeates the political, business, religious and social circles and the painstaking search has transcended ethnic, religious, business and social groupings to pinpoint a capable hand, by his/her antecedents, to solve the myriads of problems besetting the Nigerian nation.
President Mohammadu Buhari, in spite of his challenges, is doing his best and his admirable achievements would be clearly rolled out at the end of his tenure in 2023. However, we are in dire need of a successor who can harness human and national resources, Capital Formation, Technological Development, Social and Political Factors to ensure a healthier Economic Growth for Nigerians and foreign investors.
Nigeria needs a successor, an ardent administrator, who is concerned about the well-being of the teeming masses!
Legal Luminary, Aare Afe Babalola SAN, advises that a credible choice should not be below 60 years, have a solid educational background, be of sound health and should not be enmeshed in corrupt practices. In his words “The candidate must also be extraordinarily brilliant and must have sound knowledge of the current affairs, work ethics, leadership experience, good human relations and also have a clear-cut vision and mission for Nigeria”.
In a similar vein, a former Military Head of state, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd) also stated that the country needs younger people to lead it as from 2023.
According to him “Nigeria of 2023 and beyond would not need leaders with a walking stick, but the younger generation to give leadership a new lease of life”.
Who is John Kayode Fayemi?
Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, a cerebral scholar and astute administrator is currently the Governor of Ekiti State and doubles as the Chairman, Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF). He has been described as someone with an ingenious capacity for good governance, best practices and ability to deliver public good.
Fayemi was Governor of Ekiti State between 2010 – 2014 before he staged a comeback in 2018. He ran a value- driven government with integrity and accountability as hallmarks. In 2014, Ekiti ranked first on the Transparency index of the BudgiT Report. In his current Report, Ekiti is rated amongst the top three States. Equally in the State’s Bureau of Public Procurement Website, every single contract awarded by the Government, the Contract Sum and the Contractor handling same are listed for public scrutiny.
Veteran Journalist, Segun Dipe, describes Dr John Fayemi as a focused person and a Promise Keeper: “He built his promises on 5 pillars, viz: Good governance, Agriculture and grassroots development, social investment, knowledge economy and infrastructure development. And he has ensured that he touched on all the five pillars”
Then and now, Governor Fayemi ensures that the dividends of democracy get to the people through a structural and economic development of the state with legal backings to every initiated policy. His legacy projects, alongside those of his predecessors (which he completed) say much about his commitment to service . Among the projects to his credit are the Civic Centre, Ekiti Parapo Pavilion, New Ado-Iyin Road, the Cargo Airport. There is also the Ikun Dairy Farm and Ranch, brought back to life in partnership with Promasidor with a daily production of 2,000 litres of fresh milk.
Other investments are JMK, Dangote and Stallion Rice Mills, Cassava Mills. In short, there is a total investment of about $300 million in the last three years.
Upon the receipt of the Governor of the Year Award (2019) from the Vanguard Newspapers Group on July 16, 2021, Chairman of the occasion and former Minister of Industries, Chief (Mrs) Nike Akande, said the Award was in recognition of Fayemi’s, “positive contributions to human, social and infrastructure development in his community, society and the nation at large.”
Dr. John Kayode Fayemi’s stint as Minister of Mines and Steel Development between 2015 and 2018, brought a huge revenue for the Nigerian Federation. Specifically, Gbenga Akinremi stated that revenue from exports in the mining sector increased by 592 per cent within one year of Fayemi’s stewardship and he was able to improve funding for the sector by securing over N70bn intervention fund from development partners including the World Bank and the Natural Resources Development Fund.
As Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) since May 23, 2019, detribalized Governor Fayemi has steered the affairs of the forum remarkably and impacted positively on the Nigerian Polity.
A source while commenting on the sterling qualities and performance of Governor Fayemi as NGF Chairman, noted with joy that “his colleagues love him, his leadership direction, and the dynamism he has brought to bear, especially on the NGF”
Dr. John Kayode Fayemi’s leadership approach stems from his ability to carry people along, irrespective of status. This trait manifested in his University days as the Secretary of the Youth in Solidarity with Southern Africa in Nigeria (YUSSAN) at the University of Lagos, as a Student Worker at the ANC/SWAPO Office in Nigeria located at Keffi, Ikoyi Lagos Nigeria and also as the General Secretary of the United Nations Students Association (ANUNSA). Fayemi also made a mark in the Movement for National Awareness (MONA) and as a vibrant member of the University of Lagos Students Union Parliament/Senate. At various times, he was Editor, Watch Magazine and the Editor- in- Chief, Alpha Magazine, the Eni Njoku Hall House Magazine. As a hobby, he was a member of Theatre 15, University Theatre Group.
Dogged Soldier in the struggle
Dr Sunday Aniyi in his Write-up, DR KAYODE FAYEMI AND THE JUNE 12 STRUGGLES had this to say about him:
“Of special mention is Dr Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti who was one of the young and vibrant foot soldiers who dedicated their talents, career, time, lives and all to get the annulment of the June 12 election reversed and see to the enthronement of MKO Abiola as President. He was arguably the engine room of the exile operatives, especially those in the National Liberation Council of Nigeria (NALICON) and National Democratic Coalition (NADECO). For Dr Fayemi, anti-military rule campaigns and June 12 was the struggle that defined his character as a man who invests his entire energy in whatever he believes in. Right from his University of Lagos days, he had been consistently involved in human rights and democracy agitations. Right from the Epetedo Declaration and like many patriots who had to flee for their lives to exile, Dr Fayemi exhibited valor and bravery of the highest order. The struggle to de-annul June 12 election signaled the steel of character he is made of. He demonstrated uncommon commitment and loyalty to the demilitarization of the Nigerian political space.
While in exile, he, along with others started the Nigeria Now tabloid which was published to serve as a counter force to military rule in Nigeria. He was the vociferous editor who combined studentship with journalism, activism and diplomacy. For example even though he was pursuing his PhD in King’s College, London under extremely inclement conditions at this time, he was a major protagonist along with other patriots such Tajudeen Abdurahamn and Olu Oguibe in the New Nigeria Forum”
He went on further: “He coordinated and joined in the many protest rallies held on the streets of London to draw international attention to the many atrocities occasioned by the military rule in Nigeria. It must be noted that his pro-democracy struggle preceded the June 12 election, but the annulment of the election gave him a wider space of involvement that went beyond the New Nigerian Forum’s activism. Providence positioned him ahead of a troubling time to serve as a field worker, organizer, consul, diplomat, courier, intelligence, officer, reporter, radio manager, journalist and advocate.
For example, in spite of the huge gulf in age difference between him and the heavy weight personalities he had to interact with, Dr. Fayemi remained a singular ally that major stakeholders in both NADECO and NALICON had absolute trust in.”
Also Bolanle Bolawole in his article Fayemi: Knight In Glittering Armour which was first published in Sunday Tribune of May 25, 2014 had this to say:
“Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, incumbent governor of Ekiti state going for second term, was a moving spirit behind NADECO Abroad, pillar of the June 12 struggle, and brain behind Radio Kudirat. Were he in the Army, his contributions to the struggle to enthrone democracy qualify him for the epaulette of a full General. Fortunately, he is one of a few of those who toiled for democracy who also have had the opportunity to nurture it. The giant strides he has made in less than four years in Ekiti attest to the view that those who fought for a cause are better able to advance its interests. This is understandable: Those who fought to bring us democracy are more likely to guard it jealously as well as demonstrate a passion to grow it much more than those who stood to be counted as supporters of vile military dictators.”
Again on Thursday, December 9, 2021 at the Auditorium of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, NIIA, Victoria Island, Lagos, Venue of the 60th Anniversary Distinguished Lecture Series of the Institute delivered by Governor Kayode Fayemi, former Foreign Affairs Minister, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, disclosed how Fayemi, whom he described as an “activist governor”, put his life on the line to set up Kudirat Radio through which NADECO disseminated its messages.
Akinyemi said “This is a country where people forget things so easily. The governor was the anchor, the motivator, the promoter of what became Kudirat Radio International. At that time, we had a lot of sleepless nights. As you know, we were broadcasting from one of the Scandinavian countries. This was a dangerous mission because you know how they (Abacha junta) went on this spree of assassinations of those that they felt were threats to the regime. But what you didn’t know was that the first radio freedom that was used in this country, he (Fayemi) brought in that radio to Cotonou, Benin Republic. He could have been arrested at the Airport if they had searched his bag and had found transmitters. And how he would have explained his way out of that, we thought of it, but he took the risk.
“Well, General Akinrinade and I were on the ground there biting our nails as that plane landed and wondering what would happen, but he brought in the equipment. I’m not going to tell you how we got the equipment into Lagos but they broadcast from Lagos for months while he was then setting up the permanent one. So, that was the risk that he took”. According to the former NADECO chieftain, “Being in exile was not Easter or Christmas for those who were actively involved. And at least, he risked it. We could say he deserves the reward of being a governor because he earned it”.
Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, Director General of NIIA, who also spoke at the occasion, announced Fayemi’s induction as a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs.
Flowing from the above, it is evident that Dr John Kayode Fayemi clearly fits into the specifications of the successor, to take over from President Mohammadu Buhari. His Excellency has the requisite educational background as a Scholar of International repute. Age is on his side and his health is not wavering. He has never been indicted for any corrupt practice in governance. He is an orator with power of delivery under any situation. He has the needed social and political connections across the length and breadth of the Nigerian Nation.
With Dr John Kayode Fayemi on ground, which candidate cum successor to President Mohammadu Buhari are we looking for again?
John Kayode Fayemi Ph.D must not run AWAY from the Presidential Contest.
He must throw his hat into the Presidential Political Ring. He has all it takes to be the next President of Nigeria after President Mohammadu Buhari. And he would govern Nigeria justly with laudable achievements to his credit!
JKF MUST NOT RUN AWAY!
JKF MUST CONTEST THE PRESIDENCY!
JKF IS THE BEST CANDIDATE THE APC COULD FIELD TO WIN THE PRESIDENCY!
Rt. Hon Orisalade Adetunji Taiwo.
Upara Orisa/Oluroye House