The Executive Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose, a native of Afao Ekiti, Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state is many things to many people. Some call him controversial, some say he is an ignoramus, others have tagged him an anarchist and a murderer. In all these accusations and jabs, Ayodele Fayose remains one of the most beloved Executive Governors in Nigeria; his cult followership has been unmatched. It is not surprising that he is self-styled “The Man of the People”.
From personally handing out bags of rice to workers, to distributing chickens at a police post, to sharing in the joys of palm wine at a roadside joint, to having his subjects roll, prostrate, wail, beg for mercy for lateness to work, Mr. Fayose has an interesting date with history—he is on the road to becoming one of the most popular Nigerian politicians of all-time.
His unconventional style places him as one with the Zeitgeist—he understands the prevailing politico-socio atmosphere that the average Nigerian breathes through. He understands that the average Nigerian tilts towards a show-and-tell style of governance even when propaganda and lies are pulling the puppet strings; he knows too well incredulity is embedded in political participation.
So, Governor Fayose knows this ‘game’ too well. It took an Olusegun Obasanjo (GCFR) to see through his infamous poultry project—it takes an astute politician to know another. He has been on the pages of newspapers for both right and wrong reasons. He was at the centre of a series of divisive images, ads and comments during the 2015 Nigerian General Elections; his yin-yang personality, as some may call it, has also seen him on humanitarian efforts “as a beacon of hope for every Nigerian who had been brought u without [a] silver spoon.”
Fayose philanthropy was shown during his electioneering campaign when he provided scholarships to students in higher education, free mobile medical services, free mobile water delivery services, free transport services to Ekiti residents. It should be noted that his philanthropy pre-dates his political career.
Born on 15th November 1960 to Pastor Oluwafemi Oluwayose and Prophetess Victoria Oluwayose, known preachers in Ibadan, Peter Ayodele Fayose grew up in the Oyo State capital attending Saint Leo’s Catholic Primary School in 1966 and obtained his Primary School Leaving Certificate in 1972. He proceeded to Olivet Baptist High School in 1973, obtaining his School Certificate in 1979.
Fayose was admitted to the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro for his pre-National Diploma. He obtained an Ordinary National Diploma in Science Laboratory Technology in 1984 before proceeding on a 1-year industrial attachment at Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN). It was at CRIN he proved his worth earning the nickname “Spotless”.
In 1985, Fayose was admitted for a Higher National Diploma programme in Biological Sciences/Applied Medical Biology at the Polytechnic, Ibadan, graduating in 1987. After his compulsory National Youth Service, Fayose journey abroad before returning to establish his company, Spotless Investment Limited.
On 29th of May 2003, Fayose was sworn into office for his first tenure as the second civilian Governor of Ekiti State on the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party. However, he didn’t complete his tenure as he was impeached on 19th October, 2006 following corruption allegations. His first coming was embroiled with so many controversies like the murder of Dr. Ayo Daramola, attempted murder of former Ado Ekiti Local Government Chairman, Taiye Fasuba, death of Tunde Omojola, alleged assassination plan on legal luminaries Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) and Femi Falana, and former Aviation Minister, Babalola Borisade. All these led to an alleged ‘killer squad’ overseen by the governor. The allegations also delved into drug use.
Fayose had been accused of misappropriation of state funds, illegal arrests and intimidation, abuse of office, assault on individuals including his father and state judicial officials. In all these, Ayodele Fayose seems to have found a way to swim in and out of allegations. And after defeating the incumbent, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, he was sworn into office for the second time on October 15, 2014.
He is hated and beloved in almost equal proportions. His unconventional leadership style has seen him go from lying flat on an altar, to siting erect behind a truck wheel. He holds a Doctor of public Administration (Honoris Causa) from the University of Ado-Ekiti, Best Governor in the South-West 2005 award from Global Excellence Magazine, Best Governor Nigeria 2006 award from the City People Magazine, Lagos, among others.
He is married to Feyisetan Fayose and the union is blessed with children.
Governor Ayodele Fayose is The Sheet NG Man of the Week.
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