Fayose : A Gubernatorial Nemesis

with  Eddy Odivwri
eddy.odivwri@thisdaylive.com   08053069356

Those discerning enough would have known that it would just be a matter of time for Fayose to land in a big mess, not necessarily on account of becoming a self-styled opposition mouthpiece, but more because of the his guageless garrulousness.
After the defeat of the PDP in last year’s election and the subsequent trial of PDP’s former spokesman, Olisa Metuh, the governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, had become the unofficial spokesman of the party. With his sundry firings from the ruptured cylinder, Fayose had carried on as if the presidential campaigns were yet running.
I cannot forget his signature morbid advert in national newspapers implying that the APC presidential candidate at the time, (now President Muhammadu Buhari) was likely to die in office, just like several other leaders from the North-west zone of the country.
He had gone further to claim at the time that Buhari was terminally ill and had been flown to London (quoting a fictitious address of an hospital– located at Cavendish Street, Cavendish Square, W2 London West End, London.) claiming that Buhari was already on admission in the said hospital for some terminal ailment.
It was a hate campaign taken to a stretched limit.
One would have thus thought that after
the elections, Fayose would be a lot more cautious, sheathe his partisan sword and join hands in building the nation under President Buhari. But no, Fayose continued to fire all the arrows in his quiver, most times, unconscionably, perhaps persuaded by the infantile label of being described as the “voice of the voiceless and the hope of the hopeless”.
He had never ceased to taunt the Buhari administration, rightly or wrongly.
Two months ago, breaching all diplomatic levers of communication, he wrote to the Chinese president urging him not to grant the loan President Buhari had gone to China to solicit in support of rail transportation in Nigeria. Fayose had said many unsavoury things about his country and I could not find a better example of sabotage, if not treachery.
Perhaps he hit the overdrive when he accused Mrs Aishat Buhari, the wife of the President, of corruption having allegedly transferred some money to William Jefferson, a jailed American senator for a money-laundering offence.
It is often said that those who live in glass houses should not throw stone. But our dear Fayose mistook his glass house for a leather house. He kept hauling stones and pebbles at others, thinking that he is covered with a Teflon, on which no guilt can stick. How wrong!
Suddenly, he got linked with some huge money (N4.7Billion) traced to the Dasuki armsgate scandal. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which accused him of partaking in the Dasuki ATM (Arms Transaction Money) said Fayose got N1.2 Billion from the money meant for arms purchase. The account was frozen by the EFCC as part of its investigation process.
EFCC had also claimed that the sum of N4.7 Billion collected from Dasuki was channeled to Fayose through his ally, Mr Abiodun Agbele, who after receiving the “Dasuki money” transferred almost N1 Billion (specifically N956,490,000) into four  Zenith Bank accounts (1003126654, 9013074033, 10101170969 and 1013835889), all belonging to Fayose.
But the Ekiti governor in his defence had claimed that the money found in his accounts are the proceeds from his governorship election support fund, adding that his election was mainly funded by Zenith Bank.
Hear him: The management of Zenith Bank, which mainly funded my election called me to a meeting, where I was assured that funds would be provided for my election. I was asked to nominate a trusted ally to be related with and I nominated Mr Abiodun Agbele…”
But the Zenith Bank management had swiftly disowned Fayose’s claims stressing that the bank does not fund political activities, but admitted that Fayose is the bank’s customer.
Already, Fayose has gone to court to challenge the powers of the EFCC to freeze the account of a sitting governor.
But while the court decides the legality or otherwise of EFCC’s action, we can interrogate the claims of the governor.
How much did he realise from the election support fund that a whopping sum of N4.2 Billion will still be a leftover, two years after the election?
How could Zenith Bank, a publicly quoted entity, go so partisan as to brazenly sponsor a politician’s election?
Fayose did not say the fund from Zenith is/was a loan. He was categorical: Zenith Bank was his main funder!
And pray, if the bank was offering such huge financial assistance to Fayose, why request for a third party; after all, at the time of the said discussion, Fayose was not yet a governor. So why would the bank not deal directly with him? Fayose had further claimed that the bank was even in a hurry to open the said accounts and only remembered to collect the ID card of Mr Agbele a few weeks ago.
Between Fayose and Zenith Bank, who shall we believe?
Perhaps more remarkable is the protest of Ekiti people against Fayose after what seemed like a bubble burst. They protested his mismanagement of the Ekiti resources, pointing out the piling months of civil servants’ unpaid salaries. Few days ago, a counter group protested in favour of Fayose calling on the federal government not to persecute “the voice of the voiceless and the hope of the hopeless”.
But from here, I have no tears for Ekiti people. They were largely the same people who were overarched in their support for Fayose on account of the “stomach infrastructure” gesture and his political atmospherics. Whatever represented the scale on the eyes of the Ekiti people must have long fallen off.
It is in the same Fayose’s Ekiti state that a teacher who had not been paid for months went to steal a neighbour’s pot of hotly prepared amala (yam flour), and was caught along with her children eating the same amala with, wait for it, Palm Oil!, not soup!, while their governor (a stomach infrastructure exponent) who is fed and clothed at government’s expense, is hosting an idle N4.2 Billion in a private bank account.  How low and ironic can a profile get!
It is instructive that Fayose neither denied the amount found in his account or that of his wife nor did he disown Agbele, his ally. His grouse is whether or not the EFCC has the right to block his account, given his immunity as a sitting governor, as provided for in section 308 of the 1999 constitution, as amended. I leave that for the court to determine. But what is clear is that the emerging image of Fayose is that he is the nemesis of a people for whom a measly meal of cold porridge could be exchanged for a heritage of bliss.

pix: Ayo Fayose.jpg


Buratai’s Dubai Property and the Challenge  to a System
Hey, my brother, do you know all eyes are on President Buhari now?
Why? Is it because of the Brexit vote that asked United Kingdom to leave the European Union (EU)? Is he David Cameron who caused the needless stir?

(hisses) Who is talking about Cameron or UK or the so-called exit from EU? I am talking about the latest news in town?
You have come again with your CNN-without-cable knowledge. What have you heard this time?

(whispering) Did you not hear that one of President Buhari’s trusted ally has been fingered in an offshore deal?
Off shore deal? Buhari’s ally? Who can that be?

Hmmm, you mean you have not heard that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai has been accused of owning two big houses in far away Dubai? Did you not hear???
(hisses) Is it that one? Is that what you call a deal and make it look like it is one great offence? Does any law forbid a public servant from owning properties outside Nigeria?

(surprise) Really? Is that your take on the matter? Have you asked the value of the said houses?
I don’t care. So long as owning a property outside Nigeria is not a crime.

What a specious argument! So why was former governor of Delta State, James Ibori jailed for 13 years in the UK? Was it not for owning properties all over the UK?
Please get your facts right. He was accused and prosecuted on charges of money laundering, wherein he was found guilty and jailed. Not just because he owned properties in the UK.

So you mean there is nothing wrong in a public servant buying houses worth $1.5 million in a foreign land? Is that what you are saying? Or are you slanting your argument because the person involved is Mr President’s man? Is that not the kind of story the EFCC is always excited about?
Don’t make unguarded statements please. How is Buratai the President’s man? Just because he appointed him as Chief of Army Staff?

Ok, He is not Mr President’s man. But please can you tell me how he got $1.5 million to pay for the said houses.
You ask me as if I am Buratai or any of his aides. But from what I read from the statement from the Defence Headquarters, it was said that the money for the houses was paid instalmentally over time from the savings of the Buratai family. They explained that the investment was based on “capital market principle of shareholding”

Please don’t confuse me. What does that mean?
Hmmmmm. Buratai’s family. Savings. Instalmental payment… Really? Please how many people constitute this Buratai family?
Don’t you know he has two wives?

What do you mean by so?

What do the wives do and what is their source of income as to have helped in saving up $1.5 million?
I can show you the address of the Defence Headquarters, so you can go ask Buratai himself. Only your back will give the testimony of your adventure.
Look, the federal government has cleared him of any guilt. So why are you crying more than the bereaved?

That is the issue: on what grounds was he cleared? Was the clearance not hasty? What investigations have been done to warrant the so-called clearance?
My brother, my name is not Buratai. Don’t bathe me with JAMB questions. All I know is that the matter has been handed over to the Defence Headquarters to determine whether what Buratai did constitute an offence or not, and if it is, what sanctions should be applied. That’s all I know.

I am even surprised that you are merely parroting the silly narrative. Is it not for cases like this that you always jump up with a huge feeling of “yes., he gat them again”?
Are you not bothered that Buratai is handed over to the body he literally heads to determine his fate? Is that right? Why was an independent body not constituted to look into it? Do you even think any soldier worth his khaki will find Buratai, his Chief of Army Staff, guilty of any offence? Seriously?

So what is all the fuss about? Did anybody say Buratai stole the money with which he bought the houses?

Nobody has said so. But how and where did he get the money. That is the million-dollar question. If people are being hounded over N1.2 billion or N600million, shouldn’t we know how a serving soldier got $1.5 million? That is all we ask to know! And let me tell you, everybody is watching how both Mr President and the EFCC will treat this case.
The intensity of your question is making me to believe that it is indeed a cyber attack by Boko Haram whom Buratai has defeated on land and has now decided to launch cyber space attacks.

Please don’t confuse me. How does owning two houses at $1.5million concern cyber warfare? Thankfully, he did not deny the ownership of the properties.
You don’t understand. He is saying those accusing him of fraud are the same Boko Haram people he has defeated and are merely looking for any thrash to hang on his head so he can be discredited. Don’t forget he has noted that those properties were declared in his Asset Declaration form to the Code of Conduct Bureau. So it is nothing hidden. Don’t forget he has been in the army for over three decades.  His wives are quite industrious and very enterprising. He has held privileged positions, but nobody has ever accused him of abusing same. Look, you can be sure that his feat in degrading the Boko Haram terrorists is generating celestial and terrestrial enemies for him. Or don’t you know he is a courageous military tactician?

Look, nobody doubts his unblemished military profile. But in spite of all the accolades you may dress him up with, he will need to tell Nigerians how he got that amount, because all his salaries put together for about ten years cannot fetch him that sum.
(hissing) You talk as if you know how much he earns.