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FAYOSE FLEES TO GERMANY

Posted by By ERIC OSAGIE, Abuja on 2006/10/23 | Views: 1760 |

FAYOSE FLEES TO GERMANY


Barely a couple of hours before President Olusegun Obasanjo’s national broadcast of Thursday, October 19, 2006, effectively terminating his turbulent three year rule of Ekiti State, embattled Governor, Ayodele Fayose, landed in the Federal Republic of Germany, to begin his journey into political wilderness.

Barely a couple of hours before President Olusegun Obasanjo’s national broadcast of Thursday, October 19, 2006, effectively terminating his turbulent three year rule of Ekiti State, embattled Governor, Ayodele Fayose, landed in the Federal Republic of Germany, to begin his journey into political wilderness.

Saturday Sun exclusively gathered that the ex-governor, indeed, watched the solemn presidential broadcast via AIT International satellite provider and immediately put a call to a close relation in Nigeria, as the president lampooned the Ekiti political actors of the theatre of the absurd and sealed his gubernatorial dream, asking if the family member too was watching.

Fayose, according to the family member, had regrets in his voice, even as he scoffed at the state’s lawmakers who he felt betrayed him, for also eventually losing out in the political calculation.
"They betrayed me. But they are not in power today. They thought they were undoing me, but they have become the biggest losers," the family source quoted the former Ekiti helmsman as saying, even as he expressed optimism of his triumph at the end of the day.

"I am not finished. I will bounce back," the governor was further quoted as saying.
The family source said that the governor was particularly bitter because on at least one occasion he had actually facilitated the visit of some of his state’s lawmakers to Abuja.
He said he had thought that they were going to honour an invitation of the EFCC to clear themselves of accusations of corruption, but they were actually on a trip to the presidency. Fayose had funded the trip to Abuja only to learn later that the legislators were already sold out and had actually gone to seal his fate.

Last days in Ekiti
Before Fayose fled the country, Saturday Sun gathered, he had become a totally sad man. Even as he exhibited occasional bravado, he was truly saddened at the tragic turn of events. He felt deflated by the action of the State’s Assembly men, of whom he had always boasted he had their support.
"He didn’t believe that the legislators could ever turn against him. The squealing of his bosom pal, Gbenga James also broke his heart," said an intimate source.

For the couple or so days he holed up in a hideout in Ekiti, the once boisterous governor had become a shadow of his old self. He looked gaunt and defeated, often staring into empty space.
"He didn’t leave government house with anything. Not even an extra shirt. He thought he would overcome his travails. He left everything like a man on an outing who expected to return home soon. His personal effects are all over the office and home, his cars are there.

He didn’t have any exit strategy."
The embattled governor, according to the intimate source, also lost his appetite during the travails that saw him losing his exalted seat.
"When you placed food before him, he would just be gazing at it. His lips had become white. He looked like someone in a dream or one just waking from a nightmare. He looked dazed."

Regrets
Fayose’s major regret as he stepped out of the country, Wednesday night, was that he trusted people, including a senior female government official, he shouldn’t have trusted. He was said to have virtually lived under the manipulation of several of these government officials, believing that no one could outsmart him.
"But he ended up underestimating these people, and it was one of the factors that hastened his crash from power. "

The governor, it was also gathered, regretted some of the battles he got into. During his turbulent tenure, he fought virtually everyone: traditional rulers, political class, sections of the media, even some of his family members, including his younger sister, Bimpe Sorinolu.

"He didn’t select his battles. Like a tactless warrior, he fought every battle and wore himself out. He also realizes he didn’t treat members of his family too well. He didn’t empower any of them. Instead, whatever money he may have made from government are with his friends and associates. He is the ultimate loser in this drama," said a close source.

However, Bimpe, the embattled governor’s younger sister, said in an interview with Saturday Sun, that the family is optimistic that Fayose will bounce back, his current travails notwithstanding. She dismissed the insinuations that any member of the family is happy about Fayose’s ordeal.
"It’s ridiculous to think we can be happy," said the socialite-turned-pastor. "He is still our brother, governor or no governor. He was in power to serve and he served well. He wasn’t there to enrich his family. We can only pray that this cup will pass over him.
This is his own wilderness. He will overcome it, by God’s grace."

Poultry mess
With enough time to reflect now, the suspended governor, is said to be also filled with regrets for dabbling into the poultry project. He was quoted to have told a close associate when the impeachment saga started. "Had I known, I would have left this poultry nonsense. See, what this thing [poultry project] has cost me."
Over N1.3billion was allegedly squandered on the poultry project with little on ground to justify it. This and other alleged sins, became the issues that finally nailed the Fayose’s political coffin.

2007 and Aso Rock’s finger print
Next year’s general elections and the battle to occupy the Ado-Ekiti Government House, were no less instrumental factors that led to Fayose’s crash. Like a stubborn fly that follows a corpse to the grave, Fayose was alleged to have adamantly refused to drop his ambition to run for a second term. Twice, Saturday Sun gathered, he had been told by the presidency to drop his re-election dreams and plot an exit strategy, since ‘his security file was very dirty.’

"But Fayose would agree with the president in Aso Rock, only to go back to Ekiti to do a different thing altogether," said a source. The president soon lost patience with the ‘unstable man.’ And from then on, it became easy to get the Assembly men to deal with the Fayose issue. The issue then became ‘when’, and not ‘if’, he would fall.
That question was answered in the early hours of Thursday. And Fayose went into the long night, to resume life as a former governor!

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