The reality of life outside power has begun to dawn on outgoing Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose as he is being deserted by loyalists before finally leaving the exalted number one seat.
Many of the political office holders, aides, party faithful and supporters of the governor shunned a farewell dinner held in his honour on Friday night at the Government House, Ado-Ekiti.
The failed dinner was one of the week long activities to mark the end of Fayose’s tenure. A new governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, will be inaugurated on Tuesday at Ekiti Parapo Pavilion, Ado-Ekiti.
The sight of empty seats and wasted food and drinks were the major feature of the dinner at the Government House paivilion.
The dinner which ought to have begun at 7:00pm stipulated time, could not record up to 20 of the expected guests till about 12 midnight
Only journalists, armed security men, protocol officers and members of the team of a musician contracted to perform at the ceremony were present, as at 11pm.
Those conspicuously absent at the valedictory dinner were members of the state House of Assembly and political appointees loyal to the governor, Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries.
The development made food and drinks meant for the entertainment of guests to be wasted.
A Government House source disclosed that many of those invited are agitated over one issue or the other.
The source, who craved anonymity, disclosed that aside from the governor who paid himself and his deputy lump sum as severance package, including parting vehicles, none of the remaining appointees was paid a dime.
“Besides, all the 16 Local Government chairmen are battling to save their jobs in the court, as information was rife on Friday that the incoming governor had concluded arrangement to dissolve the councils anytime soon after his swearing-in on Tuesday.
“The comments of the governor earlier in the day also sounded shocking to most political appointees when he told them that whatever that anyone of them may likely encounter in the hands of the new governor should be taken calmly as such were a prize of leadership.
Commenting on the development, one of the personal domestic staff of the outgoing governor, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was not in any way disappointed by the people’s attitude, as such was common with human beings.
He recalled that when the governor was still very much in power, thousands of people would always answer his call at the slightest notice, such that the venue of any event organized by him was always overcrowded.
A political appointee who spoke in confidence said: “How do you expect me at such a dinner. Fayose only took care of himself and family, he did not take care of us because majority of us who served under him are suffering.
“As I am talking to you, he had not paid our severance allowance and his owing us many allowances. He denied us opportunities to assist people in our constituencies. That is why myself and a good number of my colleagues shunned the so-called dinner.”
Before the failed dinner, the governor had evening handed over the instruments of office to the Head of Service, Dr. Gbenga Faseluka.
He surrendered the handover note to Fsseluka at a special valedictory State Executive Council meeting at the new Governor’s Office in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
Fayose said history would be kind to him the way he managed the resources in trust for the people of the state.
He said he would be available to answer questions on who he ruled the state anytime he is called upon to do so.
Fayose said: “What has a beginning must have an end. It is not the number of years spent but the quantity and quality of achievements.
“I thank the people of the state for their cooperation and urge them to extend same to the incoming administration.
“I’m a man who came, saw and conquered. I can’t finish all, I have done my best.
“History will be kind on me as a man who has given his best to the people. I will remember all for your support, I bear no grudges against anyone.”
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