Tony Amadi takes a look at a corporate and political strategist aspiring to occupy Ekiti Government House
Nigeria’s political roadshow is gathering steam. With the most contentious election mercifully over with the conclusion of the Anambra gubernatorial contest. The next stop would be in Ekiti State, the Land of Honour and Integrity, a state that claims to be the fountain of knowledge with more professors than anywhere else in Nigeria. Governor Kayode Fayemi, the present governor of the state would be rounding up his term and apparently will be seeking higher laurels as the President of Nigeria in 2023 if his party gives him the presidential ticket and if he manages to fight off the threat of the Jagaban, better known as Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Nigeria’s ruling party and former governor of Lagos from 1999 to 2007.
Dr. Fayemi has already started an extraordinary political roadshow with his appearance at the Zik Lecture series at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka in Anambra state where he gave a great speech in honour of the famous former President of Nigeria, postulating that unity will be guaranteed with Zik’s spirit among Nigerians. The seemingly fearless politician was obviously trying to win South-east APC national convention votes by that singular gesture. Governor Fayemi may hope to install a member of his party, the ruling APC to replace him when he leaves the governor’s office next year, but the opposition party, the PDP has surprisingly assembled an array of greater minds that will do justice to governance to the people of Ekiti when Fayemi leaves office.
Political stalwarts are now lining up to register their interest in governing the state and there is quite a number of interested Ekiti leaders who want the job badly. Since 1999 when a new political dispensation took off following the end of military rule, the state had a population of 2.3 million according to the 2006 census while the 2016 census gave Ekiti a population of 3.2million. Past civilian governors included Niyi Adebayo whose father was military governor of the old western state now divided into six states followed by governor Ayo Fayose, Engr Segun Oni and now John Kayode Fayemi who is expected to leave office after elections fixed for 18th June 2022 and Osun state on July 16, 2022.
There is certainly a jewel in the pack rearing its head among the aspirants jostling for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidacy who should win the governorship race when Ekiti goes to the polls next year.
The young ex banker, corporate and political strategist is Mr. Kayode Adaramodu from the Ekiti South senatorial district which has so far not produced a governor just like the Anambra scenario where the south sought and ultimately won the gubernatorial election through Governor-elect Charles Chukwuma Soludo. Ekiti APC is obviously hopeful to retain the governorship when Dr. Fayemi bows out, but PDP strategists in the state believe that their time has come and that it would be difficult for the state’s ruling party to retain the position.
Like a football manager moving to take over a team headed for relegation, winning his first match in charge is a very crucial step to take, and that is what in political terms, Senator Iyorchia Ayu at the helm of the PDP chairmanship seat wants to do with the Ekiti governorship election, the first election in his chairmanship calendar. Mr. Adaramodu will first have to win the party’s nomination to stand a chance and he has assembled a powerful team of battle tested men and women to work behind the scene on his behalf. If the quest to have a Southern Ekiti candidate pulls through, it could be an advantage for the savvy banker turned politician. He will then have to contend with the ranking Senator Biodun Olujimi who comes from the South as well. Top political analysts believe however that Olujimi would be content to remain in her safer senate seat rather than test the muddy gubernatorial waters with its shark infested environment. At age 50, the younger southerner Adaramodu has all it takes to fight the good fight and win not only for the Southern senatorial district but the rest of the state especially with the dynamic economic, infrastructural and educational content of his manifesto.
Kayode Adaramodu’s banking skills was discovered by Chief Tayo Aderinokun, the late former Managing Director and co-founder of the Guaranty Trust Bank, one of the most successful new age banks in Nigeria and decided to explore those skills through foreign affairs placement in Gambia and other west coast of Africa destinations where he opened new and successful branches. His performance in those postings was instant success before the fast moving GTB boss sent Kayode to his home base in Ekiti to open up banking liaisons with the government in the equally progressive state.
It was during that period that Adaramodu not only consolidated GTB’s success in its Ekiti state operations, but prepared useful position papers on the economy of the state that Governor Ayo Fayose tapped into the young bankers’ brilliance to the advancement of his government. It was no surprise therefore that the wealth of knowledge of the young banker gravitated to a discovery of a brand new political economy blueprint he now intends to unleash on the state’s governance. In the process, his study in governance at home and abroad added to his vision in taking his home state to the economic boom he intends to foist on the state if elected as its governor in the 2022 gubernatorial elections.
What specifics would a future Governor Adaramodu bring to the table of governance in Ekiti? Apart from his software engineering and banking experience, the governorship aspirant’s British work experience cannot be underestimated. A corporate strategist in his own right, he is not completely new in political strategy, having contested for the Ekiti South Senatorial election when he was even much younger and learnt how to swim with the sharks more than ten years ago, adding hugely to a work experience that saw him through the British system of organizational competence. It will be interesting to see a team of young and upwardly mobile group of young men and women take over the reins of power in a new Nigeria that the youths are anxious to give a new direction.
Is Adaramodu worried about the incumbency powers of the present governor foisting his APC acolyte to government house in 2022? Those who know the PDP aspirant say he is a dogged fighter concerned with fairness, justice and equity in all aspects of life. Dr. Fayemi may have done well in his tenure, but Ekiti people are too intelligent for an individual, whatever his position in society may be to muzzle them with incumbency powers or whatever you call it, analysts say. I am told that the pragmatic Adaramodu is concerned with instituting an economic powerhouse in his home state of Ekiti in which the people will explore economic opportunities in their local government areas, rather than moving to urban centers to chase non-existent job opportunities; activate infrastructure deficits, especially roads to connect the local government areas to power the local economy and fine tune the educational infrastructure to further accelerate the already high standards in that sector.
The zoning skirmishes are still going on for the next governor of Ekiti to come from the south senatorial district. If it goes through as it did for Anambra State, Adaramodu stands to benefit more than others. Zoning or not, Mr Kayode Adaramodu is however confident of what package he has got for his beloved Ekiti people that will land him at the helm of affairs of the state in 2022. This much was evident at the recent PDP National Convention where he spoke to ARISE News with the kind of confidence reserved for winners and seasoned political strategists. The mistakes of Anambra PDP primaries must be avoided in Ekiti or the party would suffer the same fate the Peter Obi led group suffered in the Southeast.
The road to Ekiti government house isn’t going to be easy for any of the two major parties or any other party in the state, for that matter, but the credentials of some candidates such as Kayode Adaramodu stand out clearly as the race intensifies.
The young ex banker, corporate and political strategist is Mr. Kayode Adaramodu from the Ekiti South senatorial district which has so far not produced a governor just like the Anambra scenario where the south sought and ultimately won the gubernatorial election through Governor-elect Charles Chukwuma Soludo. Ekiti APC is obviously hopeful to retain the governorship when Dr. Fayemi bows out, but PDP strategists in the state believe that their time has come and that it would be difficult for the state’s ruling party to retain the position