Brushing aside the norm, Ekiti governor appoints a septuagenarian as council chairman
Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State yesterday appointed a 72-year old Carpenter and illiterate, Mr. Olatunde Afolayan, as the caretaker chairman of Ijero Local Government.
The governor also sworn in members of the State Independent Electoral Commission, headed by a retired Chief Judge of the State, Justice Kayode Bamisile, to be able to conduct local government elections before the end of the year.
After administering the oaths on the appointees, Fayose told President Muhammadu Buhari to remove Mrs. Amina Zakari as the Acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, while also urging him to be equitable in appointing the National Electoral Commissioners.
Afolayan, who was sworn-in as caretaker chairman of Moba local Government, was inaugurated alongside Mrs. Omolara Bayode Ayeni and Mr. Owolabi Ajewole, who were to superintend over Ikole and Ijero Councils respectively, following resignation of those that had earlier appointed by the governor.
Fayose said many of the champions of democracy in Nigeria depended on illiterates to survive during electioneering campaigns, lamenting that some politicians get to positions of authority and forget these people. “In my government, whether you are educated or not, you will get something.
The vote of a professor and an illiterate is the same. So, under my administration, those who are not educated can rise to any level they want”, he said.
The governor had right inside the hall where the inauguration was performed appointed a graduate from the Ijero local government to serve as Personal Assistant to the new council boss.
Afolayan, who commended the governor for the kind gesture said, what he expected was for the governor to make him a ward chairman, promising to surpass the records left behind by his predecessors to justify Fayoses stand that local people are intelligent and visionary. “I had never gone to school for a day, but that does not diminish my intelligence. I may not be educated or certificated, but I have brain and experience to pilot the affairs of the council”. Commenting on his resolve to conduct local government election, latest by December this year, Fayose said members. of this honourable commission must be men of impeccable characters.
So, whoever has anything against any of the members must come forward to prove it and if you do I will remove such person immediately. It baffles me when leaders make their in-laws or friends or relations members of electoral body.
This is immoral. I have criticized President Buhari for making Mrs. Amina Zakari the head of INEC in the country based on certain reasons and I cannot afford to toe the same line. So, the people I have here are those that can do us proud.
I urge you to discharge your duty without fear or favour. Making a veiled reference to the refusal of former factional speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon Dele Olugbemi, to accept his membership of the House of Assembly Service Commission, Fayose said it was only God that saved him for the recent impeachment contrary to the claim of some people, he accused of double dealing during the crisis.