Our attention has been drawn to a recent interview fielded by Senator Dayo Adeyeye where he was credited with saying that “the issue of zoning…was a strange word that was brought into the state’s politics by Governor Kayode Fayemi in 2006 when he was contesting the governorship seat.”

Our first reaction to this statement freely and publicly made by the Senator was that it was not only needless and ill-timed, but a faux pas unexpected of someone of Prince Adeyeye’s political trajectory. The Senator should know better and be properly guarded and guided in his utterance.

On a second thought, we will not be too harsh in our reaction to the Adeyeye interview, considering the timing and the mood of the moment. Rather we conclude that that the Senator was in a particularly pitiable mood and had uttered those words at the apogee of his desperation. He desperately craves relevance and covets noble status, preparing to trade all he has acquired to pander to where his ambition has directed him.

For starters, the assertion is an absolutely incorrect one. Governor Fayemi is a constant ideologue, who would never recant. He would rather be alone in his belief on an issue than keep shifting stance to suit the seasons.

Adeyeye must remember that he actually ran the gubernatorial race in 2006 and was roundly defeated by Dr. Kayode Fayemi. He came a distant second and only got more votes than Dr. Fayemi in only one Local Government, Ise-Orun LG, out of 16 LGAs.

If Adeyeye’s memory would carry him far back, he would remember that Fayemi did not at any point of the campaign in 2006, 2014 or even 2018 mention the word zoning. Neither did the party, Action Congress, nor anyone who campaigned on its platform then threw up the zoning card.

Rather, the Governor had always been categorical that he was not a supporter of zoning just as he said it even regarding politics at the national level. A good example was his interview with Yaqoob Popoola in The Independent in October 7, 2006, Fayemi stated unequivocally that he understood the sentiments but was not running on the platform of zoning but as an aspirant in a political party.

Recently, while reacting to various calls for Nigeria to have a president from the Southern part of the country in 2023, Fayemi said he understood why those who felt marginalised were clamouring for the zoning, but insisted that “in a country that is multicultural, multi-religious and multi-ethnic, one of the equilibrating mechanisms is to ensure that those in leadership represent the mosaic that the country is.”

According to Fayemi, “there are excellent Nigerians from all parts of the country…candidates from any part of the country can participate in the primaries ahead of the next general election.”

We therefore challenge Adeyeye at this point to refer us to any place where Fayemi had claimed to be running on account of coming from the northern part of the state, otherwise we take it that Adeyeye was merely hallucinating about what Fayemi never said in the course of the interview.


Obafemi Oluwadare Phd

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