The Congress Hall stood still as he addressed the attentive audience. High-spirited and full of life, Governor Kayode Fayemi delivered one of the most compelling declaration speeches ever. Not even his traducers could disagree with his outline and vision to take Nigeria to the heights her progenitors dreamt of.

It goes beyond the beautiful articulation and the calm demeanour of the King’s College scholar. Fayemi, unlike other double-faced politicians, was not building castles in the air. He spoke strictly to the overwhelming challenges confronting the nation, however, did not blur out the prospects.

His delivery portrayed a well perfected Needs Assessment across the 774 local government areas that make up the country.

“Your presence reinforces my personal conviction that we are at a moment in the history of our country – and of the world at large – where we must, as a people, make the choices that will ensure that our nation is able to prosper in peace, unity, safety and security in the comity of nations. Trying times such as we are traversing as a nation and which we are witnessing on a global scale can, if properly managed, be converted into transformatory moments that allow both for the achievement of a fundamental national reset and a major leap forward in our affairs,” he said to the mammoth crowd that filled the hall.

It is quite saddening that Nigeria has been so unfortunate to have the crop of leaders that had steered her affairs in the past twenty years. The worst of us have always been fielded to rule even the best of us. That’s how pathetic it is.

And like Fayemi said in the Congress, while it will amount to an effort in futility to wallow in the unfortunate past, before us now is a choice to make. To right the wrongs of the past.

Of course he is not the first to throw his hat in the ring. Several others did before him and with the gale of declarations, there is a multitude waiting to join the race. But like an outstanding fellow that he is, Fayemi stood out like the horn of a unicorn.

Anyone familiar with Fayemi’s trajectory would agree that he has been a President-in-waiting, considering his lofty contributions to see Nigeria’s democracy flourish.

Amongst the array of aspirants, Fayemi is the only one with a significant track record as a leader, activist, writer and academic. This has afforded him objective viewpoints to the Nigerian situation.

For the record, he was a major victim in the junta days and the struggles that gave room for the transitioning back to democracy in 1999.

During the days of struggles, he was confronted with life-threatening scenarios that made him go into exile. All to ensure that the country is in the right direction and also in safe hands.

He has over the years forged ahead through robust engagements in national affairs as a scholar/public intellectual, civil society voice, institution-builder, political organiser with an unapologetic pan-African outlook.

Before being elected as Ekiti State Governor, Fayemi was Director of the Centre for Democracy & Development, a research and training institution dedicated to the study and promotion of democratic development, peace-building and human security in Africa

More so, his political profile reeks of excellence. From being a two-term governor to his ministerial appointment and two-term Chair of Nigeria Governors’ Forum.

A firm yet compassionate Fayemi would help Nigeria surmount her challenges sooner than expected, giving his socio-economic approach to issues, particularly the roaring insecurity.

“I have been privileged to witness first hand, the underlying commitment and sense of solidarity which Nigerians from all parts of the country share about the promise of the fatherland. And it has been my singular honour to have been an active part at various times of different detachments of the committed army of compatriots from various walks of life labouring with determination for our national progress to be both sustained and advanced.”

He continued, ” The adoption of broad socio-economic measures that enhance our capacity to fight insecurity must be done at the same time as investments in reinforcing the deterrent capacity of the state through its armed forces, security agencies, and policing authorities.”

For once, Nigeria has found a leader, technocrat and builder in one person. The best thing to do is to support this dream.

The article was originally published on Politics Nigeria.

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