#MinisterialList: Profile Of Ministerial Nominee ’Kayode Fayemi
Dr. John ’Kayode Fayemi was born in Ibadan, Oyo State on February 9, 1965. He was Governor of Ekiti State from October 2010 to October 2014. Prior to assuming the office of Governor in Ekiti State, Dr 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. Dr Fayemi attended Christ’s School, Ado Ekiti for his secondary education, Federal School of Arts and Science, Ondo for his Higher School Certificate and received degrees in History, Politics and International Relations from the Universities of Lagos and Ife in Nigeria and his Doctorate in War Studies from King’s College, University of London, England, specializing in civil-military relations. His research and policy interests include: Democratisation, Constitutionalism, Security Sector Governance, and Regionalism in the Global Context.
Prior to heading the Centre for Democracy & Development, Dr. Fayemi worked as a lecturer, journalist, researcher and Strategy Development adviser in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. He was Strategy Development Adviser at London’s City Challenge; research fellow at the African Research & Information Bureau in London, UK, reporter with the newspapers, The Guardian and City Tempo, editor of the political monthly, Nigeria-Now, management consultant at Development and Management Consultants. He did his national service as a lecturer at the Police College in Sokoto, Nigeria. As a prominent leader of the Nigerian opposition to military rule in exile, he was responsible for the founding and management of the opposition radios – Radio Freedom, Radio Democracy International & Radio Kudirat and played a central role in the opposition’s diplomatic engagements in exile.
Amongst his numerous academic and public policy engagements at home and abroad, Dr. Fayemi served as an adviser on transitional justice, regional integration, constitutionalism, security sector reform and civil-military relations issues to the Governments of Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Uganda, Rwanda and Ghana. He was the main technical adviser to Nigeria’s Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission (Oputa Panel), which investigated past abuses and also served on the Presidential Implementation Committees on Security Sector Reform, on NEPAD and on the Millennium Development Goals during the Obasanjo administration. He was technical expert to ECOWAS on small arms and light weapons and to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa on governance issues. He was also a member, Africa Policy Advisory Panel of the British Government. At other times he has served as a consultant to the OECD on Security Sector Reform and chaired the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative’s Committee of Experts on developing guiding principles and mechanisms of constitution making in Commonwealth Africa.
Dr. Fayemi is a Visiting Scholar in the Political Science Department, University of Ibadan and Fellow of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Ibadan. He was an Adjunct Professor of Security Studies at the African Centre for Strategic Studies, National Defense University, USA and a Scholar-in-Residence in the African Studies Programme at Northwestern University, Evanston, USA in 2004. Dr. Fayemi has served on numerous Boards including the Governing Board of the Open Society Justice Institute, Baobab for Women’s Human Rights, African Security Sector Network, and on the Advisory Board of the Global Facilitation Network on Security Sector Reform and on the Management Culture Board of the ECOWAS Secretariat. Dr Fayemi has written extensively on governance and democratisation, civil-military relations and security sector issues in Africa. Amongst his books are: Mercenaries: The African Security Dilemma (edited with Abdel-Fatau Musah – Pluto Press, 2000); Deepening the Culture of Constitutionalism: The Role of Regional Institutions in Constitutional Development in Africa (CDD, 2003), Security Sector Governance in Africa: A Handbook (edited with Nicole Ball, CDD, 2004) and Out of the Shadows: Exile and the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy in Nigeria (CDD & BookCraft, 2005); Reclaiming the Trust (Amandla, 2012), Regaining the Legacy (Amandla, 2013) and Legacy of Honour and Service (Amandla, 2014).
A native of Isan-Ekiti in Oye Local Government of Ekiti State, Dr. Fayemi was sworn in as Governor of Ekiti State on October 16, 2010 and completed his tenure on October 15, 2014. He has been commended widely as an apostle of civility, decorum and candour in public life who has brought his genial democratic spirit to bear in moderating the culture of hostility and brigandage in the political landscape of Nigeria. Notable amongst his legacies are the historic concession speech he made shortly after he lost the 2014 gubernatorial election in inexplicable circumstances. He is also credited for superintending over the presidential primaries of the ruling APC in December 2014 which has been widely adjudged as the most transparent and credible presidential primaries election in Nigeria’s fourth republic.
He is happily married to Olabisi and the union is blessed with a son – Folajimi Amandla.
STEWARDSHIP OF PUBLIC OFFICE AS GOVERNOR OF EKITI STATE
During his tenure of office, Dr. Fayemi pioneered several governance and accountability initiatives in Healthcare, Education, Infrastructure Development, Women’s Empowerment and Community Development that propelled Ekiti State to the top echelon of the development matrix at the sub-national level. The state was recognized severally both locally and internationally for these giant strides.
Some of his administration’s legacies in the area of Governance are the establishment of a regime of legislations to guarantee a predictable environment of good governance, transparency and accountability. He successfully domesticated the Freedom of Information Law making Ekiti State the first state to so do and also enacted into law a Fiscal Responsibility bill, a Public Procurement Legislation, a Public Private Partnership Law and a Gender Based Violence Prohibition Law amongst several others. For the first time in the history of the state, which was created out of the old Ondo State in 1996, his administration replaced the Edicts and Laws of the old Ondo State with the Laws of Ekiti State.
His administration instituted a social security benefit scheme – the first of its type in any state in Nigeria, which was backed by an enabling law. The scheme while operational in the state covered over 25,000 indigent senior citizens and has been adopted as a cardinal programme of the APC. Also in the area of Social Services, his administration instituted a Free and Compulsory Education programme up to senior secondary school level for all children and targeted putting a computer on the desk of every secondary school student through the Ekiti State E-School Project. Other accomplishments include the complete refurbishment of all the public secondary schools in the state; procurement and distribution of furniture as well as science and sports equipment to all public secondary schools across the state.
In the area of healthcare services, the Dr. Kayode Fayemi administration instituted a free health programme which focused on the vulnerable segments of the population – children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with physical disabilities. The administration invested heavily in capacity building, infrastructure and staff welfare in the healthcare sector and established health centres in all localities, while increasing immunisation coverage and disease control. We significantly improved maternal healthcare and made the regulation of private health institutions more effective. Through pragmatic investments in manpower development in the medical sciences sector – in the specific case of the Ekiti State School of Nursing and Midwifery, the students in the school achieved a 90% success rate in the National Nursing Examination. The administration also created a State Health Data Bank and renovated the secondary healthcare facilities in the State, while also enacting the Primary Healthcare Development Agency law. Ekiti State’s health sector indices for the period of Dr. Fayemi’s stewardship vis-à-vis the national averages bear testimony to the visionary leadership of Dr. Fayemi. It is noteworthy that Ekiti had one of the lowest maternal and child mortality rates in the country, the lowest HIV/AIDS infection rates and the highest life expectancy in Nigeria.
In terms of Infrastructural Development, pursuant of making every part of the state accessible by major roads, the administration accomplished the construction (or rehabilitation) of over 958 kilometres of Federal, State and Local roads. Dilapidated water dams in the state were also made functional again which increased water supply by about eighty per cent (80%). The administration got agro-business to thrive in the state and change the fortunes of the people. Over 15,000 farmers were assisted through the supply of agro-chemicals and fertilisers. This led to the cultivation of several thousands of hectares of land. The administration also made Ekiti State a most attractive destination for relaxation and holidays by developing the Efon, Okemesi, Ikogosi and Ipole-Iloro tourism corridor – successfully concluding the first phase of the re-development of the Ikogosi Warm Spring & Resort as the flagship of the tourism industry in the state.
In the area of equality and empowerment, our administration empowered women and indeed all our people regardless of any social markers such as gender, religion, tribe or physical ability, to fully maximise their potentials. In this context, the administration ensured about one third of all appointments and promotions were for women, while mobilising resources to attend to issues of concern for women – from maternal health and child care, to employment and freedom from abuse. Specifically, Dr. Fayemi signed into law, the Gender-Based Violence (Prohibition) Bill in November 2011, making Ekiti State, the first state to domesticate this law in Nigeria. Dr. Fayemi also signed into law the Equal Opportunities Law 2013, which prescribes that any form of discrimination in the sphere of political and public life, education, healthcare, employment, urban or rural dwelling and marital status will be eliminated. We also domesticated the National Gender Policy, while providing skills acquisition programme for out-of-school girls, supporting girl-child education and inaugurating the Family Court for the implementation and administration of children and family matters.
It is to the credit of his administration that Ekiti state was described in the Human Development Report (2012) as the most conducive state to live in Nigeria with the highest life expectancy of 55 years, above the national average of 50 years.