The outgoing Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, left the state on Sunday amid hailing and emotional farewell from his admirers.
He had earlier on Saturday embarked on a ‘Thank you walk’ around major streets of Ado Ekiti, where he received accolades from traders, artisans and other residents of the state.
Fayose, clad in a T-shirt and a pair of jean trousers, climbed through the open roof of his Lexus jeep carrying a board with the inscription, “Ekiti-Kete, Thank You All and Goodbye.”
On Sunday, tears rolled down the cheeks of many who lined up the streets to bid him farewell en route to the Akure Airport, Ondo State, where he had to board a flight.
The second term tenure of the governor ends midnight of Monday (today), while he has a date to keep with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday by 1 pm.
Earlier at a thanksgiving held in his honour at the Government’s House Chapel, Fayose, in an emotion-laden voice, thanked the people for their support.
He told the people that he would always be with them, urging them to trust in God for a better future for him and the state.
The event was attended by traditional rulers led by their chairman and Oloye of Oye-Ekiti, Oba Oluwole Ademolaju; and the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe.
Also at the event were Mrs. Feyi Fayose; the outgoing Deputy-Governor, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, and his wife, Janet; the Chief of Staff, Dipo Anisulowo; Head of Service, Dr. Gbenga Faseluka; Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Modupe Alade; former Speaker, Kola Oluwawole; members of the national and state assembly, and members of the cabinet, among others.
At the event, Feyi said her husband would come back to Ekiti a triumphant man.
“We are coming back; I don’t know how, but I have 200 per cent assurances,” she said.
Fayose said he was leaving a contented and fulfilled man.
He said, “I’m contented, I’m happy and I say thank you. Don’t be discouraged, don’t worry about me, I will come back. I will rise to the glory of God. I have enjoyed uncommon grace; I will never complain but thank God.”
Fayose told Oluwawole, who was impeached as Speaker on Thursday by 14 members of the state’s House of Assembly, not to fight back.
“I don’t want you to trouble your mind, there won’t be testimonies without battles. Go and concede defeat in the overall interest of Ekiti. You were removed illegally but let God fight for you.”
In his sermon entitled, “Affliction shall not rise the second time,” the Chaplain of the Government House, Revd. Seyi Olusola, said a man must be ready to face affliction if he must rise.
“Don’t allow anything to trouble your mind, always come to God,” he said.
Meanwhile, Fayose on Sunday left for the Abuja office of the EFCC.
He said he was not scared of the detention of the anti-graft agency, adding that he wanted to go the EFCC deliberately in order not to give the impression that he would flee after handing over to his successor.
Speaking with our correspondent at the Akure Airport, Akure, Ondo State capital, where he boarded the plane to Abuja, the governor said he was always available for questions or interrogations.
He said, “My tenure expires on the 16th of October; this is the journey to Abuja. It is safer to be in Abuja than to be in Lagos and be creating the impression that you want to escape. There is no seaport in Abuja. The EFCC doesn’t need any drama; I am a man of courage. I have told them I’m coming and I’m on my way to them.
“So, after a meritorious service, anybody who wants to call me to question, I’m available to them, just one call away and my going now is my demonstration to them that I’m a man of my words.
“I’m not scared of anything. I always say to the people that the life of a man does not consist in the abundance of what he has. Life is for the courageous, not for the weak. I have served well, I have defended the common man in this country and I will continue to defend them.
“I will never be cowed by anybody. It is important to speak truth to power; I will not allow myself or any Nigerian to be oppressed.”
Fayose also declared that he remained the leader of the people of Ekiti State and would continue to defend them.
“In or out of office, I am always their leader. Ekiti comes first above everything and anybody and we will continue to defend our people, “he stressed.