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Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

IN accordance to the moral rectitude of being fair and square, there is the need to publish responses from avalanche of responses, reactions and rebuttals this columnist received, though few were veiled villifying and vindictive in colou, content and context. Presented hereunder are some of the responses:

Your column in “The Nation on Sunday” today entitled “National values: A tale of two governors” in which you insidiously portrayed Gov Kayode Fayemi as likely not having the vaguest idea of what Ekiti values should be as the Chief of State and your underhand tactic by insinuating that his integrity may not be much to write home about, using the promise he supposedly made to Dr. Blessing Aarinola Olaiya in 2018 as a smokescreen has, once again, necessitated a response from me not because of anything but your lack  of  due diligence on the two strands on which your veiled criticism of the governor rests. Please bear in mind that my response should not be construed as an attempt to gag you because it was only a few days ago that I went down this road with you as a result of another subtle inanity from you that was directed on the person of Gov Fayemi on this platform (Ekiti Future Agenda – WhatsApp platform).

And please be rest assured that I’m not in the position to know whether or not Gov Fayemi has redeemed the promise he purportedly made to Dr. Blessing Olaiya since 2018 because that’s the other leg upon which your criticism hinged, but your inability, if not unwillingness, to holistically look at Fayemi’s interventions in the area of values orientation and his style of doing things that resulted in your crass comparison of the man with his Ogun state counterpart as I will enunciate presently.

Your assertion that Fayemi made a statement that “Ekiti should not be known for stomach infrastructure as characterized by the erstwhile Gov Ayo Fayose” cannot be faulted and neither his admonition that “the core values of hard work and excellence for which Ekiti people are known” as demonstrated by Dr. Olaiya. But you gave yourself away, once again, as an unabashed critic of Fayemi when facts are readily available that should have enabled you to come up with sound and respectable criticism when you unintelligibly asked the governor “what are the core values we are known for in Ekiti?” as if you just arrived from Malaysia or Singapore after a long sojourn?

Please be reminded that Fayemi, in his second coming, made “Reclaiming our land, restoring our values” his campaign mantra and he has done (and still doing) everything conceivable to making this mantra a reality in his administration of Ekiti state and even beyond. In case you’re not aware, these are some of the things Fayemi has done (and continues to do) in answering your patently mischievous rhetorical question:

The Fayemi administration has developed Curriculum on Values Education for public schools, both primary and secondary schools. There are textbooks for these public schools on Values Education. There’s a monthly Seminar on Moral Rebirth at Ado Correctional Custodian Service Center. There’s a weekly Values Orientation Discussion on Television and Radio. There’s an ongoing two weeks camping for mentoring and personal development programs for teenagers and youths at the government owned Values Academy. These are some of the things I can readily recall here that Fayemi is doing in order to bring the restoration of Ekiti values into reality. The fact that you failed to do your homework on your subject matter before going to the market square not only calls into question your intellectual integrity, but also your objectivity as you’re wont to have your readers believe.

While I’m not in the position to know whether or not Gov Fayemi has redeemed his pledge to Dr. Olaiya (and that’s not even the point here), you erred by extrapolating an isolated individual promise to question the man’s integrity. And this is simply a hit below the belt that must not go unchallenged.  Assuming for the sake of this response that he hasn’t, Fayemi has done far more in the institutionalization of values orientation in Ekiti State than in Ogun if you must make a comparison. And I await your countervailing response about this empirical evidence.

Pray, Dr. Ekundayo, is it not under this same Fayemi that the School of Medicine of the State university became accredited after several years since the creation of that college? Is that not better than the amount of money and house he would have given to a single individual? What is more, most of Fayemi’s interventions for individuals are done outside of public glare and that’s just his style of doing things. So, you may never know!

Dr. Ekundayo, as much as I believe that Fayemi must have his own critics (just as every Jesus must have his own Judas) you’re increasingly looking like someone who will never see anything good in Fayemi or his administration. And that’s why you’re now a person of interest to me especially as we shall soon enter another hot electioneering summer which your increasing underhand criticisms of the man (even though he won’t be running) may well be a dress rehearsal.

But we shall see!

FEMI ODERE, SSA Diaspora Affairs to the Governor

Responding to Mr. Femi Odere: You think we don’t have the right to INSIST on the Governor doing the right thing? Are these the kind of people who advise Mr Governor? People should learn to calm down when questions are asked, people are trying to apply decorum in their responses and the SSA is throwing caution to the wind by labeling people all manner of subtle names.

Mr Governor is our servant, we voted him, we can question him, we can force him to do the right thing and by the way nobody forced Mr Governor  to make a promises to Arinola only for us to be told that Arinola needs to do a follow-up on promises, really! You mean somebody who broke a 28yrs old record needed to be going to government house or calling the people in government to do what they promised to do? The SSA has failed to answer all the questions raised in the write-up and has rather focused his attention on the writer. The fundamental question raised in that write-up is still unanswered: “what are the values we are known for in Ekiti?” We were told not to talk, we kept quiet because the “omoluabi” thing understands the place of respect but the “omoluabi” thing teaches me not take it easy on bullies; this to me is bully.

Mr Governor made a promise and failed to keep the promise; “I want to pledge before this august audience and the council, she hasn’t told me what she wants to do but whatever she tells me, she can consider it done . . . If she wants to go into houseman ship, residency or even a PhD in medicine, we will support her. It is very important to us that we restore the values for which we are known in Ekiti.”  that is not integrity, it is possible that Mr Governor forgot which is why he has a lot of appointees to do the reminding, your duty as an SSA is to remind him and not to defend what is obvious or whip up unfounded sentiments by leaving the “¹t¹ and chasing làpálàpá”. SSA should as a matter of fact move on and stop telling us how to think about a government that was elected by the people.

Aduloju Olabayo,

Ekiti State became synonymous with educational pursuit. We produced great scholars.We produced Professor Adegoke Olubunmo who later became the first Professor of Mathematics in Nigeria,so many became the first professor in their chosen fields in Africa.Now to the main topic.

December 2018, something remarkable happened. We have also been producing icons in the medical profession. We produced the likes of Professor Benjamin Olukayode Osuntokun, the Professor of Neurology; Professor Ayoola Olatunde, Professor of Clinical Pharmacology; Professor Mathew Akinyemi Araoye, the oracle of Medicine, a Cardiologist of repute; Professor ABOO Omotoso; Professor Williams Odesanmi, Professor of Forensic Pathology, etc. Dr Aarinola graduated from Obafemi Awolowo in 2018 and graduated with 12 distinctions. She did not win 12 Prizes, she graduated with 12 distinctions.The clarification is very important because someone may win 15 prizes and not score a single distinction. I was in the medical school, with the way the examinations are conducted and graded, in a whole set, it will be a highly remarkable event to get 3 or 4 people graduating with 2 or 3 distinctions as medical students are examined on Theory, Clinical and orals. The examiners are drawn from numerous reputable institutions. It it is therefore a huge task for an individual to even pass let alone scoring a distinction.

This young lady is a phenomenon . . .her performance has proved to the world the goodness of God to us to the Ekiti people. She has made us proud,.we are greatly indebted to her for showcasing us to the world as great people.Children yet unborn will read and talk about her exactly the way we learnt about the giants like Professor Ojo (aka Ojo Ugbole). .Kudos my dear sister. You are a phenomenon.

Dr. Solomon Ekundayo, Practitioner, Lagos

Dr. Ekundayo,  interestingly enough,  Arinola’s father was in my office just  last week or two ago for some other matter, and offered nothing but gratitude to me and the state for how I had been asking after his daughter all of the time.

After the Governor made a promise to Arinola the first time around, he handed her case for me in a memo to handle, to see how she could get to a school in the US, including Howard Unicersity. So I invited her to my OTSD office and interviewed her at length.  She clearly had a study path for herself that was different from what the State intended, including- if I remember well – doing an MPH first or something.  So I said she should keep in touch and let us know how the state can assist her.  I call her periodically to check on her. Please verify all of what I have written above and kindly return to this forum.  The Governor has no fault here at all.

I rest my case for now.  The Governor is Not To Blame.

Prof Mobolaji Aluko,

Director General, Office of Transformation, Strategy and Delivery (OTSD), Ekiti State, Ado Ekiti

Aba JMO. Ekundayo, you have said it all!

Talking generally, there appears to be  an emerging phenomena in Ekiti that should bother all of us. This is emergence of cult of sycophants around the personality of whoever is the leader of government. This emerging cult has made mess of meaningful criticism, as any criticism no matter how good is seen as an attack on their ‘god’ – the Governor. For a State with such  intellectual credentials that we tout, this may not be good for our development. Let leadership be amenable to constructive criticism,  which will be to the benefits of all. Just my opinion.

Mr. Gabriel Akinyemi, Lagos

Periscoping Perspectives: Dr. Blessing Aarinola’s Saga

Notwithstanding the piece written by Mr. Femi Odere, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA, Diaspora Affairs to the Governor, I was gladened and grateful for the inputs of the Director General, Office of Transformation, Strategy and Delivery (OTSD), Ekiti State, a scholar and ertswhile Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa State, in person of the cerebral, Professor Mobolaji Aluko. He not only calmly but couthly conversed with me in virtually all Ekiti Whatsapp platforms that we belong. Furthermore, he put a call through to me just as this write up was about hitting the press. According to him, there was an ongoing discussion with Dr. Blessing Aarinola Olaiya, who now resides in the United Kingdom, that was not concluded becuase she did not formally get back to the government. He pontificated that if there shoud be any blame, this should rest on his table and not that of the Governor, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi. I want to treasure this act: shows a true statesmanship. In the telephone conversration with the erudite professor, I was elated and excited, before hanging up, that he saliently stated that the issue of recognizing and rewarding Dr. Blessing Aarinoal Olaiya, was an open ended one. Bravo! In essence, in the words of Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”, all said and done, whatever diatribes or debate or discourse, we might exchange in whatever form of dexterity regarding this case will in no time fizzle away, but what endures is how Ekiti State makes Dr. Blessing Aarinola Olaiya feel.

John Ekundayo, Ph.D. – Harvard-Certified Organizational Strategist, and also a Leadership Development Consultant, can be reached via 08155262360 (SMS only) and

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