By Kemi Yesufu
Former member of the House of Representatives, Bimbo Daramola is still as loss at what caused a rift between him and his long time ally and political associate, Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
Daramola stated this much in an interview with Punch Newspaper. The former lawmaker popularly known as Congressman, disclosed in the interview that the soured relationship between him and Fayemi will be the topic of four chapters in his yet to be released book.
The ex-lawmaker accused Fayemi of stopping him from returning to the House in 2019. “I wish I knew (reasons for rift) and I’m being honest with you”, he said.
“I’m writing my memoirs and this question you raised would take three to four chapters. Dr Fayemi is one man I love so much. Several times, I put my life on the line for him and I served him with everything I had. I’m not too sure I read him rightly or understood him perfectly. When these people come up to say they are JKF ‘Tokan Tokan’, you wonder.
“That acronym, JKF (John Kayode Fayemi), was coined by me. I have known him for 43 years. He was 15 and I was 13 when we first met in 1978. We went to the same secondary school and he was my senior for two or three years. So, when I speak, I don’t speak like a politician but like a man who wants him to succeed. By this time next year, we will surely have another governor in that state. I want him to be able to return to that state after his tenure and people would hail him and not deride him.
“So, I don’t speak out of bile. I have never taken one penny from Ekiti State both in his first tenure and now and there is no monetary issue between us. I wouldn’t know what the problem is and how we came to this point but in his closet, he would ask himself if this is what Bimbo deserves from him. On the day of the House of Representatives election that I contested, I was detained in Ado-Ekiti”, Daramola added.
When asked if he offended Gov. Fayemi in anyway, Daramola, insisted that he couldn’t recall any event or happening that could be described as his wronging his former friend. This as he opined that his detention was to prevent him from contesting for the APC primary for his constituency. He said: “What did I do? The governor instigated it. Two days earlier, I still met him. I met him three or four times in the course of that process and he was even the one who asked for my plans since my governorship plan didn’t work and I told him I wanted to go back to the House and he said it was good.
” By configuration, it was our turn in Oye Local Government. Ikole Local Government had just occupied the seat and I met every other consideration, but they stood in the way. However, I don’t want to personalise this, so people don’t miss my message and think I’m bitter because I didn’t go to the House. That’s not the point”.
Daramola despite his fallout with Fayemi speaks on governance in his home state from time to time using his social media handles. His shared his misgivings on some major projects carried out by the Fayemi Administration, especially the Ekiti Liaison office in Lagos on the day of its launch on his Facebook page. He expressed similar views with Punch.
“At this time we are ranked among insolvent states and looking at the cost benefit ratio and opportunity cost of that liaison office, is that decision best for now? Don’t forget that the governor also pulled down the Governor’s Lodge in Abuja and is rebuilding it. Why are we so engrossed with building structures that will not give us immediate and future returns. I would have supported that project with all my might if they used that land to build a convention centre that people can rent every day. I have an event coming up and I tried to get a date at Eko Hotel but I could not. It’s booked till next year and they charge N15m.
“If tomorrow they say that liaison office would generate N10m per month, as little as the money is, I will go ask for Dr. Fayemi’s forgiveness, but if I don’t see that, coupled with what we are doing in Abuja and given that we are one of the most insolvent states as said by the NBS, how do we reconcile that? Let me give you an example. The Nigeria Skits Industry Awards that I’m planning, if we would need two days to set up, Eko Hotel said I would pay N15m each for the two days and on the day of the event, another N15m. That is N45m for three days. How does N45m sound in the ears of the governor of a state that doesn’t have IGR? Now that they have built the liaison office, at the end of this month, they should show us how much that place has generated”, he stated.