Mr Ayodele Fayose became the governor of Ekiti state for a second time in October 2014 and ever since, he has gone about his job with a relatively uncommon approach that paints the picture of him as a man who is one with his people.
You may term it unconventional for a man who occupies the seat of a state governor but Fayose’s frequent appearance in seemingly uncommon postures, buying from and eating with the people, and riding on the back of their motorcycles, among other things, have perhaps helped engender confidence among his people that he is the right man to bring home the goods and that a son of common man like them could rise to the position of a state chief executive.
Since Fayose defeated Ex Governor, Kayode Fayemi at the Ekiti governorship poll in June 2014, Fayose left no doubts about his unwillingness to blend into popular expectations about the appearance of a governor. Fayose’s methods during his governorship campaign made the phrase, ‘stomach infrastructure’ popular and he has never derailed in fulfilling his electioneering promises.
However, in a juxtaposition, one tends to compare fayose’s style of governance whether it conforms with the affirmation of Abraham Maslow, the American psychologist who was best known for creating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs in priority.
Maslow’s theory suggests that the most basic level of needs must be met before the individual will strongly desire the secondary or higher level needs. Maslow coined the term “meta-motivation” to describe the motivation of people who go beyond the scope of the basic needs and strive for constant betterment.
It’s uncontestable that human mind and brain are complex and have parallel processes running at the same time, thus many different motivations from various levels of Maslow’s hierarchy can occur at the same time. Reason been that Maslow actually acknowledged the likelihood that the different levels of motivation could occur at any time in the human mind, but he focused on identifying the basic types of motivation and the order in which they should be met.
By implication, any leader elected to govern who obeyed Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Need would do more to ensure that his people do not suffer and as well have a sense of safety. The Hierarchy of Needs as opined by Maslow is a theory of human developmental psychology focused on describing the stages of growth in people. Maslow affirmed that people are motivated to fulfill fundamental needs before moving on to more advanced ones.
Safety, Security of body and soul which Governor Fayose addressed as “stomach infrastructure” are the basic essential needs of the people while resources and physical infrastructure follow suite. Therefore, it is only when people have a good sense of safety and their stomach is filled that they are motivated to pursue other goals. Even in this day and age, Maslow’s theory remains valid in any discussions about human developmental psychology.
In fact, this is why the primary duty of any government is to protect the lives and property of its citizens and subsequently put food on their tables. When a
government fails in this primary duty, it lacks the moral legitimacy to continue in other aspects of governance.
A state is characterized as having failed when the government derailed from the basic needs of its people. Governor Fayose, prior assumption of office hasn’t derailed from its stomach infrastructure programme initiated by his Government. He visits towns and villages across the state to distribute foods and other items which are means of surviving for the people since the state lacks the capacity to permanently engage the people for now hence the short term panacea for hunger and starvation.
Conditioning theories as opined by Maslow did not adequately capture the complexity of human behavior. In a 1943 paper called “A Theory of Human Motivation”, Maslow presented the idea that human actions are directed towards goal attainment, Which implies that any given behavior could satisfy several functions at the same time; for instance, going to a bar could satisfy one’s needs for self-esteem and for social interaction.
Maslow’s opined that behind everything thing we do is a need that wants to be satisfied. We have instincts that keep us alive and continue our species. But there are other needs that go beyond our body’s instincts which is Food. It’s uncontestable that we just need to stay alive. Once that is achieved, we have a need for safety, then we want love and affection. Within our group we want to have self esteem.
As part of motivation, Governor Fayose is seen at times visiting bars, attending social functions, visits market places and celebrating with common people. Of course human need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance among their social groups, regardless whether these groups are large or small. Humans need to love and be loved both sexually and non-sexually by others.
There is no doubt that many people become susceptible to loneliness , social anxiety , and clinical depression in the absence of this love or belonging element. Of course a great leader must be high in ideas and lowly at heart. He must be the polish cosmopolitan man of the polite society, and the rugged man of the local village bar. He must be able to live out the chivalrous life of protocols, ceremonies and courtesy and at the same time, display the humility of dining with beggars and people of the lowly trough of life. He is the leader of all men and, therefore, must appreciate the varieties of our common humanity.
These attributes are what Governor Fayose possess that made him different from his colleagues. Reason while he’s loved by his people. Unlike Fayose’s critics who dine and wines only with the common people during electioneering campaign and disappear afterwards, Ayo Fayose has sustained the momentum ever since he was sworn in. From the north to the south of Ekiti, a month has never passed that Fayose or his Deputy, Kolapo Eleka will not go into town to ameliorate the suffering of the people by distributing food and relief materials to the underprivileged.
On physical infrastructure, Governor Fayose giant stride in making Ekiti especially Ado-Ekiti, the state capital a bifiting city among the comity of states in Nigeria is second to none. Today, Fayose has completed the dualization of Awedele-Bank Road. The has extended the dualization of Ado-Ikere road to the major town. The construction of the ultra modern Adunni-Olayinka Women Development Centre, Fajuyi, Ado-Ekiti has been delivered.
Also, Petim-Onala-Housing Road, Ado-Ekiti has been completely tarred. Irewumi-State Police Headquarters road, Ado-Ekiti has been tarred. Upper land-Covenant Secondary School Road, Ado-Ekiti has been tarred. The death trap-drainage at Oloogan, Ado-Ekiti has been reconstructed. The construction of the mini-stadium at Ewi Palace, Ado-Ekiti has been completed. The construction of Oja Oba International Market, Ado-Ekiti is on. The construction of Ado Airstrip is about to start.
Still on physical infrastructure, today, am pleased to say that the dualization of Afao Ekiti township road has been completed. Iropora-Ara-Ijero road is under construction. The dualization of Emure, Ikole and Ise-Ekiti township roads is in progress. All these Fayose is doing without plunging the state into debt.
Let me further state that the well-publicized social security policy of the immediate past administration of Dr. Kayode Fayemi has been re-introduced, this time, in a very unique-different way. The Fayose government has commenced the capturing of Data of all vulnerable widows in Ekiti State. The exercise which started in February 2016 will end by May 2016. By the grace of God, payment of N6,000 to all vulnerable widows in Ekiti State will commence by July 2016.
More also, the Fayose led government has distributed 500 tons of cocoa treatment chemicals to farmers across the state to enhance their production. Educationally, Ekiti is reputed and known for intellectual sagacity and erudition but under the past administration, Ekiti students performance in NECO and WASSCE was 34th position however, I want to say that within a year of Fayose’s government, Ekiti State moved from 34th to 17th position. This is unprecedented and to we are hoping for a better improvement this year.
God bless Ayo Fayose. God bless Ekiti State. God bless Nigeria.
Sunshine Anifowose is the Personal Assistant to Ayodele Fayose, Governor, Ekiti State.
He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org