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President Muhammadu Buhari held a meeting on Friday, 25th August, with the thirty-six Governors of the federation, but Ekiti Governor Governor, Peter Ayodele Fayose, was absent.
Governor Fayose gave two reasons for his absence: the receipt of a chieftaincy title which was to take place the same day, and a traditional Ekiti festival taking place today (Saturday). In his own words, “there was no how I could have abandoned the people here in Ado Ekiti for the impromptu meeting with the President”.
Without information about when the meeting was fixed and communicated to the Governors, it can be that Mr Fayose received the invitation at the same time as other Governors, or at least not long after the other thirty-five had got theirs. It may have been communicated late, making it impromptu, but it would also have been impromptu for the others as well, not just Fayose.
Mr Fayose could not possibly think that the others who showed up for the meeting were without important things which they “abandoned” to meet Buhari, could he? We could begin with Chief Willie Obiano of Anambra state, who battles issues of security within his state, and a coming election in November. Yahaya Bello of Kogi is still tending the recovering people from the outbreak a few weeks ago.
While choosing not to be distracted from planning the Udiroko “major” festival in Ado Ekiti over meeting with the President in company of other Governors may have been his way of sending a message that Buhari is not a big enough masquerade in his esteem. After all, Fayose believes it was his pressure that added to the apparent hurry in the President’s return to the country on August 19.
He has made efforts to clarify that he did not “shun” the meeting, but he would find it harder to defend that he even gave it much thought in the first place.