Full Name: John Olukayode Fayemi
Date of Birth: 9 February 1965.
Marriage status: Married.
Spouse(s): Erelu Bisi Fayemi
Alma mater: University of Lagos, University of Ife, King’s College London.
Position(S): Served as the Governor of Ekiti State from 2010 to 2014, 2018-2022.
Political party: All Progressives Congress (APC) (2013 to present).
John kayode Fayemi is a Nigerian politician who has been the Governor of Ekiti State since October 16, 2018. He was formerly in office from 2010 to 2014, when he lost re-election to Ayodele Fayose. He served in President Muhammadu Buhari‘s cabinet as the Minister of Solid Minerals Development from 11 November 2015 to 30 May 2018, when he resigned to run for Governor of Ekiti State a second time.
Fayemi had his primary education at ICC Primary School, Agodi, Ibadan, Oyo State between 1970-1975 and attended Christ’s School Ado Ekiti from 1975 to 1980. He later went on to receive degrees in History, Politics and International Relations from the University of Lagos and University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University). From 1989 to 1992, he earned a Doctorate in War Studies from King’s College London, specializing in civil-military relations.
Fayemi worked as a lecturer at the Nigeria-Police Training College in Sokoto from 1985 to 1986. He worked as a research officer with Development & Management Consultants in Ikeja from 1987 to 1989. He worked as a research officer at the African Research and Information Bureau in London from 1991 to 1993. He was a Tutorial Fellow at Kings College, London’s War Studies Department in 1992.
From 1993 to 1995, Fayemi served as the Strategy Development Adviser of Deptford City Challenge in London. From 1995 to 1997, he also served as the Secretary-General of the Media Empowerment for Africa, named “The Radio Foundation” in London. He was a journalist working for The Guardian and City Tempo and was also the Editor of Nigeria-Now, a defunct political monthly magazine.
Fayemi returned to Nigeria in 1997 when he founded the Centre for Democracy and Development, a research and training institution committed to the study and promotion of democratic development, peace-building, and human security in Africa, and served as Director from 1997 to 2006.
Fayemi has made speeches and presentations in Africa, Europe, America, and Asia, among other places. He has also advised numerous governments, intergovernmental institutions, and development agencies on transitional justice, regional integration, constitutionalism, security sector reform, and civil-military relations concerns.
He served on the Presidential Implementation Committees on Security Sector Reform, NEPAD, and the Millennium Development Goals, as well as the Nigerian Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission (Oputa Panel), which probed past abuses. He served as a technical expert on small arms and light weapons for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa on governance issues.
He’s also worked as a security sector reform consultant for the OECD and chaired the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative’s Committee of Experts on formulating guiding principles and methods for constitution-making in Commonwealth Africa.
Fayemi first entered politics in 2006, after which he contested for Governor of Ekiti State in 2007. After three and a half years of legal battles, the appeal court in Kwara State ruled that Fayemi was the legitimately elected Governor of Ekiti State on October 15, 2010, therefore ending Olusegun Oni‘s term as the state’s governor.
Ekiti State Governor
Fayemi was endorsed by the All Progressives Congress as the party’s governorship candidate in the state’s gubernatorial elections on June 21, 2014. Fayemi’s ascension was preceded by a congress conducted before the governor, who faced no opposition, was endorsed as the state’s flag bearer in the governorship elections. The ex-governor, Ayodele Fayose, defeated Kayode Fayemi at the polls on June 21, 2014.
After resigning as the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Fayemi contested for a second term as governor of Ekiti State on the platform of the All Progressive Congress in the July 14, 2018 governorship election. On July 15, 2018, the Independent National Electoral Commission pronounced him the winner of the governorship race in Ekiti state. He won by 19,345 votes over Kolapo Olusola Eleka of the People’s Democratic Party, who came in second.
Fayemi’s tenure as Governor of Ekiti State from 2010 to 2014 was investigated by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) in 2016 for suspected theft of over N25 billion in infrastructure bonds by his government. He was charged in July 2020 with “financial misconduct” in relation to the Ajaokuta Steel Mill while serving as Minister of Solid Minerals from 2015 to 2018. During his first term as Governor, however, multiple petitions have been filed against him before the EFCC based on various corruption charges ranging from misuse of public funds to blatant slightly elevated. All allegations against him were ultimately dismissed, and he was judged not guilty.
Chairman Governors’ Forum
Fayemi was sworn in as governor of Ekiti State for the second time in October 2018. The Nigeria Governors’ Forum elected Fayemi as its Chairman. Abdulaziz Yari, the immediate past chairman, made the announcement on Wednesday evening. The governors unanimously picked Fayemi to lead the forum until 2021, he said.
Kayode Fayemi got married to Olabisi Fayemi in 1989. The marriage is blessed with a son, Folajimi Fayemi.
Academic Credits and Excellence
- Kayode Fayemi is a Fellow of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Ibadan.
- Adjunct Professor of Security Studies at the African Centre for Strategic Studies, National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., USA.
- He was also a Visiting Professor in the African Studies Programme at Northwestern University, Evanston, USA in 2004.
- Dr. Fayemi serves on numerous Boards including the Governing Board of the Open Society Justice Institute, Baobab for Women’s Human Rights, African Security Sector Network, and on the Advisory Board of the Global Facilitation Network on Security Sector Reform, and on the Management Culture Board of the ECOWAS Secretariat.
- Member, Africa Policy Advisory Panel of the British Government.
- Fayemi has written on governance and democratization, civil-military relations, and security sector issues in Africa. Among his recent books are: Deepening the Culture of Constitutionalism: The Role of Regional Institutions in Constitutional Development in Africa (CDD, 2003), Security Sector Governance in Africa: A Handbook (edited with Nicole Ball, CDD, 2004), and Out of the Shadows: Exile and the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy in Nigeria (CDD, 2005).