By SOC Okenwa
Ayodele Peter Fayose, the Ekiti state executive Governor, is a special ‘breed’ in the Nigerian politics. Much like the late strongman of Ibadan politics, Lamidi Adedibu, he is very good at mobilizing, organizing and empowering the grassroot people whose votes count during elections. Like the late Molete demon he uses the so-called ‘stomach infrastructure’ strategy to woo the downtrodden into following him blindly. Unlike Adedibu who used ‘Amala’ and ‘Gbegiri soup’ as panacea for wide followership, however, Fayose re-baptised his own version “stomach infrastructure” but the goal remains the same: using money; food and drink to conquer a poor hungry population by forcing them, through such inducement, to do one’s bidding electorally.
While the above assertion stands to reason it begs the question as to how and why Fayose succeeded in coming to gubernatorial power in Ado-Ekiti by hook or by crook! Flashback 2014. The then incumbent Governor, now opposition candidate and former Minister, Kayode Fayemi, never knew what hit him until he packed out of the government house — having been soundly ‘defeated’ (nay outmanouvered) by the federal conspiracy involving the then PDP President, Goodluck Jonathan, Musliu Obanikoro, some PDP rigging experts and some security and INEC officials.
A military officer, Captain Sagir Koli, who had participated in the electoral heist had revealed, from his hideout abroad through secretly-recorded video, how the Ekiti conquest was planned and executed. The Nigerian Army high command, after a thorough internal investigation, had sacked Brig.-Gen. Aliyu Momoh who was said to have supervised the electoral scam. The former secretary of the Ekiti state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Temitope Aluko, had equally given his own version of how the heist was organized and executed.
Ever since he bounced back to guber power through an elaborate electoral fraud close to four years ago Governor Fayose has spared no efforts, nothing in his crude attempt to tarnish the image of his predecessor and rubbish his legacy in the state. As soon as he was sworn into office he began in earnest the crooked process of diabolism. He first told the world how profligate the Fayemi administration was by showing the exorbitant furniture and ‘golden bed’ inside the government house bedroom! But he never told us if he had sold off the expensive household items or was using them.
He accused Fayemi of spending billions of Naira to furnish the state house making it look as if the former Governor went all the way to heaven to ‘import’ whatever was found inside the state house. Whatever was spent on or procured for a government house is never meant to be a personal effect of the incumbent Chief Executive at any given time. When Fayemi left he never took those items away because they were meant for the comfort of whoever is occupying the office as Governor.
Fayose went on to allege that Fayemi had looted the state’s treasury and borrowed huge funds. He then set up a kangaroo probe panel made of his partisan associates to probe the Fayemi administration. The probe panel expectedly reached a guilty verdict banning Fayemi from holding any elective position in the state for a ten-year period! Fayemi, ever a gentleman, had maintained his calm throughout the duration of the ‘trial’ and today a competent court had declared the conclusion of the panel as “null and void and of no effect”.
The Ekiti state electorate will be going to the polls this weekend to elect a Governor to succeed the controversial Ayo Fayose. The contest is a direct confrontation between Prof. Kolapo Olusola, Fayose’s protégé, current Deputy Governor and the candidate of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s candidate, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi. Both of them are eminently qualified to preside over the affairs of Ekiti for another four years. And they are better than the self-styled Peter “the rock”!
For the past weeks and days leading up to the polls the political climate has been over-heated. And there had been recriminations over rigging and attempts at rigging from both camps. The PDP camp appears jittery given the federal might thrown behind the APC candidate. In a free and fair contest the outcome could seem too close to call. Yet a winner must emerge come this Saturday. Fayose is shouting himself hoarse over allegations of manipulations by the ruling party but given his antecedence as a master rigger no one is fooled by his empty allegations.
The ruling APC party Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, hit the bull’s eye recently when said bluntly that Gov. Fayose (as a beneficiary of a tainted guber mandate) was like an “armed robber” who, having stolen to his satisfaction, would not like to be a ‘victim’ of robbery himself!
Way back in 2014 the then Governor Fayemi suffered a humiliating “defeat” whose source we all know today. The 16.0 electoral shellacking which Fayose is boasting of lately could only have happened by the instrumentality of the PDP rigging machinery! Today such electoral landslide victory is no longer feasible in a level-playing field. Fayose may be popular in Ekiti as he claims but anyone who distributes food and Naira notes to ‘alayes’ and ‘agberos’ could always expect an electoral good return.
Governor Fayose’s stewardship in Ekiti state for the last four years could be said to be controversial because the man is a bundle of controversy himself. From rabble-rousing grandstanding to playing the role of a prominent PDP opposition critic of the Buhari regime Fayose has proven to be a disciple of Adedibuism. Nigerians of good morals would easily remember how he wished the President dead on his sick bed in London last year! How he swore with his late mother’s grave in a tale that later proved to be false! How he made name for himself by associating with high-profile thugs and urchins.
The overall loser in the Ekiti gubernatorial poll slated for this weekend could be the out-going garrulous Governor, Ayo Fayose! Whether his anointed candidate wins come Saturday or loses he stands as a marked man awaiting his day at the courts. Fayose has a baggage of criminal offenses still hanging over his head but given the immunity clause he is enjoying as Governor no one dared touch him. But after the election and the inauguration of the newly-elected Governor (whomsoever he is) Fayose would have nowhere to hide.
During his first scandalous coming and exiting he reportedly left the Government House on the back of a rickety car to beat the security agents posted at the gate of the state house to effect his immediate arrest during the OBJ regime! This time around he has little or no option than surrendering himself to the dictates of the law. No one would be persecuting him but the authorities reserve the right to prosecute him!
Given the charges of murder, high-wire corruption, ‘Ekiti-gate’ and other sundry scandals associated with the Ekiti loudmouth it remains to be seen how he would plot his imminent exit. As a political reprobate Fayose is a funny and grandiloquent character indeed! From confessing to driving an inter-communal Danfo bus to becoming a Governor his profile is one in a million; one that derives its ‘significance’ only in crimes and fraud!
Perhaps he would elect to play smart once again. We have a suggestion to offer him if that is what is on his mind lately! Why not dig a grave inside the government house where he would ‘bury’ himself alive post-Ekiti 2018? And from there he would attempt a spectacular ‘ressurection’ or rescuscitation and testify thereafter of how ‘Jesus’ of Oyingbo (nay ‘Jesus’ of Afo-Ekiti) had performed a miracle on him by doing supernatural justice to his ‘dried’ bones and ‘frozen’ blood a la biblical Lazarus of the sinless yore!
As democrats and patriots we refuse to take partisan sides in the Ekiti guber combat between two world-class academicians. However, we can only advocate for a transparent, free and fair poll out of which a better candidate would emerge to heal Ekiti literally of the ‘Fayose-nesia’.
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