For the umpteenth time, Ayodele Fayose the fastidious governor of Ekiti has reiterated his vision of emerging President of our fatherland. In his latest post, he talked about how it is his destiny and how despite being out of the Government House in Ekiti for eight years he eventually against all odds reemerged. This according to him gives him the confidence that his ambition is not as far fetched as the rest of us may want to think.
For me, I see this as a possible reality. All the factors that would lead to this type of scenario are already in place. The mass suffering of the general populace, the detachment of the ruling elites from the yearning and aspiration of the common man, the continued decline in economic indices and its attendant effect on standard of living and the corrosive erosion of family values leading to a disenchantment of the people in the establishment are symbols that represent it.
It is moments like these that apparitions in the like of Fayose emerges. We have seen this happen in America where Donald Trump, a borderline schizophrenic, won a hotly contested election emerging on the wings of a general disenchantment of the establishment and its attitude towards issues like immigration and health. This also happened in Germany where Adolf Hitler emerged on the back of a massive disenfranchment the of the people and eventually led the world to a world war, just the way Trump is posturing.
Back to Nigeria, Fayose’s populist move is winning for him admiration beyond Ekiti. This admiration remains insignificant and almost nothing to worry about, but the seeds of it turning into a raging old fire are already there. He is the undisputed leader of the PDP, taking a leadership position as a result of his unflinching opposition to this government and its policies. What remains to be seen is if this ‘stubbornness’ will remain once the veil of immunity is removed. Fayose continues in this fire brand image after leaving office then the government would be having a monster far stronger than Nnamdi Kanu on their hands.
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His pictures riding ‘okada’, eating Amala in trenches with the poor, wearing t-shirts and jeans are very powerful images that resonate with the suffering masses. Just like Che Guevara and Fidel Castro remained in khaki and Beret, Fayose continues to draw admirers towards him despite his almost idiotic and comical posturing.
To the common man, Fayose to them will look like someone confessing to murder just to stop the continuing and unending torture. Anything but the continued status quo would be attractive to the man, who cannot feed his family, to the man who will watch his son die from an illness that is meaningless, from a man who will see his kids mowed down in their farms and who will see his kids not being able to find jobs after suffering through an epileptic educational system. To that man, Fayose is the messiah. He did this in Ekiti were he overthrew an establishment-backed elitist government which was talking about information super highway and all that techie gizmo when all the people wanted was just a loaf of bread.
A Fayose presidency is a looming possibility especially under these conditions and this if eventually happens would foster on Nigerians an idiocy beyond Trumpian proportions. For my fear is that Fayose is really who you see and is not just a put on for the electoral or populist purposes. I believe he is truly the demagogue you see daily, screaming, eating Amala in bush places and wearing jeans to the State House of Assembly to present his Budget and this would really be difficult to defeat under a fair contest. He will jump into the trenches, play in the gutter with the homeless and roam the streets without security understanding perfectly the culture of the masses and their language.
The question now is how do you stop this person? It is very difficult, if not near impossible with the present conditions in the country. All he needs to do now is to join forces with those who control social media and there you get the jet fuel he needs to push a people revolution. This has happened in other parts of the world, Fayose realizing this attempted to jump on the Tuface-led but botched social media-powered attempt at protest.
The authorities did well by diffusing that but if you think that is the end of it then we are all in Lala land. How do we demystify Fayose? It is simply by providing good governance, getting closer to the people feeling their pulse, reduce if not stop totally the celebration of families of our leaders living the life on social media. This fuels anger and frustration. My people turn around the economy very quickly, have direct cash engagements to the poorest, use recovered looted funds for direct cash grants to the very poor. After all these amounts are not in the budget in the first place. Do a Fayose- type Robin Hood thing, play him at his game. Come down from the macro economic policies of government that have little or no direct immediate impact on the people. Give them cash, give them free health, free education from looted funds, not from government budgeted funds since government must not be involved in private businness and let the people know where it is coming from.
Anything short of this, we should all lace our boots and prepare for a Fayose presidency on the wings of a massive social revolt from the economically disenfranchised. A symbolic Fayose will transcend ethnicity, transcend party lines, transcend social boundaries and would be a rallying point of the over N100million people who will be speaking the unifying language of salvation from poverty and mass suffering.
This, I repeat, is a strong possibility and it would really be sad for a country that had produced such great leaders like Awolowo, Azikiwe and the Sarduana to now be saddled with a clownish leader all because we failed to give our people selfless and principled leadership.
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