There is, indeed, no limits to the theatrics that the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, is capable of. He expects that Nigerians will always tolerate the nuisance he is beginning to constitute himself into. Seeking the limelight has become his favourite pastime even if it entails poking his nose where it does not belong.
It is no news that the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie- Oyegun and the National leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu had an altercation recently over the outcome of the Ondo State gubernatorial primaries. What is news is how this is of interest to Fayose to the point of him taking sides. Being a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, he is expected to be happy that APC leaders are engaged in a face off. Instead, he has decided to drag the entire Yoruba nation into what is essentially a political matter relevant only to the APC and its members. For him, humiliating Tinubu is as good as humiliating the entire Yoruba race.
As much as we are aware, Tinubu himself has not complained about plans by anyone to humiliate him. Talks by some meddlesome interlopers about purported plans to demystify him over his perceived growing influence beyond the South-West are, in our view, akin to one crying more than the bereaved. There is no doubt that the political relevance of Asiwaju in Nigeria today, particularly, considering the role he played in midwifing a coalition of political forces that achieved the unimaginable – ousting an incumbent from office – is unassailable. For that alone, his place in history is assured. Yorubanising his nationalistic fervours, we dare say, is a trait he will find exceedingly disagreeable if not reprehensible. As observers from the side lines, we think that Tinubu’s career as a politician is not under threat such that will warrant the insinuation that the Yoruba nation is about to be humiliated. The Jagaban Borgu himself will refuse to accept that he is a personification of the Yoruba nation. We are certain that from where he is now, he is reeling in embarrassment at such attempt to deify him.
In our opinion, what is making this whole saga very interesting is that those playing up his image in Yoruba polity are all PDP chieftains – Femi Aribisala, Femi Fani- Kayode and, of all people, Ayodele Fayose. We find it difficult to establish how the personality clash involving Oyegun and Tinubu connects with the Yoruba as a nation. In this dispensation, if any ethnic group should complain, it is certainly not the Yoruba because they have everything going for them.
If the palpable bellyaching continues, we may be persuaded to call for a recount of the votes that gave Muhammadu Buhari the presidency to see how many Yoruba votes are in there. Furthermore, we were of the belief that the events that culminated in victory for the APC in the 2015 elections were democratic in nature where every vote ostensibly counted. With all this Yoruba grandstanding flying around, are we being told that it was a mistake; that we were not out to cultivate and nurture a democratic culture; that it was an attempt to impose a Yoruba hegemony on the rest of us using the Buhari mystic? Can the Yoruba votes alone give anybody the seat in Aso Villa? Could we have forgotten, so soon, that Obasanjo, a Yoruba man, became the President of Nigeria without the Yoruba vote?
We are by no means belittling the position of the Yoruba in the affairs of the country. They are an integral part of the polity and an important one at that. What we are against is an attempt by anyone, least of all, Fayose, to put himself in a position to decide what uplifts or downgrades the Yoruba. It is an act of irresponsible arrogance that any average Yoruba should stand up against.
However, it is pertinent to emphasise that no part of this country can walk alone safely and surely in this democratic journey we have embarked upon. Tinubu knows this, especially, his status as a statesman. He must, therefore, shun the shenanigans of characters like Fayose.