In 2014, one of the biggest upsets in this nation’s electoral history occurred when the refashioner of Adedibu’s Amala politics in the person of the non-philosophical rabble rouser, Ayo Fayose, coasted to victory edging out the then reformist and progressive incumbent, Kayode Fayemi.
This shocked a number of panjandra who, in their wildest of imaginations, could not have fathomed such an electoral outcome; one in which the vainglorious and midget populist had upstaged the calculating super administrator, even the Economist Magazine muttered its own zooterkins at the results in a piece it titled, “Why Reform Is So Hard” capturing in essence, the hard luck of Fayemi then.
However, revelations later showed that Fayose’s victory was not a true reflection of the views of the people of Ekiti and lacked the crest of credibility which had the participation of the then minister of state for defence, Musliu Obanikoro and top brass of the Nigerian Army. Such revelations on what really occurred on that day of infamy showed a semblance to Ocean 11-like scenery as it was a clean robbery.
His style of governance has also taken the path in which he, Fayose was elected, illogical is not the best word to qualify his second coming in terms of governance. If Fayose is not sponsoring bizarre advertorials on the nation’s newspapers, he is busy frying garri with women or eating ponmo at several Iya Basira-like bukateria, posing for photo ops and streaming such on social media.
His major past time has been to criticise President Buhari repeatedly, while governance has suffered neglect in the state, the progressive road map put in place by Fayemi has been abandoned, leaving the people of Ekiti exasperated and impoverished by such crude style of governance.
For Fayemi, the July 14 elections offer him an opportunity to help salvage the state from Fayose’s pandering to rustic politics. Fayemi is a brand name: one of the nation’s finest intellectuals to have ventured into politics, having made his bones during the struggles against the Abacha government as the director of Radio Kudirat, before becoming governor of Ekiti after a tortuous period at the electoral tribunals.
Of a truth, the election will not be between Fayemi and Fayose, yet, it is also true that Fayose may be the biggest beneficiary if his party’s candidate, Professor Kolapo Isola, is returned as the governor elect though my instinct very much doubts it. Thus, Fayemi’s path to victory will be to use the real arguments against Fayose’s third term of four years.
These real arguments should border on the state of Ekiti’s economy, its parlourous debt profile which has been aggravated by Fayose’s taking of a loan to the amount of 56 billion Naira with little or nothing to show for it. His campaign for now, should focus on the state of his social safety nets for the elderly, the unemployed and the youths, who were once running into tens of thousands but were immediately abrogated by Fayose when he assumed office as governor, without providing another alternative. Fayemi should dwell on what was the state of the the workers’ welfare in Ekiti when he was governor, whether workers got their salaries at its due date compared with the present shameful trend of owing workers seven plus months of salaries. He should take a strong pitch or stand on the state of infrastructure in Ekiti while he served as governor and what obtains now. Not leaving his giant strides in education and healthcare, Fayemi should ask the Ekiti people how well they have fared since his ouster from power.
Another argument for Fayemi should be what he started with: the ability to govern effectively and manage the affairs of Ekiti people without traits of agberoism, infantilism and slapstick roles. Fayemi does not need his handlers to tell the people of Ekiti that he is a reformer, his numerous projects, littered and abandoned by Fayose for jeun jeun and taka sufe like projects, tell the difference between night and day. His strongest of them all will be the failure of the state government to revive Ikogosi following Fayemi’s earlier interventions; Fayemi should campaign on the jobs that Ikogosi would have fetched the people, the millions of Dollars in foreign exchange but for the present administration’s lacklustre approach to governance as well as the existence of crony capitalism which has in the past four years, affected the state much.
It is indeed one week to the election, and as a progressive, my bets are on Fayemi. In the times past, he has, at all levels, handled assignments before him with panache and skill akin to that of the late sage, Awolowo. Ekiti people are progressive minds, it behoves on Fayemi to evoke this sense of progressivism by evincing the arguments mentioned above.
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