If a seer had told Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose that after July 14, he will be hanging a loser’s medal on his neck and be the butt of jokes on the social media, he would have hurled invectives at the person. Even Fayose, who had in times past, claimed to be a prophet, failed to see his defeat.
I don’t think Nigerians have ever looked forward to an election like the recently conducted election and the reasons are not far fetched. Most political analysts have predicted that the Ekiti election will determine where the pendulum will swing in 2019. The Ekiti governor was seen as voice of the opposition in the country. He took his brand of opposition to ridiculous heights and was generous with insults and criticism. Decorum was not part of Fayose’s repertoire. He perfunctorily pretends to govern his state. The presidency, in the last three years, ignored the Ekiti governor and that must have gotten under his skin. Fayose, was the master of half-truths and fake news. I remember when the president was in London for a medical vacation; Fayose had threatened to release 11 pictures, which he said would prove to Nigerians that President Buhari’s health had deteriorated. Fayose, said there was no iota of truth in the claim by acting president, Yemi Osinbajo that the president was fast recuperating in London. “If care is not taken, I will release pictures and this will create serious problems for the country. The offices of the governors and the president are that which require work. If care is not taken, I will release about 11 pictures (on his bad health),” the governor said.
Less than two weeks after Fayose made those wild allegations, some governors visited the president including governors of the PDP. We are in July 2018 and like rapture, we are still waiting for Fayose to release those pictures.
He told anyone who cared to listen that his candidate will win the election, he promised another 16-0, he boasted to high heavens how he would defeat the APC candidate again. The sad thing was he started believing in his own invincibility.
Fearing that the ghost of what his party did in 2014 would haunt him, he started raising the alarm that the ruling party was going to rig the July 14 election. They say an average politician would even sell his mother to win election. Fayose went to the extreme to deliver an Oscar winning performance when he claimed he was slapped and assaulted by the police.
Unless the policeman is under the influence of codeine or Tramadol, I don’t think any police man in Nigeria will have the liver to slap a sitting governor in the presence of his ADC, CSO and other security details. In a gathering of over 10 thousand people, in this era of smart phones, nobody recorded when the governor was being slapped. If Fayose had the video, he would have released it and it would have gone viral on the social media. At least, we have the video of the very distinguished Senator Dino Melaye, sitting helplessly on the floor, threatening to kill himself and put the police force in trouble.
The governor took his desperation to another level by taking over a radio station in the state and was planning to announce the result of the election with his candidate as the winner. Even by his own buffoonery standards, that was a taboo. That singular move was a coup and save for the prompt intervention of the Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), we would have been left with a serious crisis in our hands right now. How desperate can a man be?
The sad incidence about the Ekiti election was the reported cases of vote buying. The APC and PDP were both culprits as election observers confirmed it. It was a case of, ‘what money cannot buy, more money will buy it.’ The way things are going, vote buying has become part of our election.
Recounting his experience during the Ekiti election, Folarin Olayinka, a Human Rights defender and the National General Secretary of CDHR, in a statement, said both major parties, APC and PDP, resorted to vote-buying and intimidation of voters.
But the PDP said its leadership would not allow such practice under any guise.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said no matter the machination of the ruling APC, it would not descend to vote-buying in any election.
I have said it severally, if hypocrisy was a course in the university, the PDP would be pursuing its PHD programme right now.
Everybody knows both parties engaged in vote buying and the PDP was outbidded by the APC.
According to observers, INEC performed creditably well in the elections, but I think they have to take sterner measures against vote merchants.
Having a free and fair election in Nigeria is almost impossible, as our politicians and the citizenry are not yet politically mature for that. Performance doesn’t determine who wins elections in Nigeria and no politician will leave everything to chance, as he will employ every trick in his book to win an election.
In Nigeria, when a candidate wins, he praises the electoral body and declares the election free and fair and when he loses, he shouts to high heavens that the election was rigged. We are stuck with this cycle in the foreseeable future.
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