By Bamidele Johnson
More than before, Ekiti State needs Ayodele Fayose. It needs him like flowers need rain. For this, I was and remain happy that the alleged Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship primaries threw him up as the candidate for the election slated for 21 June. Of the 14 aspirants that desired the party™s ticket, Fayose wanted it most. He went about it with maniacal zeal and was clever enough to secure the support of the controversial money man, Burujii Kashamu (nee Esho Jinadu), who has promised to back Fayose™s bid with tonnes of cash “ and most likely, a battalion of elite thugs. And let™s face it, Fayose is the most experienced among the contestants, having been governor between 2003 and 2006, when he was unhinged by his own irascibility as well as strident opposition to what he did or did not do. His reign as governor was halted by a shabbily handled (and not exactly legitimate) impeachment drama, co-starring the state legislature and former president Olusegun Obasanjo. Caleb Olubolade, the former Police Affairs Minister and one of Fayose™s victims in those crazy three years, sure has some experience as a military administrator. Of course, he was not elected and that fact gives Fayose an edge over him.
Since Fayose emerged, he™s been asking to be forgiven by those he might have wronged while in office. That must mean most Ekiti people, on whom he brought odium via his motor park populism marked by swigging paraga on the streets and eating boli. Asking for forgiveness suggests contrition and it is not something we should sneer at. Conversion, he is telling us, did not end with the Damascene experience. Ekiti needs a man capable of being contrite when the need arises. Top marks to Fayose. Ekiti needs Fayose on the ballot for the 21 June contest reminder of what went on before now; to remind the people that he can be relied upon to be unreliable. Fayose 2.0 looks ominously like the model that ran the state between 2003 and 2006. His mouth, like before, has been going into gear before his brain. In Abuja, where he went to receive his certificate of return, the allegedly changed man claimed to have brought the incumbent, Governor Kayode Fayemi, into office and would remove him. Fayemi, said Fayose, would be in tears after the election. Boasts and politics have always mixed well, but this one is close to inane. The claim that he brought Fayemi is an eminently childish one. Fayemi declared his intention to run in 2005 while Fayose was still governor, meaning that Fayemi was going to duel with him for the governorship. No incumbent, except if plied with alcohol, narcotic or under a hex, invites someone to run against him.
And what would bring about tears? Did Fayose weep for months after he was evicted, albeit illegally, from office? Most likely. Otherwise, he would not have imagined that the loss of an election will provoke a lachrymal response. Ekiti people need Fayose on the ballot to make less difficult their choice between the polish of Fayemi and Fayose™s urchin brusqueness and hyperbolic self-promotion. Fayose is relentless in advertising himself as the first governor to build dual carriageways in the state. That is incontestable. It is similarly incontestable that dual carriageways are nothing more than expanded single lane roads with medians. When a governor trumpets the construction of dual carriageways““especially those that failed within a few years““with the fanfare that should accompany the discovery of a cure for AIDS, there is something terribly wrong. The people of Ekiti need to hear Fayose speak in his characteristically coarse way to help them decide if the governor they desire is one with the body of an adult but the mind of an infant. They need to listen to him and decide if they want a governor with a good performance record, polish and confidence or one that is in an eternal grip of inferiority complex and backed by Kashamu (nee Jinadu), who is wanted for drug running in the US.
Fayose (the 2003/2006 model) drenched the state in toxin. Daily, Ekiti heaved with tension. It was heresy to express a different political opinion to the crude one he had. Five protesting students of the College of Education, Ikere, were killed. Dr. Ayo Daramola, who was going to challenge Fayose for the PDP governorship ticket, was also felled. In Ifaki, Tunde Omojola was murdered, with Fayose alleged to be at the scene. Traditional rulers got generous doses of insults from a man, who thought he was a divinity. Of course, the academic community was unlikely to fare better under a man ravaged by inferiority complex. Professor Akin Oyebode, an acclaimed International Law expert and delegate to the ongoing National Dialogue, was a victim of the malevolence that Fayose presented as governance. The Ekiti State Poultry Project, from which he trousered so much money and for which he currently is being prosecuted, was advertised as an inspired idea. However, it delivered everything but chickens. Happily, Fayose™s return has re-invited public attention to the heist. He is being called Fowl-yose.
As a people, we need Fayose™s re-appearance on the scene to spark in us sufficient outrage to reject him, his sponsors and what they represent. We badly need him to remind us that the party he represents has a low opinion of us returning to the path he once charted for us will be ruinous. He claims to be a changed person, but that claim is being punctured by his conduct. He™d probably have to undergo a personality transplant to shed his brusqueness and the inferiority complex.
Until then, he should be rejected like he was in the last senatorial election.
…Published in TheNEWS magazine
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