(By Taiwo Okunnuga)
“There are lots of factors that culminated to Fayemi’s loss in the June 21st election, may be someday I will have the patience and time to refresh them, but if someone who was thrown out of office eight years ago could become a ‘popular demand’ , then the incumbent should also check himself“.
It would be wrong to continue to bring unnecessary excuse from the gallant defeat of APC in the June 21st Governorship election in Ekiti State.
I waited long, expecting pundits and analysts to be blunt on addressing the real cause of the APC’s loss in the June 21st election in Ekiti State, but baffles that up till now no one has been able to smash the nail on its head.
Some had attributed the loss to photchromism, a phenomenon I least remembered was in existence until after the Ekiti governorship election, some attributed the loss to ‘stomach infrastructure’, a lot of things have been given to be reasons Fayemi/APC lost the election.
I have also been asked series of questions by my friends and allies on why Fayemi lost out the election, and each time such question arises, I have always been very careful of the response to give. Of a point, Governor Fayemi met Ekiti State in absolute decadence, the state of the State as at when Fayemi took over the leadership was a deep mess, there was no good infrastructure, unemployment was on its highest ebb, Ekiti State was a home of terror and anarchy, insecurity was a big fear of the people. Fayemi came with a magic hand, he envisioned the State higher than her limit, he swung into actions and today Ekiti State is a place of excellence, no sector in the State has not enjoyed the good hands of Fayemi, his performance is visible to all eyes. Now Ekiti enjoys good road network, Education, health sectors have been enviably touched and transformed in all parts of the State, the old moribund Ikogosi water resort and Ire burnt bricks were transformed and became cynosure of all eyes, the agricultural sector was given a high priority, several processing and storage facilities were put to place, Ekiti State is today a great State which everyone can be proud of in terms of infrastructural developments. What a great blessing Fayemi is to the State!
In a working system, his goods works are enough to have made him emerge victoriously in the June 21st election, but why was it on the contrary?
I put the blame of the loss on Fayemi himself, for not been able to put his house in order before the election. He didn’t understand early enough that ‘everyone’ matters in politics. Should Opeyemi Bamidele have contested against him is a question only conscience can answer. Bamidele played a good role in the judicial struggle of Fayemi that saw him have his mandate on October 15th, 2010, but not too long from then that the rigour started and Bamidele was tagged to be an enemy of the State. The crisis went on long that all the followers of Bamidele were sectionalized from benefiting any thing from the government they suffered for in the times of travails. The respected member of the Federal House of Representatives was humiliated at home and away from home, at every point of meeting him, one of the close Aides of Fayemi would always want to molest him. Bamidele resolved to contest the election with him not on the belief that he was going to emerge but just to ensure that Fayemi does not return to that seat, having been tired of the gross and crude treatment on him and his ‘many’ followers. I have not joined people to criticise MOB, I have always believed he could have been managed.
Fayemi ‘almost’ forgot his generals , people who worked and supported him were forgotten, most of them almost became beggars to some of his political aides who by crass opportunism found themselves in the corridor of power and do not see reasons to be humble or take anyone seen on their ways serious, people were forgotten, a lot of hopes were shattered, Fayemi brought in new set of people ‘unknown’ in the struggle to power, most of them would hardly respond a simple greeting you give them.
Governor Fayemi did not separate his person before becoming a governor and his person as a governor. He became a scarce commodity, the only place people could see their governor was on EKTV or on News prints, apart from the very few elders who could see him in several of his town-hall meetings. He became very far from his people. Yes, one may wonder how a governor who gives thousands of Elderly a sum of #5,000 each every month be said to be at distance from his people. The simple truth is that Fayemi was far from the people,even those who work in his office can hardly tell the colour of the cloth their governor wears to work. Even at that, what role did his aides play to fill the spaces? Kudos to Mr. Hakeem Abiola(CSO), Barr. Funminiyi Afuye, the DG. Ekiti Broadcasting Co-operation- Mr. Akeem, Egghead Odewale and few others for their immense roles and contributions to the administration. Mr. Hakeem Abiola was very exceptional, if not him, there was possibility that the government may have collapsed very early, his service-job constrained him to a limit, someone like that should be welcomed to politics after retirement from civil service. Mr. Egghead Odewale was also very fantastic though more extreme in his old ideology before he came to politics than the real practise of politics as it requires in the Nigerian standard. Barr. Funminiyi and Mr. Akeem were great, surely their good works will continue to speak for them.
The centralization of the Ekiti State University’s students school fees cannot also be detached from the cause of the loss. Yes, Fayemi promised a review of the tuition on the 16th October, 2010 which was later reduced to #50,000 but there was no good explanation for the bogus fees paid by these students in the ‘almost’ four years term of Fayemi. Perhaps, if the fees was decentalized, the much blame would have not gone to the State government but the University Management. The Students felt betrayed by this and no one could rationalize issues to them, instead people who attempted doing that were tagged as devil to the Students’ community by the Students. One cannot blame them though.
We cannot also ignore the fact that Fayemi surrounded himself with egocentric and very stingy people who can hardly give out a kobo from their bogus salary to anyone. Their hands are too tight that nothing can go out of them than ‘Fayemi’ has not paid their salary, Fayemi is cutting short their allowances, Fayemi is not giving then this and that. Complaints all the time. For the first time, I heard of people blackmailing their own government. Someway, people might be tired of such a government. They could have handled the grassroot and instilled more confidence in the hearts of the people, that is the more essence of aides to a governor.
The failed Teachers’ Assessment Test was also a good intention that was politicised and misconstrued by Ekiti people, particularly the teachers. The possibility of it coming again should Fayemi re-emerges poised a fear on them and they could not afford to give him their votes again. His good intentions no doubt cost him the second mandate. A peculiar characteristic of the Nigerian system, where politics has become the order of the day in all sectors. Even the developed States test their teachers, it doesn’t mean that they are denigrated, but just an assessment that must continue keeping our teachers active on their toes. Once bitten, twice shy!
There are lots of factors that culminated to Fayemi’s loss in the June 21st election, may be someday I will have the patience and time to refresh them, but if someone who was thrown out of office eight years ago could become a ‘popular demand’ , then the incumbent should also check himself. Beyond the Federal Government mights and millitarisation of the election, if it was conducted 1000 times, there is POSSIBILITY of Fayemi loosing the election 1000times.
However, for some policies he made. For some un-precedented programmes and projects he ensured, the entire people of Ekiti will not forget him, no doubt the meticulous book of history has absorbed and recorded his name in gold. Beyond what anybody would say, God will judge him appropriately.
What the people want are very few; They want foods on their tables, they want a governor who will be accessible and be part of them, the youths want pensionable jobs. Anyone who can give these is the people’s messiah.
The E11 was not wrong to have challenged the eligibility of Fayose in the State governorship election, we can only put the blame on the weak nature of the Nigerian system, where a case that ought to have been concluded before the election is now a contention after the election. Any whichway, the case is still in court, pending the time that a verdict will be given, we can only pray and wish the Governor-elect well in paddling the canoe of the State’s leadership. It’s a lesson to the Judiciary.
Above all, when a Villain becomes an Hero, we should only learn from it. lessons have been taught, lessons have been learnt , Ekiti State must LIVE!
Taiwo Okunuga writes from Ogun State, Nigeria.
“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”