Last week, when I dropped my pen at the end of the firstpart of this series, I did not in anyway imagine the barrage of comments the topic would attract, particlarly since the centre of discussion, Peter Ayodele Fayose, had been dismissed, mainly by those who fell
victim to his attacks, as a glorified political tout, whose words should
not be taken to heart.
In fact, in the heat of a recent altercation between the controversial governor and former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the latter had called Fayose a bastard, who was never involved in sensible projects. “Fayose only impresses illiterates. He’s never in the news for laudable projects; he’s either riding bikes, cutting ponmo or insulting the Federal Government. Fayose is the tragedy that happens when Ekiti people cho(o)se ‘rice’ and ‘a bastard’ over an educational colossus like Fayemi. What a disaster!” OBJ said. If these words were anything to go by, then a piece on the same person should have been ignored by Nigeria’s socalled elite.
The ink of that article had, however, hardly dried when I began to receive telephone calls and text messages from notable Nigerians across the ethnic groups in Nigeria. Some said I was celebrating hooliganism in a pleasant way with the insinuation that Fayose had scaled problematic hurdles in the Nigerian political scene by pitching his tent with ‘hemp smokers’ and street urchins in the name of supporters. Yet, some asserted that Fayose was their man anyday and even called for more of his type to tame the oversized egos of those they described as outdated political heavyweights. Surprisingly the very bad comments came from two prominent Peoples Democratic Party members, whose names I
would rather keep close to my chest.
“Those who celebrate Fayose here are not those who understand what it means to run a successful government. Comparing Fayose with Fayemi is like comparing day and night. Anyone who celebrates murderers and gangsters is inadvertently laying a thorny bed for future generations. Are we telling them to emulate thuggery in its worst form? Please, we need to be better informed,” one of them said.
But a die-hard fan of the controversial governor, who has served at the federal level under two former administrations, sought for my hotline and sent this text: “Your research on Fayose made my day. He is one politician I can’t stop admiring for his guts. These old politicians, who think they own Nigeria, must be rattled by those who can dare, though I noticed that you only played up his strong points before attacking his style.”
These are just two out of the many comments for and against Fayose’s governance and political styles. From the controversy that the article generated, one needs no other proof that the hero of the so-called ‘hooligans’ in Ekiti is one poilitician, whose actions, or better put, inactions have expanded his tentacles beyond the confines of Ekiti into the very heart of Nigerian politics. Whether he is a hooligan or celebrated tout is a matter for debate on another platform. At about 2.5 million, the population of his state is roughly 1.4 per cent of the entire Nigerian population, but today, he looms larger than any other governor, having assumed a self-imposed replacement for Olisa Metuh, the embattled PDP spokesman.
What may not be contested here is that Fayose has continued to thrill his fans with his unending hilarious interpretations of serious issues that are being thrown up in the wake
of the early tottering steps of what looks like an overwhelmed All Progessives Congress regime.
Nigerians, or better still, critics had thought that his mouth would take a break with the startling revelation by his close ally that the election, which produced him as governor was thoroughly flawed. But Fayose has continued to pose daring questions capable of shaking the best brains of the ruling APC even as he blows the whistle on what he describes as a calculated plan to use the Supreme Court to upturn his electoral victory.
I’m not in anyway a fan of Fayose, particularly considering some insiderrevelations of how he deliberately creates perilous situations and fixes them all in a bid to earn the praises of his people. But the truth is that Nigerians need many more of his type, whether refined or not, especially at this point in time, to put the ruling party in check.
Inasmuch as we all admire the indisputable integrity of President Muhammadu Buhari, there are very clear indications that he may be boxed into a corner by some crooks surrounding him that he doesn’t even know exist. While the President is fighting the crucial battle against ingrained corruption, those who are bent on giving a new pot of paint to image spoilers abroad are at their wits’ end, working round the clock to push him, hands tied, into the same pit of financial recklessness that formed the basis of his predecessors’ failure.
Or how best can one describe a situation where a government being celebrated at home and abroad for its earth-shaking exposés on high-level corruption involving prominent Nigerians, especially its incorruptible stance in the ongoing Dasukigate, is itself entangled in a messy budget padding imbroglio capable of soiling an otherwise just cause? The same cobwebs that had defaced an otherwise beautiful Aso Rock Villa, occupied by previous presidents, have been left hanging around its corners. If the Buhari government does not urgently engage the services of ruthless cleaners, they will truncate Nigeria’s hope of savouring the sweetest part of change.
I would therefore advise Fayose not to expend his energy, on behalf of Nigerians, for instance, to seek for the real reason our President “suddenly” went on a five-day vacation,
when he had told the nation that he was embarking on an official visit to France and Britain. He should instead assemble a check-team among the many renowned professors
from Ekiti to dissect every aspect of the Nigerian economy and pick holes that must be corrected, from the budget, to the Villa and MDAs, among others. Armed with good statistics to prove that all is not well, he can then lead other Nigerians, whose wives are like Feyisetan, his prayer warrior, to the battlefront! At least, for now, he has all the immunity to enjoy his acidic tongue. If he loses the raging battle of electoral fraud, he can always take the 2006 route!