By FEMI ODERE
There is something inherently intriguing about Ekiti State, its politics especially during its electioneering campaign that makes someone on the outside looking in to wonder—-sometimes in perplexity—-if some of its indigenes with the intellectual wherewithal to interrogate the state’s politics with its nuances really understand what leadership should produce. In their attempts to be counted as part of the so-called major stakeholders in the politics of the state, it is during this electioneering period that some people suddenly remembers that they too have a couple of Ph. Ds that had been tucked away for eon—-much of which had probably been fed on by termites—-which they must flaunt as their bragging rights to interrogate the state’s politics and its major players. In trying to display their intellectual endowments, most of these “Jonny Just Come (JJC)” political analysts end up making mockery of themselves that makes one wonder who signed off on their dissertations in the first place.
Such a pedestrian thought process was what characterized a piece that appeared on Facebook and other social media platforms by someone who obscured his identity probably because he either doesn’t have confidence in his own conviction or he knew his friends and/or associates would be utterly embarrassed should they know that he authored a piece anchored on a thought process of a kindergartner. Yet, a negative narrative he must put out in order to achieve a nefarious end because it’s election season in Ekiti. He may not have had the presence of mind to identify himself as being the author, but at least he remembered (we must thank God for little mercies) to give it a title. The piece, entitled “I DO NOT HATE FAYEMI” was even a contradiction in terms because his diatribe reeks of nothing but a pathological disdain for the one he wanted the world to believe that he does not hate.
But since he chose to be anonymous, we shall call him Afilaka. This name is fitting not only because of his shallow, unstructured, uncoordinated, incoherent and unnecessarily repetitive thought pattern like that of a juvenile, but also because he jumped all over the pages of his piece.
Much of what Afilaka called truth-telling about Fayemi in his sinister attempt to remind him of the danger of presenting himself for re-election was without any basis. One can respond to the “I do not hate Fayemi” oddity phrase by phrase to show how crass his thoughts were. But it will suffice to address a few of the oddities that stands out in ignominy here. But before that, it’s necessary to state here that this shadowy personality is either part of an orchestra morbidly fearful of Fayemi joining the election slugfest because their candidates would have not even a fighting chance to make it to the primaries, or it may be that Afilaka is actually throwing mud at the former governor from the camp of the ruling party with the hope that some of it would stick because of Fayemi’s formidability should he join the contest. Either way, inflicting the heaviest political damage and taunting him with a 2014 defeat which Nigerians now know was the most highly orchestrated rigging even with the admittance of the major players in the exercise became a fair weapon in an electoral war.
Because his reasoning was so unintelligible and his regurgitation of fiction as fact so asinine, Afilaka should have done himself a world of good had he left out his claim as an Associate Professor (again, thank God, he didn’t tell us whether or not he teaches) which he probably threw in to bamboozle his readers about his analytical ability as well as convince them that he’s educated well enough to know what he was talking about. His reasoning hardly reflects his acclaimed high-end academic certification as we shall see presently.
Afilaka’s first major step in his attempt to impress us that he’s a member of the intelligentsia fell flat on its face with his assertion that “Politics is for every matured (sic) citizen to participate in, as long as it’s (sic) outcome affects everyone including [him]” as it was a dead giveaway about the soundness of his mind as an Associate Professor. Wrong. Politics is for every citizen to participate in and their participation in any way does not, and should not have to be contingent upon whether or not its outcome personally benefits everyone in equal measure. It is part of their civic duties. Afilaka also may not be in the best position to tell us what difference he’s making just because he does not “play politics of deceit and bitterness.” His piece was anything but deceit and bitterness. And his self-proclaimed aversion to following the “multitude to do evil” was nothing but a subjective interpretation of himself that has already failed the integrity test, judging from his blatant lies against his target.
His stance that he cannot “be criticizing Fayose or anybody because somebody is criticizing him for no just reason” even when he claims to belong to the opposition APC in the state—-and a supporter of Engr. Segun Oni to boot—-attest to my earlier submission that it is either Afilaka is a member of Oni’s group whose mandate is to tar Fayemi with the most odious brush or he’s actually a Fayose apologist disguising as APC member because of the anonymity provided by the social media. If he’s truly a Segun Oni supporter, one should wonder why he cannot see anything to criticise about the administration of a man that principal is attempting to defeat his surrogate and his party in the next election. But we shall leave Afilaka’s contradictions and his unearned self-righteousness alone to interrogate some of his untruths about Fayemi, his intended target.
Afilaka wants us to believe that he does not “hate anybody, not even Dr. Kayode Fayemi” and has “no personal axe to grind with him” as he has “not met him personally.” But his first axe against Fayemi was his believe that the former governor is “personally sponsoring, particularly his Just Keep Following Group (JKFG)” which is creating the impression in the public “that Ekiti people wants him back as governor in 2018.” And he could not understand that. “How can a group of people be asking all Ekitis to just keep following someone?” “It is Ridiculous,” he quipped. With this line of thought, our Associate Professor lacks the presence of mind to know that the “Just Keep Following (JKF)” group fits perfectly with the minister’s JKF acronym, thus a perfect rhythmic phrase for information dissemination to attract public awareness that may not be taken literally. The group’s name is a reflection of creativity which Afilaka apparently lacks.
One would like to ask him if the “Go On With One Nigeria” (in case he’s old enough to have seen or heard that coined rhyme) crafted after Nigeria’s civil war, using the surname of then head of state (Gen. Yakubu Gowon) has prevented a section of the country from agitating for secession from the polity even up till now. Most importantly, what evidence does have our professor that Fayemi is “personally sponsoring” this group? Since he admitted being a Segun Oni’s supporter, what if he’s accused that his jaundiced article was sponsored by the esteemed former governor? But one need not go that far.
As if he has been given some privileged information by the people of Ekiti as to who they would vote for Afilaka tried his hand on some scare-tactics. Hear him: “I am an Ekiti son [who lives] at the state capital for that matter and I am enlightened and politically conscious (really?) enough to know that such claim that Ekiti want Fayemi back as a governor, is a blatant lie and a way of giving the people outside Ekiti, particularly Abuja people, the impression that he is positively popular….The answer to this is a clear no. It is a deceit to (L)ord and force him on Ekiti people again.” Phew! As much as one feels sorry for him for wallowing in such a pathetic reasoning, he should still be asked if his living in the state capital is sufficient enough to know that Fayemi is not wanted to govern Ekiti again. Where is the evidence in form of survey/poll that Fayemi is no longer “positively popular” in Ekiti?
This man has demonstrated a lack of mental capacity to recognize the truth even if it’s sitting pretty on his nose for continuing to spread the already discredited version (which he calls the truth) of what brought about the so-called 16-0 electoral verdict. His assertion that “the 16-0 verdict they gave him during the 2014 general elections” and that “Dr Fayemi lost the 2014 governorship elections through manipulations or through the influence of Federal might (under Jonathan) is a lie and a mere political statement” cannot pass the integrity test because quite a number of people who participated in that electoral heist had already confessed the roles they played in the 2014 governorship election. And the records of those confessions are in the public domain.
The Segun Oni group should really be worried if truly this man is one of their members. He may be a mole. Otherwise one wonders why Fayose is insidiously venerated and he saw nothing wrong in his submission that “Ekiti people will prefer a Professor and Pastor like Olusola Eleka to Dr Kayode Fayemi at any time” if he’s truly a party man even if his principal should fail to scale through the primaries. His subtle emphasis on Fayose’s deputy being a “Professor and Pastor” should make the Segun Oni group to be wary of him, if not suspicious of his real intention. What’s the point of his subtle emphasis of Fayose’s deputy being a “Professor and Pastor?”
One must admit the difficulty in following his reasoning as he prevaricated and vacillated in this unintelligible diatribe grossly unbefitting of an Associate Professor. One more example of this disjointed piece will suffice and one shall leave bad enough alone. Afilaka questioned Fayemi’s rational for coming “back so soon as governor” after he left “a ruined economy, misplaced priorities and wrong policies as a governor” and also asked unintelligently “what has Ekiti (he?) got to show for (it)” that Fayemi is a Minister and one of the cabinet members closest to the president. Really? Well, the above submission clearly demonstrates that either this man has been blinded by hatred that he cannot see Fayemi’s many accomplishments or his gullibility is irredeemable that he doesn’t even know what “a ruined economy, misplaced priorities and wrong policies” really means, which again calls into serious question his professorial certification.
How could someone have said that a former governor who turned a largely undeveloped vast expanse of forest land (Ikogosi Warm Spring) into a modern tourist destination where local and international retreats and workshops were held and in which its existence significantly contributed to the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) left a “ruined economy?” Or was it the Ire Burnt Brick factory built in the late 70s or early 80s that became moribund after Chief Ajasin left and revived by Fayemi as governor which did not only create employment but also increased the state’s revenue his example of a ruined economy? Was the consistent provision of N5,000 stipends to the state’s poor elderly citizens by Fayemi during the lifetime of his administration with its attendant multiplier effects on the state’s economy an embodiment of misplaced priorities? Could someone with the presence of mind have said that a former governor who engaged the state’s youths in agriculture through his Youth Commercial Agricultural Development (YCAD) programme now being replicated nationwide by the federal government embarked on wrong policies? And the list can go on ad infinitum. It’s of importance to mention here that the aforementioned and most other policy initiatives of the Fayemi administration had since been jettisoned by the current state government.
Because it’s an election season in Ekiti, some people are obviously going to make fools of themselves in their mad rush to discredit Fayemi and his administration not only because the deep intellectual dimension he brought into governance that would have radically re-engineered Ekiti society and placed it on a solid growth trajectory—-similar to what Awolowo did in the old Western Region—-was indeed very strange to them. But also because he ran a very transparent government in which the records of his administration in his four-year tenure are in the public domain. That his political detractors are already fidgeting when he hasn’t even declared his intention to run in the state’s governorship election attests to the fact that Fayemi is unarguably the most profound issue in Ekiti politics. You throw stones to the tree that has the most and juiciest fruits.
Femi Odere writes in from Lagos vide firstname.lastname@example.org
Tiny URL for this post: