“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of losing, the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of victory from a perceived enemy.”
Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, is on a relentless mission to Fayeminised Ekiti State, his beloved home state, once again. He is on a revenge mission to convert those who once rebuffed him into ardent supporters or cheerleaders. Ekiti towns and cities are becoming magical laboratories where Kitians are being wooed back to Fayeminism. As hurricane Fayemi sweeps across the tumultuous landscape of Ekiti, the re-occupation or re-conquest of the State House by JKF is a matter of months. Welcome to occupy Ekiti at all cost for Fayemi. Welcome to do-or-perish politics of Ekiti kete. Welcome to politics at its ugliest!
Time, that greatest healer of all wounds, will soon tell if Fayemi’s groveling apology to the people of Ekiti has been accepted. Time will tell if he is truly the stone that was once rejected but about to be the capstone. Time will tell if he will be a living proof to the old argot that says: sometimes people have to reject you before they accept you. In earlier incarnation, Fayemi was known as a pompous, over-educated and elite-oriented politician. From October 15, 2010 to October 16, 2014 when he was governor, Kitians remembered with no fond memories Fayemi’s aloofness to his grassroots base. They remembered him as the over-confident governor who felt he was better than the state he governs. They remembered him for his tedious and posh Queens English that distanced him more than attracted the people to him. The Kitians demonised him as the ‘wicked’ governor who starved teachers and civil servants and poured salt on their injury with conceit and snobbishness.
Today, in our wistful nostalgia, we are awaiting the imminent return of a credible hero who have fought a battle with his old demon of arrogance and disdain for his people. Today, Fayemi is being called upon to purify the desiccation of Ekiti land by Ayodele Fayose. Today, age, wisdom and introspection in the wilderness have all combined to mellow and drained the repellent poison of arrogance that cost him the governorship throne.
Fayemi is proving not to be a man who enjoys oblivion. Ekiti politics is his oxygen – he cannot survive without it. His time as the Minister of Solid Minerals under President Buhari is a mere detour or stop over in his destination. He likes the temptation of Ekiti’s macho politics where cutlasses, axes, broken bottles and guns are necessary armour of survival.
JKF loves the emotional rush of dirty politics and its backroom intrigues and betrayal. Ever since politics was rebranded as a battlefield or do-or-die affair by Pa Olusegun Obasanjo, the Nigerian political terrain has been turned into a blood-soaked killing field. Ask the people of Rivers and Ekiti states. OBJ was the abhorrent pioneer, who, during the second republic, justified political anarchism as a necessary end that justified the means. The First Republic may have laid the ‘wetie’ foundation in the old Oyo politics, but Obasanjo stretched the warring baton with his unguarded do-or-die political doctrine and people like Ayodele Fayose has remained a horrible beneficiary of this orthodoxy.
In 2014, when the unexpected happened, it happened like a thunderbolt. Fayemi was defeated in the gubernatorial election by Fayose. Worse, he was shamed in his own local constituency of Isan Ekiti under the Oye local government. To Fayemi, the defeat was worse than humiliation. He alleged electoral robbery. He will not allow the perfidy to go unchallenged. The whole nation was stunned. For the first time, Fayemi gained an important illumination. He had no army. He had no police. He was made powerless. He was reduced to mortality. He was alone in a political wilderness. His ego was deflated by a rascally, but grassroots savvy and aggressive man called, Ayodele Fayose. Beaten, broken and brutalised, Fayemi embraced the cold chamber of political meditation.
The immediate aftermath of the 2014 defeat were streams of anti-Fayemi’s purge that circulated in outer space. Political commentators, social media pundits and columnists in turn diagnosed Fayemi and concluded that our cerebral, handsome and bespectacled politician had some diseased organs. There had been accusation of Fayemi’s failure to staunch the haemorrhaging of his grassroots support base. His quasi-intellectual aloofness and elitism that conspired to alienate the traditional institutions. APC’s mortal weakness for imposition. Fayemi’s predilection to “blow Queen’s grammar” rather than pedestrianised his “oyinbo” with area boy’s lingo like a Fayose. He is accused of being an advocate of polite politics in a state notorious for head-banging political turmoil.
Aware of the tough terrain of Ekiti political waters, the President has warned that Ekiti must be conquered and its soul returned to its waiting redeemer, John Kayode Fayemi. In turn JKF has equally boasted that Fayose will be paid back in his own coin. In 2014, Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan of corruption memory, supplied the money, the Army, the Police, the riggers and the thugs and delivered Ekiti to Fayose. Today the same enablers – money, the Army, the Police, the riggers – are now in favour of JKF.
This irony, this massive power shift, this no-condition-is-permanent are the political lessons for Ayodele Fayose. Today Ekiti is Fayose’s Imperial Rome that must be defended with every ounce of Kitians’ blood. Ekiti now sits precariously on the tipping edge of political fragility. Accusations and counter accusations are ratcheting up the polity. Fayemi’s billboard was allegedly ripped by Fayose’s standing army. There is accusation that APC and by extension the Federal Government plans to use students of the Federal University at Oye as Independent National Electoral Commission officials in a clandestine move to rig the July gubernatorial election. There is fear and apprehension among PDP politicians and their civilian cheerleaders of political suicide if Fayemi wins this election. The fear of his victory portends a clear and present danger. The assumption is that Fayemi in victory will surely engage in pound-for-pound politics of bitterness against all plunderers of Ekiti resources.
However, Ekiti most lovable rogue, Ayodele Fayose, has boasted that the Army, the Police, the tanks, the Federal cash and riggers are no match to the Rock of Gibraltar facing them – the menacing, stubborn, faithful, loyal and courageous people of Ekiti. He boasts that he still controls the scripts in Ekiti land and that his clone, Professor Olukolapo Olusola Eleka, still has a cathartic chance to rip through to victory come July 14, 2018. The subtext is this: Ayodele Fayose is reminding Buhari and Fayemi that the nostalgic Ekiti people will always remembered how he, Emperor Fayose, satisfied their hunger with stomach infrastructure and thus the people will not allow John Kayode Fayemi to win and enthrone a wicked and crippling austerity that has remained the marker of APC’s government.
Is JKF our second time charmer? Will the people of Ekiti fall in love with him this second time? I am holding my breath but hedging my bet on……………Fayemi is on a mission to recoup lost time and opportunity. He may never find both time and opportunity again after this election. He is on the run for his destiny. Shamefully, his politics is fast answering to personal pathology – his demonic desire for power, his inflated ego, untamed Fayosophobia and desire to humiliate and punish Ayodele Fayose who has consistently outsmarted and shamed his overrated intelligence and scholarship.
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