by Dare Lawal
The Action Congress of Nigeria of Nigeria continued its peculiar method of selecting candidates to field for elections via official proclamation from above, particularly from its national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
The Tinubu train was in Ekiti on Wednesday, where he endorsed the state governor, Kayode Fayemi, for a second term in office. Also present at the meeting which took place at Jibowu Hall, Government House Complex, Ado-Ekiti, were the national chairman of the party, Bisi Akande, national secretary of the party, Lai Mohammed, former commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos, Dele Alake, and Senator James Kolawole.
Others include a former governor of Ekiti and interim Southwest Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Otunba Niyi Adebayo, former governor of the old Ondo State, Evang. Bamidele Olumilua, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Dr. Adewale Omirin, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Yemi Adaramodu, Senators Babafemi Ojudu (Ekiti Central), Tony Adeniyi (Ekiti South) and Olubunmi Adetumbi (Ekiti North).
The governor, his deputy, as well as commissioners, special assistants, local government chairmen and other party functionaries across Ekiti were also present.
The party leaders said Fayemi had been an excellent performer and was therefore eligible to run again in next year’s election.
Bola Tinubu, in a speech which lasted for over one and a half hours, said, “We have not come to impose somebody on you. We have come just to settle a quarrel. America would normally say if the bicycle is not faulty, you don’t take it to the repairer. Fayemi has passed; will you promote him or not?”
If the Fayemi endorsement by Tinubu was not an imposition, then Tinubu had an interesting way of showing it. He called on Opeyemi Bamidele, the one candidate within the party who has signified an interest to challenge Fayemi for the ticket, to drop his ambition.
Hear him: “When we got there (the political headship of the state), why would we not know how to manage our success?
“If anyone here knows Opeyemi, tell him that Jagaban has sent you to him to drop his ambition. Invite him and appeal to him. We will return later to do official endorsement.”
“Koko lo’ju Abe to ba ma fari” (meaning, the knife that will shave must be sharp.)
Opeyemi, who represents Ekiti Central at the House of Reps, was not present at the event.
Tinubu laced his speech with anecdotes, proverbs, jokes and illustrations. He said that the party would also pay similar visits to Anambra and Osun states where governorship elections are also being awaited.
He said, “there is no shame in politics, everyone’s turn would come sooner than later.”
On his part, the ACN national chairman said that the task of the ACN was three-pronged, how to merge with other parties without experiencing cultural hiccups, how to position the party for the coming elections in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun states and how to unseat the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from national leadership.
“We are going to merge with another party, but is our culture going to change? Three elections are on the way, but how do we prepare for them? The last task is how do we remove the PDP from Abuja?
“Our mission today is to set in motion processes to settle our in-house misunderstanding. If any exists, we must settle it to move ahead,” he said.