By Jide Adamolekun
On this season of power transition from one government to another, it is not unusual for all sorts of characters, including ones with no iota of electoral value to mill round the new political leader so as to gain underserved access to the corridors of power under the guise of wanting to render ‘selfless service’ to the nation. Following from this premise, this writer could not but quickly seize the moment to admonish General Mohammadu Buhari, president-elect, to beware of the so-called ‘technocrats’ with no electoral value when their gaunt democratic pedigree is subjected to the klieg light.
Permit me to state before going further that the writer is a freeborn indigene of Ekiti State. And consequently, in view of the blustery politics that is currently going on in that state between the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress(APC) lawmakers, it would amount to being unjust to one’s ancestors to remain apolitical as a crucial stakeholder from that state. It is from this prism that this writer takes his pen to share his view with the public about how the state gets to this sorry pass. And except some drastic political steps are taken, it could take a long while before the avoidable storm could subside.
Let me start by stating that the inspiration to write this article came from the issue-based article written by one Hakeem Adisa about the unrealistic politics of idealism that Fayemi came to play during his sojourn as governor of Ekiti. It becomes so unfortunate that he abandoned the politics of realism that brought him to power because of his disastrous miserly approach to politics that made him to make pecuniary profit from his own electoral failure while those people that are required to nurture the party that brought him to power wallowed in abject poverty.
This writer has taken sufficient time to read through the piece: ‘What does Kayode Fayemi want?’ and the counter one: Hakeem Adisa: ‘A masqurade’s needless rant against Fayemi’ by one Olayinka Oyebode, who describes himself as Fayemi’s Chief Press Secretary. The two articles were published in The Sun newspaper of Monday, May11 and 12 respectively.
The rejoinder refers to ‘sterling personality and democratic credentials of Dr Fayemi.’ And erroneously believes that it aims to ‘sow a seed of discord among some prominent leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and also pitch the National Leader of the party and former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, against some leaders of the party through a deliberate but senseless attempt to demonize them.’ This could not be true since to this writer that article merely exposes the ingrained but avoidable political guile of Fayemi and his proclivity for erroneously thinking himself to be vaingloriously superior to benevolent political partners that is gradually preparing his ground for political perdition.
For example, his spokesperson in his rejoinder gleefully stated that Adisa ‘bared his fangs against Fayemi, heaped up every imaginable distortion of facts of history to demonize him and make him unworthy in the congregation of right thinking men and women.’ The piece he describes as ‘at best a long rehash of unfounded allegations and fabricated reports garnished with questionable sources and innuendoes.’ Yet he unsuccessfully and convincingly could not convince the educated and politically discernible in Ekiti State and observers across the country that issues raised by that man called Adisa such as Fayemi’s needless political garrulity, contempt for political party, its leadership and party members that brought him to power, disloyalty to his benefactor through surreptitious undermining of benefactor’s interests, consistent hypocritical attitude, his unreliability on matters of sanctity of promise, his hypocritically being miserly that became his undoing when others know what he is benefitting from the same government and his deliberate isolation of party loyalists in a political climate that is all about the people, amongst others.
Oyebode went ahead to confirm that Fayemi had a dalliance with Obasanjo even if such is ad-hoc as ‘a participant in Africa Leadership Forum’s CSSDCA initiative and its security and demilitarization series. He was also involved in several committees set up by President Obasanjo purely on a technocratic basis. For example, he served on the Presidential Implementation Committees on NEPAD, on the MDGS and on Security Sector Reform and Conflict Management. He was also the main Technical Adviser to the Oputa Panel set up by President Obasanjo to investigate human rights violations.” But this Fayemi spokesman forgot to tell Nigerians how much of public fund was expended on these projects and the degree of positive impact they had on the wellbeing of the populace. Could participation in projects that have not positively impacted on the lives of the people be altruistically described as nationalistic or rather, an ingenious means of creating money for the boys for their un-nationalistic ‘loyalty.’
The question of who brought Fayemi closer to Tinubu was not faithfully answered. It is trite that during the apogee of the NADECO struggles abroad when Tinubu led the pack, Fayemi, like several others might had, on few occasions, met with the Jagaban Borgu for help in the United Kingdom and the United States. It is also true that Fayemi had frequently expressed his contempt for Tinubu, in private conversations with friends including a renowned professor known more for his column writing prowess and mastery of the Queen’s language that was also on exile during the same period. Fayemi should tell the world what level of cordiality existed between him and Tinubu since 1994 and 2005 before someone brought him to Tinubu’s office as a sitting governor. Ekiti people and others across the nation want him to tell them who that ‘someone’ was. Or did he just walk straight into the Alausa Governor’s Office without appointment? If he got an appointment, who scheduled the appointment with then Lagos governor, if not Opeyemi Bamidele that he also subsequently betrayed? His spokesperson also mischievously omitted his response on how he got money with which he funded his election as governor, how much it cost his benefactor and whether it was true that a powerful commissioner in Lagos gave him the first tranch or not. The same funding he miserly could not provide during his re-election as would be proved later.
As a bona fide Ekiti indigene, it is confounding to note the observation that ‘Fayemi’s achievements in the four years he served as governor of Ekiti State are well documented in the hearts of the people and has become a standard through which the incumbent administration and future administrations would be measured.’ It is quite deluding for Fayemi to be alluding to his conspicuous public consumption as achievements. Could it be the pointless billion naira worth of Government House that he built in a state that reeks of poverty that he calls an achievement? Could it be the un-used stadium he built when an old newly refurbished one is in place? Or could it be his abandoned costly entertainment centre in a state known for undying craving and pursuits for educational excellence? These, amongst others, are conduit pipes through which billions of naira were wasted in Ekiti under Fayemi that prompted the people to truly vote him out of power, the Ekiti-gate notwithstanding because the people would have revolted if the result had not reflected their true wishes in the 16 local government areas of the state.
To dispute the fact that Fayemi is a ‘political neophyte’ is to deny the obvious. The fact that he deprived incumbent Ekiti Governor, Ayodele Fayose, the senatorial ticket in 2011 is just a manifestation of his treachery against a man that really helped him prosecute the Ido-Osi election re-run that catapulted him to office. His betrayal of Fayose has been the hallmark of his relationship with his political benefactors, which is why Buhari must be careful with Fayemi’s sly personality.
As an indigene of Ekiti, this writer knew what transpired during the governorship election that threw Fayemi out of office. His haughty behavior at that time sent many of his staunch party faithful away from him. It was at that time that this writer felt for Tinubu for committing his resources and time on this ingrate and for especially the entire Ekiti people that have always been on the side of progressive politics. We all saw power slipping away from Fayemi’s hands but he stayed away from notable people that could help him, including Tinubu, the shrewd political strategist whom he told everything was in order when he was asked how far with his preparation for his re-election bid. Fayemi relied solely on the current governor of Lagos State to give him the magic want to win his re-election. Unfortunately the strategy that Governor Babatunde Fashola gave Fayemi failed him and even in the 2015 elections, Fashola’s political strategy could not save him from losing his ward and even Surulere Local Government. What a lesson for other over ambitious political ‘technocrats’! Let us ask Fayemi whether it is part of the political strategy of a technocrat during electioneering to give his commissioner paltry N150 and SSAs miserly N50, 000 to be used to galvanize support at the local level during his election when his own promoter spent billions before he assumed office? What hypocrisy! This is why it becomes laughable whenever Fayemi goes around parading himself as Head of the Directorate for Policy, Research and Strategy of the APC Presidential Campaign. For goodness sake, what correct policy, research and warped strategy can this failed Ekiti former governor that was mercilessly beaten by Fayose come up with?
Finally, he destroyed any goodwill in his touted victory concession speech when in an interview conducted by one Dapo Thomas and published by two national newspapers, not long after his failed re-election bid, where he said that he did not concede defeat but that the public misconstrues his semantics. Publications don’t lie. How can Fayemi now be comparing his ambivalent concession with that of President Goodluck’s unambiguous victory concession phone call to President-elect Buhari, even before the final result was announced?
President-elect Buhari must note that Fayemi, as a touted technocrat, cannot truly represent Ekiti because he has no electoral value whether in that state or across the entire Yoruba land. The president-elect must also note that the party he destroyed in Ekiti actually brought him to power without Fayemi delivering the state. Let Buhari start thinking beyond 2015 by realizing the importance of taking serious people that truly can be considered as technocrats and genuine beneficial politicians. Fayemi, a failed politician and ilk could not sincerely be counted among this class.
– This Best Outside Opinion was written by Dr Jide Adamolekun/The Nation is an educationist residing in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state.