Our Politics_The Tragedy of A Proud People

Ayo Fayose



I concede that:

  1. In a democracy, the electorate is king; and they have an inalienable right to choose their representatives.
  2. Such choice(s) once made remain sacrosanct until the electorate choose another; or such choice is annulled constitutionally.

However, the above does not preclude discuss on that choice, even though such discussions may only be academic. So, I choose to exercise that democratic right to talk about the tragedy of Ekiti State, South-west Nigeria.

This misfortune is self-inflicting because the main character of this debacle has a well-known history. He’s done it before to the angst of the proud people of Ekiti between 2003-2006 when he was first elected, then impeached. Yet, off they went again  two years ago, dancing to the rhythm, “not until I’ve been disgraced”.

Now, even the ardent of supporters for this individual can only scratch their heads in bewilderment. Majority of the Ekiti electorate seem immune to the  English adage, once beaten, twice shy! I repeat for emphasis, off they went, as if in a Greek tragedy, and elected this fellow a second time. Many even threatened to lay down their lives for the fellow! The main plank of his manifesto had an inane phrase, STOMACH INFRASTRUCTURE; and boy is he delivering on that promise!

But, as it happened with the poultry saga during his first term where billions of their commonwealth was irretrievably sunk in a cuckoo (permit my onomatopoeia) project, they have again woken up to the deja vu that another tranche of billions is burrowed in his personal lair! Could it be they trusted things would turn out differently this time around; or just plainly do not care, so long as sachets of packaged rice and less than $1 is thrust in their palms periodically?

I am sure someone out there will hola “innocent until proven guilty”; or “but he has immunity from prosecution”; or even “it’s all a witch hunt”, and similar appeals to pity. While it is not my remit to debate the merits or demerits of such saying, I humbly request such ‘defenders of the faith’ to tell that to workers who have not been paid for months, not the pepper and ponmo sellers he cavorts with.

My conclusion is this: I personally cannot find it in me to blame this fellow. No. I in fact congratulate him! Why? If I allow someone to defraud me twice in a trot, then why blame him? No one has been able to prove that he did not win the last gubernatorial election in 2014, despite the allegation of military intimidation and/or coercion. Since that election was not contested in court by any aggrieved, the presumption is that he won fair and square. So, I cannot blame him for stealing a match on Ekiti people.

I’d rather ask these questions: (1) Were past descriptions of the Ekiti people as not only well read but also an intelligible lot, wrong? (2) If not so, does it mean that majority of Ekiti kete are so given to self immolation that they knowingly compromise their own future by trusting their governance to this fellow?

I ask these questions because (1) many of the workers whose salaries cannot now be paid were among the motley crowd that insisted it was this fellow, and no one else! (2) More importantly is there any form of redemption for the battered psyche of this once proud people?

Maybe the next two (2) years would serve as penance for this once proud nation, to take a collective deep breath before they get another chance to either sell their patrimony to charlatans, or redeem their futures by making a u-turn. The answer, my friends, should manifest soon.


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