BY EDDY ODIVWRI
Three days ago, Dr Kayode Fayemi resigned from President Muhammadu Buhariâ€™s cabinet as the Minister of Solid Minerals. It is so he can devote time to his bid to return to the Government House , Ado Ekiti, which he vacated in 2014.
The election holds July 14, 2018. Although the contest is largely a 2-horse-race between the standard-bearers of the All Progressives Congress (APC), â€”J. K Fayemi and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),–Professor Kolapo Olusola, 74, there are still a plethora of also-ran candidates numbering up to 30.
In a way, Kayode will yet be in arms against his traducer in 2014, Ayodele Fayose, the outgoing governor. The latter has nominated his deputy, considered in some quarters as a lackey, to succeed him. The choice of Olusola has caused huge disaffection within the PDP, as many members (like Dayo Adeyeye and his supporters) decamped to the rival APC, in protest.
Fayose, although not on the ballot, yet, he is the spirit and engine behind the Olusola candidacy, making all the political ruckus noise. He is actually the candidate by proxy. I have not heard the voice of the old man called Olusola himself. With Olusola in office, critics say, it will be like the voice of Jacob and the hand of Esau, as the candidate is a political puppet of his master, the raison dâ€™etreof his choice.
So the question is, are Ekiti voters ready to accept Fayemi now? Have they been weaned from the Fayose abracadabra? Will they yet be persuaded and swept off their feet by the tokenism of baglets of rice, otherwise called stomach infrastructure?
Fayose, for all its comic effect, is eyeing the presidency, having declared for the position of the number one citizen, in his PDP since last year. He has been taunting President Buhari as an old man who is not fit to be in office anymore. Yet, he is foisting an equally old man, about the same age with Buhari, on his Ekiti people. It is double face on parade, also called hypocrisy!
The Ekiti people have literally carried palm oil and water, and they now know which one is heavier. Fayemi was obviously misunderstood in his first term. His supporters believe, he has learnt his lessons and has forged stronger ties with the Ekiti electorate.
It is remarkable that while he served as minister, in the last three years, Fayemi continued to connect with his people in Ekiti. He did not abandon them. Whatâ€™s more, riding on the crest of his senior ally, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, the first executive governor of Ekiti State, he is bound to be on a stronger pedestal on this second missionary journey.
However, he must be working towards rebuilding all burnt or damaged bridges, on which he rode to higher and farther distances in his political journey. Fayemi should understand what I am saying. The Asiwaju Bola Tinubu bridge is one of such. He cannot but ensure that he rallies all â€œralliableâ€ stakeholders so he can get a rousing support for the contest.
Surely, Ekiti does not deserve to be in opposition. Many, including this reporter, believe that Ekiti people will be better for it by aligning with the government at the centre. If all the noise of Fayose is discounted, and we come down to brass tacks, what would we say Ekiti has experienced and achieved under Fayose? It is an agrarian state, with a good percentage of civil servants. These same civil servants are owed months and months of unpaid salaries, thus impoverishing the economy of the state. It is remarkable that there is no outstanding government-supported small, medium or large-scale business outfit, in the last four years of Fayose that should either impact positively on the economy of the people, or be a source of employment in the state. So what is the reading of the balance sheet?
Surely, the thought of leaving something substantial that can be pointed to, may have led to the building of the flyover bridge in Ado Ekiti. But the project has been condemned and poo-poohed by the members of the Nigerian Infrastructure Monitoring Group (NIMG) who went to inspect it. Not only did the team fault the design of the bridge as being too long and narrow (which could cause more problems than it is meant to solve), they noted that the idea of the bridge, was altogether unnecessary, since there is no traffic congestion where it was cited in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital. The team stopped short of describing the project as a waste of public resources and a puerile attempt to tag an administration with a project, whether it is useful or not.
For Fayemi, it will be his last chance to prove his worth and mettle to the Ekiti people, who are yearning for good and progressive government that will raise their living standard, far and above the low-line economy it has been subjected to, for years. I wish him good luck at the polls.
Buhari: Three Years After, Are you Better or Bitter?
Were you at the stadium last Tuesday?
Stadium? Which teams were playing football?
Is it only football match that takes people to the stadium? I am talking about the celebration of the Democracy Day of last Tuesday
(long hiss) Is it that one? Why should I waste my time to go to any stadium? Am I a primary school boy? Did I not listen to the plenty sweet nothings of Mr President on his broadcast? What is there to be excited about?
But the President made a lot of sense in his speech, promising to reinforce the essence of a government
So what does that mean in itself? It is such complex and meaningless declarations that have put us in the trouble we are in this country.
Did you not hear him talk about signing the Notâ€“too-Young-to-Run Bill? Did you not hear of his many achievements: how people use less of generators now for electricity supply . Did you not hear
(cuts in) Hear what? I did not hear anything! Did you believe all those things Mr President was saying? Is it true that people use less of generators now? Do you know how much I spend on diesel and petrol to power my generators everyday? Do you know how much Nigerians are spending on vehicle maintenance because of the badness of the roads?
He says he will sign the Not-too-Young-to-Run Bill, and asked the youths not to run against him. So what is the essence of the Bill? Put everything together, do you truly feel happier or heavier that Buhari is our president? Indeed, three years after that historic election, do you feel better or bitter?
My friend, the achievements of President Buhari are in the public domain. All discerning people know. Yes, the economy has been rough and tough. But it is showing a lot of prospect and recovery. You must have noticed how he grew our foreign reserves to an all-time high, how he introduced the Economic and Recovery Growth Plan, to stabilise Nigeria after the recession; how rails lines are being constructed in every nook and cranny across the land; how inflation rate is coming down steadily; how importation of food items has dropped drastically especially rice; how the nationâ€™s infrastructure are dutifully being revived.
Canâ€™t you see that there is more money to do more things now because of the advantages of using the TSA, unlike before when all the money would have been stolen? Do you know how much has been recovered from past looters?
Look, Nigeria is better and I feel better. If you feel bitter, perhaps you have taken too much of Alomo Bitters.
That is one side of the story. You conveniently avoided the issues of pervading insecurity in the land. How thousands of people have been killed in various herdsmen/gunmen attacks across the land. You conveniently ignored all the trouble about kidnapping and terrorist attacks in the North-east. You clearly forgot that four years after, some of the Chibok girls are still in captivity, not forgetting Leah Sharibu from the Dapchi School attack, who is still held by her captors because of her Christian faith. You conveniently forgot about the resurgence of violent robberies across the land, especially the recent bank robberies in Ofa, Kwara State. You conveniently forgot the hardship people are going through everyday, how people canâ€™t pay their rents and other bills anymore, because even state governments cannot pay workersâ€™ salaries; how decrepit our hospitals have remainedâ€¦ JOHESU just called off their 45-day strike action last Thursday. Do you know how many people died without having access to medical attention? Do you know over ten million people have lost their jobs in three years, whereas the government had promised to create three million jobs every year? Are those the things that make you feel better? If yes, then you have taken too much of sugary substances, or perhaps tramadol
You must realize that it is easier to destroy than to build. Buhari is trying to rebuild a destroyed nation. Nigerians must be patient. PDP destroyed every aspect of the nation for 16 years. Donâ€™t expect that in three years, the damage of 16 years will be completely corrected. The good news now is that we are headed in the right direction. It is no more a government of anything-can-go. Not anymore! So, this is a reconstructive government. And people must be patient. The darkest hour of the night is closest dawn.
We are tired of the gospel of patience. We are tired of this sermon on patience. Three years is enough to make meaningful impact. That is how all previous governments have been deceiving us with glib sermons about patience. We pray for them, they prey on us. We are tired. We are bitter. Another life is possible. Enough is enough!
Do you have your Permanent Voter Card (PVC)?