The “pounded yam prophecy” that nailed APC's JKF
By Femi Ayelabowo
It was meant to be a prophecy from her God, but those who ought to have done something took after Ali Baba and his band of comedians. They laughed the prophetess to scorn describing her prophecy as a function of the pounded yam for which Ekiti people have become notorious. Others in All Progressives Congress (APC) said the woman was sick in the body and in the head.
Feyisetan Fayose is the prophetess whose words came to pass as she said she heard from God, and those busy licking their wounds for denigrating the holy woman are John Kayode Fayemi (JKF) and the APC, who have been roundly defeated by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Ayodele Fayose, in the Ekiti gubernatorial elections by a whopping margin of nearly 83,000 votes.
These were the prophetic words of Mrs. Fayose, a clear week before the elections: “I am not a politician but a woman that believes in God. As the Lord liveth, I have simply come to announce to you and any other doubting Thomases of the inevitable return and restoration of my husband, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, to his seat as the next governor of Ekiti State. By the special grace of God, his return is certain and so destined.
“I am telling you that nothing can stop it. Ayo Fayose is a man with fierce outlook, but with a good heart. Almost eight years after his exit, his name is still a household name in Ekiti. Time is up for the present government because the PDP has come to take over the administration of Ekiti State.” She was merely reiterating what she had said in December 2012 when she told a group of women her husband would return as governor in 2014.
It was obvious early Saturday that Fayemi was going to lose following the publication of an inciting statement by Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who, it appeared saw the writing on the wall, even before the elections began, and was threatening fire and brimstone like a petty thug. He did not stop there as he went on to cast aspersions on the Labour Party candidate, Opeyemi Bamidele, who he said was not ripe enough to be governor.
With his head in the clouds, the fake prophet proclaimed: “If allowed to proceed freely and fairly, the election is a foregone conclusion. Governor Kayode Fayemi has distinguished himself as a leader dedicated to the welfare of the people of his state. He has done more good in four years than his PDP challenger can do in a lifetime of lifetimes. The peace and development of Ekiiti should not be replaced by a retrogressive mind; in party formation, lack of character, lack of content and lack of discipline.”
On Bamidele, the Asiwaju of Lagos politics said: “Sadly, Labour Party's Bamidele has let unbridled ambition get the better of him. Had he waited to gain the requisite experience and knowledge, perhaps he could have become a decent candidate in time. But that would have been years from now. That time has yet to come. At the moment, he is like unripe fruit picked much too early from the tree. We all know what happens when you eat such a thing. It is bitter to the mouth and hard on the stomach. The people of Ekiti do not need this.”
The man, who appears to be losing political grip, did what his party does when it is not getting a headway in any situation: he blames Abuja, shouting that the Ekiti election was not going not be so much about the candidates, but about those conducting the election and those he described as puppet masters pulling the strings of those conducting the election.
And since he was in Abuja when instructions were given to security forces, he disclosed that they were “under instruction to obstruct the process and intimidate those who stand for Fayemi. PDP has raided the public treasury and is pouring the people's money to buy the election for someone the people don't want. Adding insult to injury, Minister of State for Defence has deployed to Ekiti where he is brandishing every tool at his disposal to thwart the will of the people.”
It was obvious that having being blocked by the security forces, the Asiwaju was whining, even before accreditation of voters began. As usual, his party APC belly-ached and made foolish claims of arrest of their chieftains, including a campaign manager that was allegedly caught with 12 unlicensed guns, and a commissioner who now has to explain where he got N119 million that was found on him. Even with the votes of the two men and members of their clans, Fayose would still have won.
If anything was being planned by Tinubu and his party, Fayemi who ignored Mrs. Fayose's prophecy was not about to allow his party hawks to use his state as a ground for war as he quickly conceded defeat and patriotically put in place measures for a handover. Whatever the APC top guns and goons were contemplating, Fayemi poured cold water on it.
His words: “Yesterday (June 21), Ekiti State decided. Following the gubernatorial elections held in the land of honour, Ekiti State, Nigeria, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has officially returned the candidate of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the election.
“If indeed this is the will of the Ekiti People, I stand in deference to your will. If the result of the elections is an expression of the voice of our people, we must all heed your voice. I have just spoken with my brother, Mr. Peter Ayodele Fayose, congratulating him on his victory. In a few hours from now, I would be meeting the Governor-elect to discuss the future of our dear state and how we would work together to institute a smooth transition programme.
“It has been a hard-fought election. As expected, in the course of the campaigns, there were unsavory episodes as the candidates toured the nooks and crannies of the state to sell ourselves to the people. Elections tend to be highly divisive affairs that often see brother rising against brother. Despite our diverse party affiliations, and regardless of which way we voted on Saturday, we must remember that we are all sons and daughters of Ekiti State. Ekiti is ours to build together.
“On our part, over the course of the campaigns, we presented our scorecards before the people of Ekiti State. We never at any point took your support for granted. We campaigned, we canvassed and we traversed the nooks and crannies of this State. Our performance and achievements in office will remain the backdrop against which the next government and indeed future governments will be assessed. We are proud that with the support of Ekiti people, we have raised the bar of excellence in governance. In all, we gave our best, for conscience and for posterity.
“Indeed a new sociology of the Ekiti people may have evolved. However, the task of understanding how the outcome of this election has defined us as a people will be that of scholars. For us as an administration and a cadre of political leaders in Ekiti State, we have fought a good fight, we have kept faith.” Good talks! Statesmanlike disposition that other actors in the political game in Nigeria should emulate when they lose in free and fair elections!
Ayelabowo contributed this piece from Ibadan via [email protected]