Gov. Fayose's Official Old Mercedes Car Is True Reflection That Nigeria Is Truly 100 Years Backward
I write in response to Dr. Joe Okei Odumakin's piece with the above title. Despite my personal regard for Dr. Odumakin's antecedents as a pro-democracy activist, it is important to put things in proper perspective even if it means joining issues with her.
Governor Ayodele Fayose's choice of a Mercedez Benz 1965 model is a personal one and in no way a depiction of Nigeria's state as Dr. Odumakin suggested. Any such inference is entirely her own imagination and interpretation to which she is entitled but must not presume on behalf of one whom she barely knows.
If as posited by Odumakin, the use of a 1965 model of Mercedes Benz was a depiction of Nigeria's state, what does use of ones parents' old clothes on special events depicts? Poverty too?
We have said it before that Governor Fayose's victory goes beyond sharing gifts - an action done by many in the political class in and outside Ekiti State. Simply put; Fayose won because he identified with the people and they see him as one of them. The former Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi who with his wife personally dished jollof rice for people to eat still lost heavily even in his own hometown.
For clarity sake, Fayemi not only put on apron alongside his wife sharing jollof rice to Ekiti women, the former governor also shared several bags of rice, indomie noodles, matches, semovita and other food items. Ridiculously, Fayemi also shared sachet gin!
However, the likes of Odumakin, who turned Ekiti to the headquarter of Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) business when Fayemi was governor simply decided to play ostrich to Fayemi's electoral failure despite that he shared food items to the people.
Again, Governor Fayose's choice of an official car is in line with his personal wish and political style. Perhaps critics like Dr. Odumakin would consider the former Governor's extravagant Escalade or Range Rover more apropos to their thinking.
Fayose is a man of style, who does his things a way that is unusual.
Therefore, positing that Fayose's use of an old model car as part of his official vehicles was a celebration of poverty by someone like Odumakin, is to say the least, funny.
While it is true that many of our people in Ekiti and Nigeria are yet impoverished and in need of food, it is intellectual laziness to simply throw the blame at the feet of the political class.
In any case, it will be quite foolish to say that Governor Fayose is the one who has kept the entire nation or Ekiti State backwards.
After he left office in 2006, six governors have come and gone in Ekiti- excluding Ayodele Fayose. The six governors included Fayemi, the most recent one whom the Joe Okei-Odumakins of this world loved to hobnob with without advocating for the people.
To say and truly believe that one Governor is throwing the people's poverty in their faces by using a 1965 Mercedez Benz as his official car requires a leap from intellectualism to supposition, except Dr. Odumakin would claim that Governor Ayodele Fayose is not in reference in this point.
One agrees with Dr. Odumakin that Nigeria needs to move forward quickly but one goes further to say that our movement forward is hindered not only by wicked elements of the political class but also myopic commentators who criticise without clearcut solutions while not first seeking a true understanding of situations.
Olayinka is the Special Assistant to Governor Fayose on Information and Social Media
Contact me on 08034671763