Fayose: The Limit To Irresponsible Leadership
The Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, is unarguably the most vocal and loquacious Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain next to the party's National Publicity Secretary, Olisah Metu. But unlike Metu who is officially elected to act as the party's spokesman, Fayose holds no such official portfolio, yet he has made more official press releases on matters affecting the party than the party itself in recent times.
Unfortunately, some of these statements have continued to cast the party in the negative light before the public. However, it matters less to PDP that its organogram is being single handedly hijacked by the controversial governor so long as he continues to pay his 'due'. This clearly shows the party has not learnt from its past mistakes.
One of such thoughtless, reckless and incredulous press releasees by the controversial governor was on the judgment in the Akwa Ibom and Rivers States governorship election tribunals. The governor''s claim that the tribunals were compromised without any iota of facts and supporting evidence, other than the mere fact that that his party lost at the tribunals, smacks of reckless leadership and unwarranted assault on the judiciary.
However, this should not come as a surprise to Nigerians as the governor, who once superintendent a physical assault on a judge of Ekiti State judiciary during his judicial battle to ascend to his present position, would certainly stop at nothing in publicly denigrating the decision of the tribunal and its members.
To Ayo Fayose, the tribunals were compromised simply because his part failed to secure judgements, a position his party expectedly adopted. The governor accused the presidency and the governing party, All Progressive Congress (APC), of orchestrating his party's losses and quipped rather shamelessly that "the seeming collaboration between the All Progressive Congress led Federal Government and a section of the judiciary is worrisome and portends grave danger to the the corporate existence of Nigeria... " But quite on the contrary, it is a wild allegation and provocative statement like the above that is capable of endangering the corporate entity called Nigeria as well as promoting hatred amongst ethnic groups in the country.
Curiously and borrowing a leaf from Fayose's reckless statement, the PDP equally issued a rehearsed statement lampooning the integrity of the judiciary. Like the governor, the party claimed that the tribunal in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states petitions were induced to arrive at their respective decisions. The only evidence the party and the Ekiti State Governor could use to sustain this unfounded allegation is the seeming speed at which the tribunal's judgement was delivered in the Rivers'. They claimed that delivering judgement on the petition barely 48 hours after parties adopted their briefs was practically impossible and couldo not have been done without inducement from the governing party, hence they alleged that the Tribuna members had written the decision before the judgment date. Nothing could more preposterous. The party and Fayose have only displayed their poor understanding of judicial system. Perhaps, their lawyers failed to tutor them on the clear difference between evidence and mere written briefs, as the latter can never take the place of the former, howsoever beautifully couched. The import of this is that, assuming the tribunal spent months studying the so-called briefs, it is most unlikely its decision would have been different in the absence of hard facts. This is elementary law.
It excites one's imagination that the Ekiti state governor, who not long ago supported the purported "impeachment" of the Ekiti State House of Assembly's speaker, Omirin, by six members of the state House of Assembly in flagrant violation of the extant laws, is today accusing the presidency and the Judiciary of violating the law of the land.
This is shere display of hypocrisy and selective amnesis. Ayo Fayose and his battered and embittered party should not drag the judiciary into the murky waters of politics. They need be reminded that the judiciary is a purely an independent arm of the government whose duties and functions should not be fettered by intimidation and blackmail as Ayo Fayose and his party appear to be doing presently. It stands to reason that since the governor's party has decided to appeal against the tribunals' decisions, they should quietly do so without dragging the name and integrity of the judiciary to the mud.
The Ekiti State Governor should concentrate on delivering good governance as well as providing quality leadership to his people. He should stop engaging in these unnecessary distractions. He should be careful just so he does not allow his personal hatred for President Mohammadu Buhari rubbish other arms of the government. His attack on the judiciary is unwarranted, unprovoked and highly regrettable and should be so condemned by every lover of democracy and modern society. There certainly has to be a limit to this reckless and careless leadership.
Okoro Gabriel, Esq., Lagos.