The Ekiti Time Bomb

By Julius Oweh, Asaba

Politics in our clime is laced with so much intrigues and betrayals that everything is put in the ring to get the reins of power. What is currently playing out in Ekiti State has nothing to do with the welfare of the electorate but a supremacy contest between the PDP and the APC. Since the election of Mr Ayodele Fayose in 2014 as the governor of the state and the trouncing of the APC, the state is yet to witness a semblance of peace.

It is a gallery of crises: invented, real or imagined. And the matter is not helped by the unrelenting attack of the Buhari administration by Fayose, who has assumed the role of the spokesman of the PDP. Therefore, the recent alleged invasion by the security operatives of the DSS should be seen in that light.

Speaking recently, Honourable Gboyega Aribisogan, the chairman of the House Committee on Information alleged that some SSS operatives invaded the hallowed chambers of the assembly and some of the members taken to unknown destination. Aribisogan also alleged that a bribe of one million dollars was offered to the members of the House of Assembly for the impeachment of the governor.

This is how Aribisogan painted the unfolding political drama: `In the last four days, eight of our members had been visited by some men who claimed to be officials of the DSS. We are here to inform the public through your various media the open involvement of men of the Department of State Service from Abuja in the plot to unseat our governor, Mr Peter Ayodele Fayose`.

These allegations are weighty, no doubt, but the state chapter of APC has replied that the PDP members were crying wolf and simply afraid of their bad political deeds. The members of the House of Representatives had taken the dignified political position by inviting the director general of the DSS, Lawal Daura to explain what he knew about the alleged invasion of the State House of Assembly and the subsequent arrest of four members.

Whether the allegations of the members of the state house of assembly are true or not, the advice here is that the federal government should thread cautiously in the Ekiti political clime.

There is too much tension in the state and the federal government should not use any unconstitutional means to destabilize the government or remove the governor. It is true that there is no love lost between the state government and the federal government. The reason is the unrelenting attack of the governor on the Buhari administration.

The criticisms of the governor are legion, ranging from drifting economic policies, the junketing style of Buhari, the padded budget and the alleged plan of Buhari to Islamize the country. In fact, the governor has taken it upon himself to lambast every policy of the government, with some elderly Yoruba people saying that Fayose lacks the refined tradition of his people respect for elders and constituted authority.

That is Fayose style of politics and administration that is anchored on populism and winning the hearts of the people. From the proverbial stomach infrastructure to opening of the Government House, to the people, his brand of politics is to pass the message as the people`s governor. Some people may not like his style, but that is what distinguished him as Fayose. The federal government should not give the faintest impression that it is highly intolerant of opposition. The court has affirmed his victory as the duly elected governor of the state and should be left at that.

There is, however, the controversial video tape of alleged plan by the military and some PDP chieftains to rig the 2014 governorship polls. The military should be left to do its job and those found culpable should be so sanctioned. By any stretch of political imagination, that piece of evidence should not be used to truncate the electoral victory of Fayose. Since the people of Ekiti State are happy with his administration, the governor should be allowed to do his job. The APC in two years time should prepare for next election and remove him through the will of the electorate.

As for Fayose, he should try to moderate his utterances against the federal government. If he is not satisfied with the role of a state governor and more interested as the publicity secretary of the PDP, he should resign and contest for that position.

There are many things in Ekiti State that should take his attention. Apart from visiting `mama put` eatery to connect with the people and the practice of stomach infrastructure, the people also need the building of social amenities and provision of jobs. Governance is a serious business that tasks the intellect of those in power and should not be a popularity contest as demonstrated by Fayose. It should not be about abusing people. Criticise but provide alternatives so that the electorate would know that you have genuine love for country.

There are too many social, economic and security problems plaguing the country and I appeal to the Buhari administration to overlook some of the excesses of the Ekiti state governor. The PDP as a party is not happy about the loss of power at the centre. Furthermore, since the gale of defection buffeting the party, some of them would want to put the blame on the doorstep of APC and the Buhari administration. The federal government should deny Fayose and those with similar mindset of that excuse.

Furthermore, the overzealous security operatives should buckled under the rule of law. They should not be used to achieve partisan political gains. Nigeria is passing through a difficult period of history and most patriotic people are waiting to harvest the benefits of change which the Buhari administration represents. That is the more reason Fayose and the Ekiti issue should be handled with tact and diplomacy believing that the best interest of the nation should be the guiding principle.

Julius Oweh, a journalist, Asaba, Delta State. 08037768392

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