APC’s Monkey And Wasp Game On Fayemi

July 1, 2014

Politics in Nigeria has always been a fun to follow.It could be an honourable vocation for those who accept the fact that there will always be life after politics.And when defeat comes at the polls,such politicians pick up the pieces and move on.No hard feelings.Candour in defeat is their guildng word,believing that failure is just an event,not a person,election just as well,a process,not the end of life.

But there are also  politicians who see politics as a hardball game, where defeat is something hard to take,a sinking feeling they can’t contemplate.And when it happens,they experience an implosion,a meltdown.They or their political party launch a blistering verbal swipes against the winner,alleging all manner of irregularities which in their view  decided the outcome of the election.Undoubtedly,credibility is an indispensable requirement for any election to be adjudged as free and fair.The recent governorship election in Ekiti,was adjudged to be so. But should losing an election be the end of life?

One politician, Dr Kayode Fayemi,the outgoing governor of Ekiti State,has proved to be the candlelight,the fountain to guilde and gauge our politics and our politicians. The truth is that defeat tests the sterner stuff of every politician,not just when things are going well.  As we all know,Fayemi lost his bid to be elected. He was roundly defeated by Mr.Ayodele Fayose,the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).

For many people, especially those who followed the campaigns, Fayose’s victory was not in doubt. What perhaps was in doubt was how would the incumbent governor,and his party accept defeat? But Fayemi surprised many when he conceded defeat with grace and candour.It is rare in our politics and among our politicians.His concession speech was ennobling,uplifting.It raises hope in a land, in a polity filled with anger, where politics is seen as a “do or die affair.

Fayemi’s gallantry may have soothed these festering wounds.  There are many aspects of his concession speech that history must remember him for,and judge him kindly.For me,the highpoint came when he said,”I have no option but to accept the result of the election if indeed the outcome is the will of Ekiti people,I stand in deference to your will”. He went further,”If the result of the election is an expression of the voice of our people,we must all yield to your voice”.

He concluded by saying,”despite our diverse party affiliation,and regardless of which way we voted,we must remember that we are all sons and daughters of Ekiti State and Ekiti is ours to build together”. What else can you expect from a good speech that must,among other things,capture the essence,the episodes and exigencies of the times.This is the kind of gut level that advances the cause of democracy,a key to good governance that is currently lacking in many states,even at the federal level.

Governor Fayemi’s good sportsmanship demonstrates among other things, his good breeding,well nurtured character,poise,discipline,eloquence, thoughtfulness and international mindedness.  Whether Fayemi was the architect of his own downfall as his critics have alleged,for me,that is of little  relevance now.What is of essence, and for which historians must accord him due recognition,is the leadership attributes that he showed in such tough times.The essence of true leadership is that ‘evil day’ will certainly come one day,but the maturity in handling difficult situation like defeat,regardless of the opinion of the party that sponsored the candidate,defines the moment.In that regard,the way a politician handles defeat could bring future successes if he remains firm in his convictions.                          I believe Fayemi has touched our hearts,even if his party,the All Progressives Congress(APC)is scorching our hearts right now by throwing spanners into Fayemi’s good works.It is indeed depressing that APC has rubbished what it should have used as a Unique Selling Point that it’s  a

better party in- waiting at the federal level. Fayemi’s good example would have been one of such reference points that the opposition party has come of age to the reins of power at the centre.

Now, by deciding to challenge the outcome of the Ekiti election at the Tribunal,the party is taking ten steps backwards in order to take a step forward.This is a tale of the monkey and wasp.APC may in the end inflict a greater wound on itself.Our politics needs the kind of “upset” in Ekiti to demonstrate that,indeed,power resides with the people,and the people can  take it away give it to whomsoever they choose.

There’s no denying the fact that APC has all the rights to challenge what it calls the “skewed process” during the polls.But,it must prove beyond all reasonable doubts that whatever imperfections it alleges did indeed determined the outcome of the polls.

APC, perhaps unwittingly,has taken us back to the old,better to be forgotten conspiracy theory that the political history of the South-west does not make for edifying reading,the infamous “wild, wild west”. Campaigns leading to the Ekiti election almost proved this with pockets of violence and even death of a party supporter.But, the acceptance of defeat with grace and uncommon candour by Fayemi may have soothed some frayed nerves,that those giddy,disturbing pictures of the inglorious past are over.Now  APC is trying to take us back by not accepting the defeat humbly conceded by its standard bearer,Fayemi.

All things considered,the action of APC  must be viewed with suspicion.It’s a decision,in my view,taken,not because its complaints have any merit that can be upheld by any competent court or Tribunal,but because of its strategic import for yet another crucial guber election in an APC-controlled state,Osun,next month.From the political point of view,not doing anything for losingEkiti,APC will have exposed its flanks for the PDP to exploit in Osun.Trust APC,its leadership are masters of strategic thinking. It’s part of preventing thunder from striking twice in less than two months Time is moving thick and fast.And we are watching.


By Dan Onwukwe

this article was first published in The DailySun on July 1, 2014.

Last modified: July 1, 2014

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