FEATURES: Why APC Will Present Fayemi In 2014

November 4, 2013


From Mahatma Gandhi and Winston Churchill to Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Ahmadu Bello and, recently, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, there seems to be as many ways to lead people as there are leaders. Yet the single fatal flaw in choosing candidates to represent a party in an election is the belief that we can permute into the future rather than looking for a leader who can quickly adapt to whatever the unpredictable future holds. Do the people want the ideal leader or rather the right kind of leader that fits their needs?
When we think about how best to choose leaders, we assess the challenges and opportunities confronting our society, and then look for the  person who has the best array of skills to address those challenges and opportunities. But what if we are not that good at figuring out the most critical challenges and opportunities that we may want our future leader to solve? What if the issues of the day are eclipsed by new events? With the pace of change as intense as it is across the world, how can we even believe that we are able to identify the precise bundle of experiences, capabilities and personality needed to take on what tomorrow brings?
If we cannot predict the future, then how can we figure out who has got the right stuff to lead us into that future? First, there is a body of knowledge and experience that is relevant for any top job. It is like an entry ticket to the game; you cannot be considered if you have not at least paid some dues. Second, you need a demonstrated track record of accomplishment. Playing is not enough; you should have some wins under your belt too.
Great leaders must be adaptable. Consider the military’s Special Forces, those highly trained personnel assigned to the most dangerous and unconventional missions. These elite units, which date back to Roman times, select and train warriors for strength, maturity, motivation, and intelligence. Candidates who make it through to the end are incredibly capable, yet there is one characteristic that is make-or-break in the final analysis: the ability to adapt and adjust and think fresh, in real-time.
In all of these considerations therefore, we keep some maxims at the back of our mind. Foremost is that nothing succeeds like success. Another saying which buttresses this is that you cannot change a winning team or winning pattern. We will only measure what will come with what we have seen. As the ruling party in Ekiti State, the All Progressives Congress, APC, has chosen to live by these maxims, the party, which suffered stolen mandate for four harrowing years between 2006 and 2010 before eventually claiming legitimacy to it, is not in a hurry to gamble. We cannot risk any change for the fun of it because we do not want to stray from our path of success and as such cannot start toying with our winning streak. It will, therefore, be too risky for APC, both in Ekiti and at the national level, to attempt permutations when our winning streak is based on promises kept.
To start listing all the achievements of the John Kayode Fayemi-led administration in Ekiti State in the last three years since he assumed office is to start sounding like a bad vinyl. Yet we must challenge all opposition to debate that Fayemi, who we proudly named “o wi bee, se bee,” -that is, someone who keeps his words- indeed came up with an 8-point agenda on assumption of office and has fulfilled all that were encapsulated therein in record time.
In the light of these, Ekiti APC remains unequivocal in the choice of who flies its flag in the 2014 gubernatorial election. The ticket is willingly retained with the incumbent, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, and he has willingly accepted to continue with his good work. He has not only kept all his promises for the people of the state, but has raised the bar of governance in the state beyond the level of any intending aspirant. Why then must we, the ruling party in the state, now run the risk of presenting an untested candidate?
May we also mention that as of today, Ekiti APC has neither been approached by any other person who may want to slug it out with the incumbent governor at the party level, nor has the party embarked on any search for a replacement. The case would have been different, however, if the incumbent had fallen out of favour either with the state chapter of APC or with those at the national level. It would have been worse if the people of the state had been shortchanged. And the cul-de-sac would have been that the incumbent was statute-barred or his health could no longer carry the load. But none of these scenarios has presented itself. Not only has Fayemi lived up to the  billing, he has even surpassed it. He has given the ruling party a positive identity and a strong voice in the state. He has shown an uncommon discipline and courage in lifting the standard of the state to a world standard despite its relatively paltry income. He has walked his talk.
John Kayode Fayemi is a comet that doesn’t appear often. Even among the comets, he is a meteor that is not easy to come by. He was saddled with a daunting task of lifting up the state from a pummeled position made possible by the seven harrowing years under seven PDP regimes, and he carried it out dutifully and successfully.
His character is sublime, his personality is arresting. He is well-trained and well respected both locally and internationally. He is more of an administrator than a politician. He shows a rare passion to serve. He is humble, yet cosmopolitan and calculative with eyes on the goal. He does not lose his cool even in the face of extreme provocation. He is well-focused, project-oriented, peace-loving and not easily distracted.  We have our winning candidate in Fayemi come 2014 and it is not diffident for us to speak up on this now.

This article was first published in Daily Sun

By Segun Dipe

Last modified: November 4, 2013

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