An Igbo proverb: A child that dances to the sweet melody of “surugede” does not know surugede is the song of the spirits.
This is exactly the kind of dance Gov. Ayodele Fashola has been dancing since 16th October 2014 he was sworn in as Ekiti state governor and nobody wants to remind him surugede is the dance of the spirits.
When I was writing this article, I was in a dilemma to choose between two titles for this article. Fayose: The “Surugede” Dance Of The Disillusioned Governor and Fayose: Between “Gangsterism And Thuggery”. The both titles are correct but for clarity sake I adopted the former.
It will be recalled Mr. Fayose contested and won the governorship election under PDP in Ekiti state June this year by defeating the former incumbent governor Dr Kayode Fayemi of All Progressive Congress, (APC). Mr. Fayose convincingly won the governorship election and made history by being the first governor in Nigeria to be impeached and later re elected as governor, the only similar case was that of governor Rabiu Kwakwanso of Kano state, who lost his re election in 2003 and was re elected in 2011.
The difference between the duo is that Mr. Rabiu Kwakwanso came back with a burning desire to deliver his campaign promises to the people of Kano state without prejudice, propaganda or witch hunting, like his Ekiti state counter part, Mr. Kwakwanso contested and won against the defunct ruling party in his state, All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP). According to Mr. kwankwaso, he decided not to investigate nor probe his predecessor’s past administration, doing that may distract his vision for Kano state, he rather chose not to be distracted but to complete his unfinished business in Kano state, more than 3 and half years down the line his works speaks for him, Kano state is working, infrastructure driven development, from mega structures to road construction, bridges, drainages, varieties of round about, free education, improved health care system, skills acquisition programmes, sports etc. This is not the magic stunts we watch on television from under performing governors, it is on ground. Every where in Kano state is feeling the wonders of Gov. Rabiu Kwakwanso’s second coming.
In the case of Gov. Ayodele Fayose, during one of his campaigns in Ekiti state, he prostrated before the crowd and pleaded for their forgiveness over his shortcomings in the past, he assured them he has changed for good. Mr. Ayodele Fayose was given a second chance by the people of Ekiti state to re write his wrongs and prove critics wrong. But he chose to thread the part of anarchy through thuggery and gangsterism which was part of what led to his impeachment in 2006. Mr. Fayose is a good example of the saying ” A Leopard does not change its spots”.
Even before he was sworn in October 16 2014 as governor of Ekiti state, it was war of words between him and the out gone governor Dr Kayode Fayemi almost on daily basis.
The attack on a judge and court workers in Ekiti state high court in October by thugs allegedly working for Mr. Ayodele Fayose few days to his swearing in ceremony as governor, while the police men deployed within the court premises looked away uninterested and unconcerned was an indication that political thuggery is indeed back to Ekiti state.
The latest saga is the 7 against 18 impeachment of the House of Assembly Speaker in Ekiti state on Monday 17th November 2014 which has divided the Ekiti state house of Assembly into parallel lines, the impeachment has generated tension in the state between APC law makers and governor Fayose led PDP, their supporters are not losing sleep either.
Dr. Adewale Omirin has alleged that valuables in his official residence were missing after the forceful invasion of the embattled speaker’s official residence by the purported speaker, Mr Dele Olugbemi installed by 7 PDP members of the Ekiti state House of Assembly and his thugs..
It will be re called that on 9th November 2014 Justice Ogunyemi, the judge handling the eligibility case of Mr. Fayose to contest for the governorship election in Ekiti state reportedly quitted the case, the judge cited threat to his life as an excuse for quitting the case.
This is the fourth judge that has handled this same eligibility case of governor Fayose in less than 6 months.
Governance is at a halt in Ekiti state right now, Mr. Fayose has left the act of governance to witch hunt his assumed political enemies.
Mr. Fayose gives an illusion that has the appearance of truth, he maybe a grass root man but he doesn’t know the knitty gritty of politics, you don’t come into an existing structure and expect to get 100% loyalty immediately and when the loyalty wasn’t forth coming he felt the best way to go about it was to re-shuffle the structure over night, why bother to control majority of the law makers that are not in same party with you? Law makers that have less than 4 months left before the expiration of their tenures. Why not manage them and begin now to mobilize and groom your own party men to take over from these present law makers in the forth coming general elections? Most Nigerian politicians are not good students of history, they are always in a hurry to do what ever suits them at their own discretion.
Ask president Jonathan if he could turn back the hands of time to 2011 when he was sworn in as president what he would have done differently, in all sincerity he would have taken his government more serious and list out things he would have done differently, moral of the lesson, time waits for no one, use the little opportunity you have as if its your last, Mr. Fayose should not think 2018 is very far, its as close as end of the year.
Ekiti electorates are yet to understand their governor’s kind of dance, some have joined him in the dance while others are watching and nodding their head in awe, this is just the beginning of the dance, Ekiti state electorate’s wishes have come to stay, it must be respected, they wanted a change, a new kind of change, stomach infrastructure change, am sure they are getting enough dosage of the stomach infrastructure mantra.
For how long will the governor continue in this surugede dance? Will it ever get better in Ekiti state in this present administration? Will the innocent people of Ekiti state stay and watch their governor continue in this surugede dance till 2018? Will he be impeached again? Only time will tell.
As the series of unending drama unfolds in Ekiti state, my advise to Governor Ayodele Fayose is to quit this surugede dance and focus more on how to rescue Ekiti state from its myriads of challenges, don’t let the electorates bite their fingers in regret.
Many may argue it is too early to judge Gov. Fayose’s performance but there’s this funny proverb that says: It is the smell of your fart that will determine the sweetness of your faeces.
A word they say is enough for the wise!
Joe Onwukeme: An Idealist, is a Social & Political Affairs Analyst. Writes From Enugu.