RIGHT OF REPLY:
Dear Mr. Fashola, It was first interesting, then amusing to watch an audio-visual news report where you expressed shock over the result of the recent Ekiti Gubernatorial Election. This verbal sentiment was what you express more or less in your write-up, and which I hope to do some justice here, even though I am no intellectual of your caliber and exposure. The other visual part of your expression was one of those classic moments captured on camera that can only be rivaled by the likes of Paul Gazcoigne’s tears after England loss at the Italia ’90 World Cup. I have no intention whatsoever to attempt this.
Now to the sentiments expressed in your write up, I dare beg to disagree with you.
I could well understand the need to do a post Morten on the Ekiti Elections, but not to be fair in your assessments would still not serve APC any purpose. For how long can you continue to live in self denial? It is bad enough for a person to be in denial, but more harm is done when it is a group of people that are in denial.
As much as you concede that you find ‘no logical human behavior’ in the election pattern in Ekiti, I will also put it to you Sir, that there is no logical human conclusion in your argument.
Firstly, let us look at the premises you based your arguments. You claimed and I quote that “the word on the street was that the incumbent had served his people well”.
As a Senior Advocate, you clearly understand what ‘body of evidence’ means in a law court, can you prove this “your perceived fact” beyond all doubt? What scientific model did you use to arrive at your inferences? Is it not possible for you to have been talking to a wrong and biased sample space?
Apart from your occasional visits, if any, to Ekiti State, how long have you lived as the Ekiti people do? Be also reminded that visiting Ekiti in Siren blasting guerrilla style grandstanding in clean minted and tinted bulletproof vehicles has not made you an authority on the affairs of Ekiti State. You live in the same cocoon in Lagos yourself.
Then you raised the unfortunate issue of inducement and money. Sir, I would have thought you would avoid this cesspool as your party APC is equally guilty of any allegation here. Of course, you can’t pretend to be holier than the Pope here, neither should your pot be pointing at the kettle, seriously or in jest.
Your selective assessment of the Ekiti State Election situation only further betrays your desperate motive to cast aspersion at the whole process.
It is on record that while Fayose preferred to “empower” the Ekiti people by allowing them some freedom to choose whether they want White Rice and stew, or Jollof, or Coconut rice, Fayemi, the APC incumbent governor literary “served” the Ekiti people by serving cooked rice. That is quite an achievement by a performing Governor. Same “Project”, different routes. Fayose won.
Where was Mr Fashola when the incumbent Governor invited bloggers from all corners of Nigeria to Ekiti to show some half baked projects, and dash them money from the States pocket? The dust raised by the same event is yet to settle still.
Dear Sir, you further question the logic of Ekiti intellectuals for “rejecting so overwhelmingly a respected family man, a devout Catholic, gentleman and urbane representative”. On this assertion, (which I personally see nothing special in, as you have just described an average responsible Nigerian man), I believe the Ekiti people has answered you at the June 21st polls.
Then you stepped on another slippery peel when you refer to the Ideology. It is safe for you to commonize and look with disdain at the decision of the Ekiti people simply because your party was not favored, but beyond the ‘virtual and casual’ reference to the word “Ideology”, APC cannot on any ground lay claim to be better in this regard, and your reference to “stomach infrastructure” shows you are good student of the social media.
If Mr. Fashola had wanted to do any justice to his criticism, you would have listened to the voices of people on Ekiti streets, and address issues before the election. Mr. Fayemi had his ways because he was given authority, by this same Ekiti people, whose intellect you are now questioning.
APC would do well to state categorically what their ideologies are, and to work out these in the states in which they are still ruling.
I am not here to defend Fayose, or lay any claim to the fact that I am clairvoyant to know how he will perform this second term, but beyond the evils anybody might attributed to him, his first term record some successes as well, in that same Ekiti. And before you scream blue murder, don’t forget your party admitted this same Fayose where he worked for this same Fayemi to become the governor, against one Oni who now jumps around with Fayemi. You see now that you are all one same? Don’t throw stones, especially if you live in a glass house.
Mr Fashola, instead of caustic disappointing sentiment carried by your write up, the Ekiti election result should have been a soul searching moment for APC, with the impending Osun State Election coming (an election which I believe Ogbeni would scrape to win, not because APC was any great in Osun, but because Ogbeni himself is a grassroot person, this is my personal opinion), and the General Elections next year. If Oyo State PDP presents former Governor, Adebayo Alao Akala, APC might as well be ready to relinquish power in Oyo State.
Pertinent questions should bother on individual personnel that APC would be presenting for each position, and the general approach to solving people’s problem. We all witnessed the charade of state congress and the national convention, and the marriage of convenience that APC is might as well start bursting at seams.
Lagos state is not a banner state in any way APC, and the present attempt to copy and paste policy templates from Lagos to other states has not been a success. Ekiti is an example. Your own record as the Governor of Lagos State is fraught Doctors Strike and your draconian attitude towards them, LASU students are still reeling from the unrealistic and burdensome school fees to which you have subjected them, Road Infrastructure in this same Lagos state is appalling, and the crazy multiple taxes is crippling businesses. The lack of accountability and transparency on Lagos State Accounts, and Internally Generated Revenues is not helping matter, and that impression that the fate of a whole state is being decided at someone’s sitting room is also not worth emulating.
How long more do you actually think people would stand all that? If I were PDP in Lagos state, I know for certainty what I would be doing right now, and 2015 election is not sure for You.
A word is enough for the wise, and I know God has blessed you Governor Fashola with plenty of it.
Adetayo Adegbemle is a public opinion commentator/analyst, researcher, and the convener of PowerUpNigeria, a Power Consumer Advocacy Group, based in Lagos. (Twitter: @gbemle, @PowerUpNg)