Posted by GBENGA OLAIFA on
EVENTS as they unfold in Ekiti State in the last few weeks, even for the apolitical, can only, at best be described as shocking, unfortunate and mind-blowing.
EVENTS as they unfold in Ekiti State in the last few weeks, even for the apolitical, can only, at best be described as shocking, unfortunate and mind-blowing. As a stakeholder in the state, one is deeply worried that at the dawn of a new century when the issue of development has taken the centre stage, intrigues, power play, egoism, selfish agenda have robbed our state classified as the fountain of knowledge of the necessary consensus needed to set the agenda of its development. If the human and material resources at the beck and call of the state are anything to go by, then this anomaly needs to be corrected urgently since it is a man problem.
It is glaring that the disconnected that exists among the elite class, the intelligentsia and the silent majority in the state has become a major pain in the neck. In the midst of this crisis of confidence, emerged Ayo Fayose who presented an alternative to an entrenched old order with a pledge to democratic opportunities available so as to give every Ekiti, irrespective of his background, the chance to explore his potentials and live his dream. His message clicked and he got the mandate of the Ekiti people to pilot the affairs of the state for a four-year period.
But no sooner had Governor Fayose become the helmsman in the state, than a section of the elite and the political class started a war of attrition against the governor. Two years down the road, the battle for the soul of Ekiti between members of the old guard and the change party led by Ayo Fayose has continued unabated.
Whatever the grouse anybody might have against the governor, one thing that cannot be taken away from him is that in the last two years, he has changed the face of Ekiti State through his developmental projects that are felt in the areas of road networks across the state, facelift for the state capital, housing projects, agricultural projects, sports development, education among others.
The relentless attacks on Governor Fayose took a turn for the worse with the recent allegation by Chief Afe Babalola that the governor is planning to eliminate him. The full page advertisement by the legal luminary and prominent indigene of the state, in a national newspaper recently, further heightened fears that we are heading towards a dangerous bend in Ekiti State, thus necessitating the need to exercise restraint in the overall interest of the homeland.
Allegation of assassination bid
This stance is informed by a portion of the advertisement in which Chief Babalola, among other things, stated that this save-my souls outcry was informed by the dream one prominent Ado-Ekiti leader had to the effect that Governor Fayose had concluded plans to assassinate him.
I am of the strong opinion that the revered chief would do Ekitis a lot of good by mentioning the name of the "respected leader"whose ability at dreaming dreams far surpasses that of the Biblical Joseph, so that he could come into the public arena and throw more light on the matter. This has become necessary in view of the fact that Chief Babalola, a legal mind, had lent credence and exactitude to the dream of the "respected leader" when he stated inter alia "a highly respected leader in Ado Ekiti told His Highness, the Ewi of Ado Ekiti that he dreamt that I was assassinated by the governor’s man. The Ewi immediately phoned me without telling exactly what he heard but asked me to expect somebody from Ado Ekiti. The respected man came to me in the morning of Sunday, June 5, 2005 and told me the story. He affirmed that his dreams usually come true".
In the bid to rubbish Governor Fayose and all that he stands for, some of the groups in question have resulted to lies, distorted information and gutter language, all in their calculated attempt at scoring cheap political point. And the message is clear, the governor does not belong to their clan and under no condition would he be tolerated nor allowed to function. The reality on the ground in the state as at today is that Governor Fayose is mandated by the people to run the state for four years and the symbol of authority reside with him. And in fairness to the young man, he has given a good account of himself and should be given a pat on the back for doing so.
One thing that should have been a plus for us in Ekiti State is the homogeneous nature of the people. The Ekiti dialect is spoken across the length and breath of the state. But sadly enough, this unique characteristic that should have propelled the state to an enviable position among the comity of states in the country has been dwarfed by the pull-him-down mentality that has kept Ekiti zone of the old Western State and, by extension, the old Ondo State in a state of arrested development.
Suffice it to say that an earlier awareness by Fayose of the nature of the elite clan, his liberal approach in carrying everybody along and the failure of his attempts to appeal to the sense of reason of hardliners who never see anything good in whatever he does, necessitated his resolve to ignore the noise in the market place and concentrate on the business of serving the Ekiti people.
However, Governor Fayose has been under the heat of the opposition in recent times for three principal reasons: his exemplary performance; his leverage in terms of grassroots support and a demystification of power, rooted in his belief that the office he occupied is that of number one servant of the people of Ekiti State. Today, Fayose is not only a phenomenon, he is seen as a folk hero by the masses in Ekiti State because he speaks their language and identifies with their plight. To an average Ekiti person, Ayo Fayose is the governor that could be seen, felt, touched and accessed at anytime.
If there is anything that these times call for, it is sober reflection on the part of all and sundry. The lessons for us all is that whenever we mudsling the governor, disparage his person or do anything to pull him down, we are inadvertently throwing stones into our glass house. Also we are reminding the people out there that we are still a tribe of petition writers as we have been labeled in the past that we stop at nothing to destroy anything laudable as long as we do not agree with it or it does not serve our purpose. The time for a rebirth is now. A word is enough for the wise.
Olaifa sent this piece from Ado-Ekiti.