By Segun Dipe
At last, that year of the sphinx, 2014, has rolled away, leaving all its survivours with bated breath! Not a few Nigerians wished that such a year should not have come up at all, though they could not foresee a better alternative in the succeeding year 2015, when the general election would hold -a year for which more gloom than boom has been widely predicted, but which cannot be skipped all the same.
Those who wished 2014 away therefore should look beyond 2015 for succour, be it for political or economic bail out.
While at the national level, the year 2014 gave Nigerians more than they had bargained for, narrowing it down to Ekiti State was even more unpredictable and mysterious, particularly on the political front.
It was a year of political flip-flop when a performing incumbent lost his seat for another political maestro with a negative past, thus returning the people to a dark era of much promise, less execution.
Neither an optimist nor a pessimist saw it coming that a Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, the incumbent and a man of worth, would lose out and a Mr. Peter Ayodele Fayose, a smart alec and political gadfly, would win the June 21 election in a state that prides itself as the land of Honour and Pride.
Dr. Fayemi is an internationally recognised political and human rights activist, who has a Doctorate degree in War Studies. Mr. Fayose parades a questionable Higher National Diploma certificate that is still a subject of litigation.
Dr. Fayemi has won accolades as a respecter and an advocate of the rule of law, while Mr. Fayose is widely known as one who rules with impunity.
Dr. Fayemi has never been indicted for any offense and was enjoying positive public opinion, while Mr. Fayose has been publicly indicted, removed from office and had a case to answer with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Yet Dr. Fayemi lost the election to Mr. Fayose in all the 16 Local Government areas of the state in a baffling circumstance, the mystery of which has yet to be unravelled.
Predictably, the result transformed the state from a lawful to a lawless one.
The state suddenly became news worthy for negative happenings and a relatively peaceful state became a one-week-one-trouble one.
In his characteristic manner, Dr. Fayemi accepted the outcome as the wish of the people and moved on, while Fayose began a reign of terror, riding roughshod on people’s rights.
Teasers: While in the saddle, Fayemi was a stickler to all that was civil.
He would ensure that due process was followed in appointments, promotions, transfers, procurements, award of contracts, and so on.
The rule of law prevails with the executive, legislative and judicial arms of government operating independently, while security matters were taken seriously and budgets were preceded by consultation with the people.
But no sooner had Mr. Fayose emerged a winner than all these began to thin away for dictatorial tendencies.
Like any conman, Fayose knows how to prey on the minds of his followers, and he is doing so without let.
He would weep up sentiments, keep them emotionally enslaved, cover their eyes with veil and wrap their minds up with wishful thinking.
He has presented himself as one from among them, who would rather stay with them at their level of reasoning than attempt to elevate them.
He would rather give them fish than show them how to fish or provide the enable environment for them to fish.
He would shed crocodile tears, tell them he was so doing in their best interest.
He would denigrate his predecessor’s efforts, write them off as unnecessary distraction to the simple and modest ways of life of the helpless people.
Yet, like their hapless shepherd and they his helpless sheep, he would milk them of substance and relevance.
No sooner did he mount the saddle than he started to drive it furiously leaving in his trail balls of dust.
Immediately his name was announced as the winner of the election, he went round the banks, threatening fire and brimstone should they further honour any request from the incumbent Dr. Fayemi who still had four months from then to hand over to him, and those ones caved in to the threat.
This translated to financial paucity for the state, which hitherto had been honouring its financial obligation as at when due.
For Mr. Fayose, separation of power is a long process and an undue sharing of authority.
First he pounced on the judiciary where he had a case of perjury to answer, manhandled sitting judges and chased justice away from the land.
Next, he invaded the hallowed legislative chamber with thugs and force men, replacing the rule of majority with that of the minority, chased away the 19 opposition members, installed the rule of minority with seven members holding sway.
On mounting the saddle, Fayose removed all the constitutionally recognised structures and began to rule with impunity.
He made propaganda the official form of communication, converted lying to a virtue and was pacing hurriedly to wipe off his predecessor, Dr. Fayemi’s legacy of civil culture, replacing it with street credibility, his own version of governance of appealing to sentiment rather than reasoning.
From his lying lips flow unsubstantiated allegations against Dr. Fayemi, whom he had earlier told that he would outsmart with lies. “That is politics,” he would say.
Fayose promised the people of the land of pride and honour stomach infrastructure in the place of physical and developmental projects.
He promised to line their belly with rice and chicken, even at the expense of giving them a befitting edifice.
Day in day out, he rakes off whatever relevance Dr. Fayemi had laid in the lives of the people.
Like an Emperor, Fayose resumed a life of opulence while decking the people up with poverty. The relationship is a master-servant one.
Everything civil started giving way for everything trickish.
The more the people are looking, the less they are seeing.
They were being told whatever they would want to hear instead of what they need to know. A fruitful hope started giving way for a fruitless one.
The year 2014 thus ended in nostalgia of a quality life for the people of Ekiti, asking one another questions more than they, or anyone else, could provide an answer. Mr. Fayose is busy having a field day, feeding the people with lies and feasting on the collective wealth.
But in the words of Pastor Eunuch Adejare of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, who visited the state for a crusade at the end of of the year, better days are ahead again for the state. The state nose-dived in 2014, it will bottom up in 2015. Hopefully.
Dipe, a journalist and public opinion analyst, writes from Ado Ekiti.