By: Bukar Raheem
No one expected Nigeria to become such a bad and almost inhabitable country, within a short time and so fastened to a stalk, ready to hang itself. None ever expected it. But the day and the hour hover on the heads and shadows of every Nigerian presently.
And nowhere is the heat felt in a degree of discomfiture like Ekiti state, where, Mr. Ayo Fayose, an uncouth and disgusting politician was dubiously awarded the governorship seat. The people have never witnessed an embarrassing phase in the history of the 20-year old state more than the curse of a Fayose on the clasp of governance.
It is dumfounding as garage touts, political thugs and all manner of characters have assumed reverent and executive positions in Nigeria nowadays. People who have retired as kingpins of all manner of criminal gangs, which have raped and tormented Nigeria for ages have become executive leaders. It is a nagging problem which propelled President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) to launch another version of national rebirth campaign tagged #ChangeBeginsWithYou in 2016.
Ekiti state Governor Ayo Fayose and his Rivers state counterpart, Barrister Nyemson Wike; who Fayose endearingly addresses as “my friend are standing symbols of Nigeria’s leadership rot.” To think the latter is even a lawyer by profession confronts a numbing Nigeria with the shame and dreary dilemma of its strive to respectable nationhood.
Both men cum leaders are devoid of any vestige of neither integrity nor respect for themselves and much less morality or ethical instincts for the people they lead. As leaders, decency is alien to them and morality is extremely a strange bedfellow. They are still relishing an era in Nigeria, where everything goes and they enjoy the game so much that quitting it is like severing a part of their flesh.
It is often whispered that the odyssey to nation-hood is not an easy task; but we ignored the right steps. Now, Nigerians are beginning to reap from the years of slack. Today, the most abrasive characters have not only assumed prime leadership positions in governance, but have harshly impinged the memories of everybody with their might in negation.
Or else, an Ayo Fayose would not have been sighted near Ekiti State House, much more lift his filthy fingers to point and label other Nigerians as corrupt, to the shame of his ancestry, smiling with a saintly feeling in his little excited world as governor.
It is saddening Fayose goes beyond the ordinary or defined limits of decency, by publicly dramatizing his stupidity, boldly accusing high profile public officials without any shred of substantiation to the embarrassment of the people of Ekiti. It is very lamentable that Fayose expects Ekiti people to remind him that flippancy on matters of defamation of character, requires back-up proofs.
Ekiti is amazed that Fayose would have no proof. Yet, he won’t pause and reflect a moment about the damage to his people. His entire executive life, coated with the mandate of Ekiti people is defined by empty and meaningless parroting. If Fayose is not accusing President Buhari, he turns to his spouse, Hajiya Aisha Buhari.
Fayose’s famously reprehensible acts also implies his absolute embrace of corruption. The governor deploys his animal instincts to mindlessly promote corruption, by even obstructing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), from arresting, the girlfriend of former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, Ms. Chikwendu Sonia Precious.
She attempted to stealthily withdraw money from an account with Access Bank, red-flagged by the anti-graft agency in connection with the on-going trial of Fani Kayode over money laundering. The bank account had a balance of N 2,307,712.82 and Fayose had to stoop so low to defend the partners of his comrade in alleged corruption.
When the lady –suspect was held by the bank; while security agents and the EFCC contacted, the victim phoned Fayose who stormed the bank premises with armed thugs and his personal security aides who freed the lady. The Governor claimed EFCC had no lawful powers “to detain anybody in his state.” He later executed his threat arbitrarily shutting down the Access Bank branch in Ekiti state for the remaining period of his tenure as governor of the state.
That invocation of crude power by a state’s chief executive is express message of the exposure of Ekiti state to the Stone Age era of jungle justice, instead of the rule of law. Preventing lawful agencies mandated to monitor the application of public funds from Ekiti state under his watch is not only opposition to the anti-corruption stance of the Federal Government of Nigeria, but speak volumes about what Fayose does with Ekiti resources in secret for personal enrichment.
Mr. Fayose also humiliated Zenith Bank officials in his state, compelling one of the bank managers to kneel down and apologize for exposing to EFCC his laundering of slush funds stashed in the bank. Ekiti state cannot tolerate this infamy on the state forever.
Nowhere in the world has a leader so cheapened his people in the manner Fayose has rubbished the dignity of Ekiti people to the outside world. If he is not invading courts with armed thugs to beat up judges and judicial personal to obstruct inquest into justice; he violently storms banks to free suspects.
But Fayose would remain an enemy of Ekiti people and Nigeria, insofar as he unable to purge himself over the allegation of the $2.1 billion arms fund procurement scandal in the ONSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd). As he torments and humiliates Ekiti people everywhere, the phobia of what would happen tomorrow when his immunity is stripped has been the greatest tormentor to the Ekiti state governor and the days are getting nearer by the day.
And he feels aimlessly pointing accusing fingers at every shadow in the Buhari government would make him sight salvation when de-robed of immunity. Such appeals and schemings are no longer fashionable in today’s Nigeria and Ekiti people are poised to back their sons and daughters at the federal level to harvest Fayose’s payback time in 2018 at the ballot.
This harvest of Fayose out of power is imperative because he is rotten back and front. His credentials in public service streams with petrifying and awesome stench of corruption and no sane people can continue to entrust such a man with their destiny. Morality has gone on sabbatical leave in Nigeria that’s why odious characters Fayose who should be confined to Zoos still wields power from his stinking prisms, protected from prosecution by immunity.
The grouse of Ekiti people against him is even amplified by the fact that Fayose allegedly serviced his corruption ego with the N9.60 billion bail-out funds from the APC -led federal government of President Muhammadu Buhari for outstanding workers’ salaries and pensions. That he gulfed it in his usual manner sparked widespread protests in Ado-Ekiti, after months of strike by depraved workers. Thereafter, a “crook” like Fayose, reputed to be richer than the state he leads, immorally protested and frustrated Senate’s scrutiny into his application of the bail-out funds.
Besides, knowledge of his massive looting of the state through inflated and phantom contracts is in public domain. The placards by protesters explained it more loudly thus;
“Support Anti-Corruption Crusade, Probe Executive Looting in Ekiti”, “We Don’t Want a Criminal as our Governor in Ekiti”, “Fayose Stole N750 million from Ado-Ifaki Road Account,” Grids Associates, Fayose’s Conduit Pipe”, “Fayose’s Wife is a Fake Prophetess, where is Ekiti’s N100 million”, “What Happened to Ekiti Airport Fund”, “Fayose Must Go”, “Access Bank is Aiding Fraud in Ekiti”, Fayose is a Disgrace to Ekiti People.”
These are just scratchy records of his corruption profile. And a man with any modicum of respect for himself and his people would be self-withdrawn or even resign from office, but not to maliciously malign or falsely label others as corrupt. But Fayose! In him, morality has gone on exile.
So, he baselessly and mindlessly bites everybody at sight like a mad dog unleashed on a notorious street. But the personalities he thoughtlessly attempts to ridicule have impeccable records. The immunity clause can shield and protect him for a while, but it will not offer him same protection against the revolting verdict of Ekiti people through the ballot come 2018.
Raheem is a public affairs commentator based in Kaduna.