By Bayo Oluwasanmi
The head-spinning Ekiti governor’s election is on Saturday. The race has drawn to itself the unusual attention reserved for presidential elections. The candidates – John kayode Fayemi and Ekiti State deputy governor, Professor Kolapo Olusola Eleka are drab, uninspiring, and empty sacks.
Powerful indictment can be mounted against President Muhammad Buhari and Bola Ahmed Tinubu for robbing Ekiti people of Senator Babafemi Ojudu from contesting the election by forcing him out of the primaries in favor of Fayemi – APC’s anointed candidate. Fayemi and Eleka are facing a stature gap as they measure for the highest office in Ekiti State. Both are specially burdened by political and personal baggage that offer no robust hope for Ekiti people.
Eleka, Fayose’s handpicked candidate, is toxic in a state where his political god father Fayose as governor perpetuated reign of terror. Eleka who? As deputy governor, he’s an unknown quantity in the state. In a way, the contest between Fayemi and Eleka is a referendum on Fayose. Though Eleka is the one running, It’s Fayose under a pseudonym of Eleka. It is therefore appropriate to examine the candidacy of Eleka through the prism of Fayose.
There’s no shortage of Hitler style in Ekiti State under Fayose. To be fair to Hitler, people with common sense would agree that Hitler was less brutal and less evil than Fayose. Hitler used gas to kill his victims. But Fayose used fire either to inflict pain to his own people or conceal his crimes. I think a death by fire is more painful and dehumanizing than death by gas. There was no hesitation for Fayose to light the blood of his fellow Ekiti people. Fayose is driven by greed, evil, and power. It is his evil ambition to be a governor by any means necessary that pushed his atrocities to actions deemed odd, psychotic, and barbaric.
Fayose lacks inner integrity. He has put himself in jeopardy for his own misdeeds. He must be prepared to account for his sins at the right time and place regardless of who wins the election on Saturday. Like mentor like mentee, don’t expect anything different from Eleka. He’s bound to follow Fayose’s footsteps. It’s a debt he must pay.
Former governor Fayemi struggles to cast himself as a new reformer who will govern this time around not as Tinubu’s lapdog, but as a governor of Ekiti people. Fayemi would have to convince Ekiti people that he’ll be Ekiti governor not Tinubu’s errand boy. He must persuade Ekiti people that government contracts, businesses, and appointments are exclusively for Ekiti people and not for Tinubu group of companies. Fayemi’s first term as governor was a lack-luster. He did very little to create much needed jobs for teeming unemployed Ekiti youths. Many of the projects initiated by him ended up as white elephants. Two projects readily come to mind: the market and healthcare buildings located in Ado. The last time I was in the state, weeds had taken over the structures.
Ekitis seem not to be excited about the two candidates. My people are particularly hungry for true change that would radically transform Ekiti State from a state run by thugs, thieves, a state overrun by fear and insecurity, by hunger and unemployment, by homelessness and hopelessness to a vibrant and viable state. The two candidates have failed to inspire voters or present a compelling economic agenda. Both candidates lack gravitas, expertise, clearer priorities, and vivid vision. Both failed to address the continuous rise in widespread poverty in the state that daily consumes our people. Both have the hurdle of troubled impressions and memories that linger from earlier chapters in their careers.
The choice before Ekiti people on Saturday is between Tinubu’s lapdog and Fayose’s clone. Tough choice. Tough luck!