It is a historical fact that the God of second chances, and citizens in different cultures, often give people who had faltered, suffered great misfortune, or made tragic mistakes that could have obliterated their historical relevance, a second chance at redemption.
It is also a historical fact that some of the people who were given a second chance by the God and the people often used it judiciously to turn around their records to build enduring legacies for themselves.
It is equally true that some others who were given a second chance often disappoint God, Nature and the forgiving populace, by turning out to be even worse monsters than they were during the first go-round. When this happens, society often end up regretting and beating itself up, for making the mistake of giving those individuals a second chance at relevance, rather than letting them stay buried in the ignominy they deserved.
Sadly, it appears that the case of Governor Fayose is destined to be classified into the latter category of monsters that history, and the people who magnanimously gave them a second chance, would end up wishing they had not bought back from the graveyard of irrelevance.
Most people who were keen watchers in 2006, when Ayodele Fayose was ignominiously impeached for corruption and several criminal charges against him as Governor, would agree that the trajectory of Fayose at that time was that of a man destined for the rubbish heap of history. Not only was he impeached for several allegations of corruption, he was also charged to court by the EFCC and other criminal courts in Nigeria for his many shady deals and criminal handling of matters in Ekiti State.
At the height of his idiocy and power drunkenness in 2006, the people of Ekiti basically drummed Governor Fayose out of office in disgust following allegations of corruption, embezzlement and nepotism. As his executive immunity disappeared following his impeachment, Fayose himself disappeared, from the country within hours of being impeached, to avoid the long arms of the law.
It is indeed amazing to remember that in 2006, barely 9 years ago, Ayodele Fayose was the reference point of what not to do as Governor, and the corrupting influence of power in the hands on an uncultured thug. He was saddled with many allegations of corruption. He abandoned his primary constituency and looked down on Ekiti people as he became drunk with the arrogance of power. He surrounded himself with sycophants who kept egging him on until he drowned in his own cesspool of corruption. Literally, the Fayose of 2006 was a man who went through personal humiliation on the streets of his state, and became the poster child for the life application of the often repeated proverb: ‘pride goes before a fall’
Yet, by tapping into God’s infinite Mercy, using his wife as the arrowhead of his redemptive prayer campaign, combined with the commendable forgiving spirit of the people of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose went on a comeback trail of legendary proportions in Ekiti State. From the obscure waters of his village, he fought back with a zeal that marveled people who really knew him as the fraud he was and still his. In his 9 years of political exile, he redefined himself within his constituency, came down from his high horse of power drunkenness, and professed heart melting humility.
As a man who instinctly grasped the dynamics of grassroots politics, and how to use cheap palliatives to buy the hearts of the average man, Fayose turned his obscurity into an amazing comeback. He went deep into the grassroots and tapped into the simplicity and forgiving nature of the average man on the street. As a clever Wolf in the Sheep’s Clothing of an empathetic politician, Ayo Fayose spent years ingratiating himself with the unsuspecting masses, and succeeded in creating the crucial connection with the average voter.
During his improbable comeback quest, Ayodele Fayose, the ever deceitful tactician, played the people like a virtuoso violinist. He went to their bukas and their beer parlors. He shared amala and rice with them under the false premise that he and the average person on the street share the same vision, and the same ideals. He gave them expired rice to share, distributed amala flour in the villages, and essentially brought the word ‘Stomach Infrastructure’ back into the lexicon of Nigerians.
Having convinced the average person on the street that he lived and breathed their cause, he also managed to convince President Goodluck, the leader of his party, that he is the ONLY man that could deliver Ekiti to the PDP in the 2014 governorship elections. Having convinced a failing President, who was desperate to get a strong foothold into the Yoruba states, ahead of his own reelection bid in 2015, the President wasted no time in manipulating the primaries of the PDP in favour of Ayo Fayose, despite the fact that he came late into the game, and the primaries were almost a done deal.
Not only did the President support this disgraced former governor, with several criminal cases still hanging on his neck, for the Governorship election under is party banner, the President as Commander in Chief, also gave him institutional support by sending the military and top members of his advisory team to go to Ekiti and make his paths ‘straight’ as it were, by helping him frustrate the officers of the APC ruling party in the state on election day.
Again, proving his resilience, not only did Ayodele Fayose secure the Gubernatorial ticket for the PDP against all Odds, he also won what is recorded as one of the biggest landslide victories in the history of governorship elections in Ekiti [though recent revelations actually showed that the elections may have been rigged after all, as we have all recently been privileged to listen to the tapes of how they stole the elections in Ekiti using a combination of street thugs, stomach infrastructure, grassroots support and overwhelming military presence]
Despite the lingering suspicion that something was wrong with the results of the elections, many decent people who loved to celebrate a touching comeback story, applauded his ‘election’. Many openly commented that now Fayose has a great opportunity to rewrite his shameful past history in a positive light, by demonstrating that he has indeed changed from his gutter ways to become more matured as a governor. He himself said so in several interviews leading to his swearing-in. He admitted he was deceived his first time around by sycophants. He claimed that this time around, he understood that it is the grace of God that helped him and will try not to disappoint God and the people again.
As the world tracked his words and body language, Fayose promised over and over again, to be statelier and more focused on the task of improving situations in his state for the good of all. He further promised he would not be bitter or vengeful against anybody involved in his impeachment in 2006.
These were indeed sweet words and the nation applauded!
However, even before he was sworn in, the true colors of the wolf started emerging, to the consternation of some of the people who celebrated his return from disgrace to the exalted seat of the governor of Ekiti.
Only a few days to the election, Fayose actually led a delegation of his political associates into the hallowed chambers of the Court of Justice in Ekiti state, disrupted proceedings in a suit challenging his eligibility to run for governor, and some of his thugs actually went on to assault judicial officers in open court! As we all watched on our social media channels, Fayose successfully prevented the judiciary from making any ruling on his eligibility to contest the 2015 elections.
While the nation was stunned by this development, many were still willing to give Fayose the benefit of the doubt, particularly after he denied being personally involved in the fracas, despite pictorial and video evidence to the contrary.
On the day Governor Fayose took oath of office again, he shocked the sensibilities of most Nigerians, not just by talking like an uneducated thug in his acceptance speech, he actually stripped the Governor’s House of Ekiti state of any dignity, by insisting that his weird band of journeymen and the masses of the people must spend the night in the governor’s residence. He announced with fanfare, that the people can sleep anywhere they can find on the premises, including the governors living room, the bedroom and adjourning houses, all in a bid to demystify the office of the Governor and humiliate his predecessor, Gov Fayemi, who had restored and maintained dignity at the State House for 4 years.
All this played out in living colors to a shocked nation.
Fayose in his crass demystification of the Governor’s Office seemed to have forgotten, or simply did not care, that the reverence for the office of the Governor is NOT about the occupier or previous occupier, but about the dignity of the people of the state. Anywhere in the world, the residence and office of the Governor is a symbol of the pride of the people of that state. However, by reducing it to a common Buka, and treating it as a homeless shelter on national television, Fayose effectively dragged the people of the state into the mud with himself.
Yet, many people thought the crass display on the day of his inauguration day, was just a temporary release of his pent up frustration from the last 9 years in the political wilderness, and that he would go back to being stately going forward. Unfortunately, those who thought that were solely disappointed.
From the moment Ayo Fayose received the mantle of office, he metamorphosed into his true form as a street thug masquerading as a reformed democrat.
First he went out of his way to humiliate his classy predecessor, Governor Fayemi, at every turn despite the magnanimity of Fayemi in congratulating him for winning the elections barely a few hours after the election results were declared. He called Fayemi all sorts of unprintable names and tried everything to destroy the legacy built in 4 years within a few weeks of wresting power.
Fayose, in a flourish, and without carrying out any formal audit of the accounts of the state, declared that the treasury is empty and that APC has looted the state dry.
Next, in a move that showed that Fayose either did not understand the term ‘continuity of government’ or did not care, he publicly repudiated some of the outstanding obligations of the state governor like outstanding salaries and contractor bills. He declared publicly that he would not prioritize the payment outstanding salaries or bills under the Fayemi government because, according to him, he did not ‘create those bills’ and the people concerned should go and meet Fayemi, if they wanted to get paid! He made it clear to the civil servants that while he would try to pay the salaries incurred from here on out, the past outstanding salaries is something he would take care of in his own sweet time!
From this weird takeoff of his second chance as governor of Ekiti state, the behavior of Fayose has become more bizarre, more controversial, and more provocative, by the day.
To secure his hold on power, with assistance from the Federal government who provided the police and soldiers needed to impose his will regardless of constitutional provisions, Fayose promptly changed the leadership of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, In a stranger than fiction travesty that played out in living colors on our TV sets, we witnessed a minority group of 7 legislators, in a house with 26 seats, impeach the Speaker, and Deputy Speaker, of the Ekiti House of Assembly.
As the nation shouted ‘foul’ and lawyers rushed to court to challenge the constitutional travesty, Governor Fayose simply mocked all those who disagreed with him and went on TV Stations
Rather than hunkering down to give the people of Ekiti state the kind of government he promised them, he basically abandoned state governance to become the man Nigerians love to hate in the national politics, and the upcoming Presidential elections.
After maligning the candidate of the opposing party, Muhammadu Buhari on many forums, he finally took his game to the global level by redefining the meaning of gutter politics.
In what will go down as one of the most classless gutter moves of the 2015 elections, Fayose placed FULL PAGE adverts in 2 major newspapers basically wishing death on the Presidential candidate of the APC, by displaying pictures of presidents who died in office, and ending with a picture of Buhari as the next in line to die, if Nigerians dared to elect him President.
As decent Nigerians, from both parties and independents, recoiled in revulsion at such a display of irreverence for the dead and the living by a Governor, Fayose gloated and laughed his way through all the criticisms. Even when members of his own party PDP dissociated themselves from the vile and crass advertorials, Gov Fayose remained unapologetic. Rather than recant, he actually added ‘WITHOUT APOLOGY’ to his follow up adverts.
Following this Masterpiece in Gutter Politics, Fayose has continued to make himself a dangerous pest in the political landscape. He continued to place provocative and abusive adverts against Buhari and APC in front page of newspapers, radio and even the internet. He never bothered to focus on any of the issues relevant to the people or debates in the campaign like economy, unemployment, security or power. Instead he chose to focus on gutter stuff that does not add any value to the national discuss. He focused on mundane issues with big potential to cause disaffection and incite violence among Nigerians.
Now, as we count down to the all-important elections of 2015, the bizarre actions of the second chance governor has now taken a rather disturbing turn.
Now, Ayodele Fayose has constituted himself into a PERSONAL INVESTIGATOR for the Jonathan Government. One day he was spending money to take journalists to a hotel room in Abuja to prove that the picture used by a Newspaper did not match the interview story set in London as if that mattered, even if true. After all Buhari did NOT publish the interview. He does not own any newspaper and in any case what would be the value to him for claiming he was in London when he was really in Abuja. What purpose would that serve? Buhari has been to many countries in Europe and does not need to fake being in London when he was really in Abuja.
The next day after spending millions to prove the photograph was taken in Abuja instead of London, as if that mattered, he abandoned his work as governor of Ekiti State and sent a team to London to track the movement of General Mohammed, in a quest find out if he was really in London for meetings or for medical checkups as Fayose would want people to believe.
Furthermore, he spent more millions of Ekiti people to take out full page adverts in front page of newspapers to say General Buhari was in a coma in a hospital undergoing treatments, even when the general was seen participating in meetings and setting up more meetings in London.
When APC announced that, contrary to the lies Fayose tried to spread, Buhari was not in any coma but would indeed be addressing the international community at Chatham House, Fayose took out National more adverts in our national newspapers, claiming the Chatham House engagement announced by Buhari was a lie to cover up the fact that Buhari was on admission in the hospital.
When Chatham House London itself, finally released its schedule which showed that indeed Buhari would be speaking at the center, rather than recant and apologise, Fayose took out another set of adverts to claim Buhari ‘bought’ the opportunity to address the international community at Chatham House in London!
In Fayose’s rapid descent into the deepest gutters of politics, he unapologetically took out full page ads to declare that the exit of Obasanjo, a former Head of State and 2-Time President of our great nation, from his party was ‘good riddance to bad rubbish’.
Like a man suffering from dementia, Fayose has quickly forgotten how he publicly prostrated for the former head of state, and begged him for forgiveness when he wanted to run for office for second term.
It simply boggles the mind that less than 6 months after going begging for forgiveness, this sitting governor of a state has gone back to his vomit with no qualms about taking out front page advertorials to rubbish a for 2 time President of his country who actually helped oil his engine for his comeback into the limelight.
Governor Fayose’s antics has gotten so bad that his unbridled recklessness and jaw dropping foolishness as a sitting governor has now worked its way into the public lexicon. People now accuse you of ‘talking rubbish anyhow like Fayose’ anytime you say something that does not make sense. He has exposed the proud state of Ekiti, reputed to be the most educated state in Nigeria, to public ridicule and odium in less than 6 months in office.
I seriously shudder to think of what would remain of the collective reputation of the people of Ekiti state by the time Fayose is done with them in 4 years. What a tragedy.
For a man who worked so hard to get a second chance at redemption, it is really tragic that Fayose has descended this low in such a short time. He lacks the decorum and public comportment required from the Governor of a State in Nigeria. In less than a year in office, Fayose has managed to reduce the exalted office of Governor of Ekiti state to a laughable position only fitting for the most vile-mouthed Okada rider.
As Governor Ayodele Fayose continued to abandon his primary responsibility of providing good governance for the people of Ekiti state, while spending the Ekiti people’s money to run provocative adverts all over the country, one is forced to wonder what really is wrong with Governor Ayodele Fayose. At this juncture, most keen observers of the unfolding Fayose tragi-comedy must be asking themselves the sad question: Has our Governor gone mad again? By Fayose’s own admission, we knew he went mad with power in his first coming over 10 years ago, but we were all led to believe he has had sufficient rehabilitative treatment from his days in the cold outskirts of power. Unfortunately, the signs right now, like a cancer coming back from remission, would suggest the madness of our returnee governor is coming back with a vengeance.
From the 50 Shades of Black displayed by Governor Fayose so far, it does not take a lot of thinking to project that he was destined to crash and burn the same way as 9 years ago. For a man who could has been the reference point for the virtue of second chances, Fayose is quickly cementing himself as the perfect example for the ‘let buried dogs remain buried’ school of thought. He seemed determined to destroy any redemptive benefits for the people of Ekiti state, who put their trust in him for a second term.
Since Governor Fayose has refused to hear the whistles of elders, and well-wishers who have been calling on him to rethink his destructive trajectory, the only thing left now is to allow him get lost in his own folly. Bottom line is that an unapologetic Fayose cannot be redeemed by any Psychiatrist or political Godfather. At this point, it is prudent to just leave him alone since he has chosen a destructive course he is determined not to deviate from.
Meanwhile, as we are all forced to witness the public descent of a redeemed prodigal son going back into the wanton lifestyle that consumed him initially, all we can do is hope and pray he does not drag too many people with him into the fire of nemesis that appears to be his destiny. There is no way his level of madness can be contained for very long. Sooner or later, this Gutter Politician and Father of fake stomach infrastructure will disrobe himself in the marketplace, and it would be all over for him and his merry band of thugs. Until that time all we can do is watch the Fayose Tragedy unfold in its full in-elegance.
This may be HardTalk but it is True Talk all the same