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This piece is addressed to the people of Ekiti State before the gubernatorial election Saturday, June 21. The gubernatorial candidates are the incumbent Governor John Kayode Fayemi (APC), Mr. Ayo Fayose (PDP), and Mr. Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (Labor).
But the contest is really between two major candidates from the two major parties – Fayemi and Fayose. Fayose is the disgraced former governor of the state who was impeached for political malpractice and other related offences. Fayose has been fighting hard to get his old job back.
Some days ago, the PDP political soul train led by President Goodluck Jonathan stormed the Ekiti state capital Ado-Ekiti to stump for Fayose. The campaign rally followed the dangerously irresponsible script of illusion and deception.
Nigerians have become thoroughly disenchanted with our political campaigns, especially with campaign rallies and bribes. Each election period we’re bombarded with visceral approaches that bypass substance.
It’s the same old story of promises made, promises broken full of superficial and sleazy campaigns – a disturbing picture of the dismal state of Nigerian election campaigns.
Political campaigns in Nigeria are notorious for inspiring dirty tricks and nasty tactics. As expected, the fight for political comeback by Fayose is punctuated with the dark art of misleading voters and is growing even more malignant then we’ve ever witnessed.
To Nigerians, election deception is nothing new. For years, shameless politicians have spread lies to impressionable voters, disseminating disinformation about everything from who the candidate is to what they had done in the past and what they’ll do in future. The Ekiti gubernatorial campaigns have proven that falsification are easier than ever to spread.
As Ekiti people move closer to the polls, a major correction is needed in the course of our state – Ekiti. The major correction must begin by reelecting Governor Fayemi by rejecting Fayose. And June 21 is the day for Ekitis to display truth and courage. June 21 is the day when all eligible voters in Ekiti must stand up to the powerful and the greed on behalf of our people.
Elections present voters with important choices. Whether it is a local race that will affect our community or a national race that could change the direction of the country, it is the time to consider the issues which we care about and decide which candidate we’ll elect.
When it comes to important information, the best advice is also the simplest: don’t forget. For the Ekiti gubernatorial race, voters should not forget to remember that Ayo Fayose is the message:
- Decide what you’re looking for in a candidate. Judge Fayose on his positions on issues and the leadership qualities and experience, moral probity and decency he’ll bring to the office. Is he a thug or a gentleman, a pariah or a paragon? A steward or a squander? A leader or a boss?
- Find out about Fayose. Dig up all the dirty about him especially when he was the governor. What did he do with your money? Ask him to show you the poultry farms that cost N1.4 billion. Ask him where the billions of Naira meant for road construction and development projects in the state went. Demand for your N416 million the EFCC said was stolen by Fayose. What was his legacy as governor?
- Learn about Fayose’s leadership abilities. Can he make a good leader – honest, open minded, able to act under pressure? How did he handle opponents? How did he eliminate his critics and political opponents – by assassination, kidnapping, or abduction?
- How do other people view Fayose? With the accumulated information you have on Fayose, you’ll want to learn what other people think of him.
- As a people, did you enjoy peace and tranquility in Ekiti during the administration of Fayose?
- Cast your mind back. Rewind the tape in your head his days as your governor. Can you see the killing fields where his opponents were slaughtered like goats? Look at the scene how Dr. Ayo Daramola was gunned down. Look at how Tunde Omojola was killed by Fayose thugs. Can you see nine students of College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti being mowed down like grass by Fayose’s agents? See Aseweje, Ben Ogundana, Dapo Osunniyi, Kamoru Folorunso, Ojo Sunday, and several others running for their dear life before they were cut down. Can you see the mayhem on the streets? Look, look, look … at blood thirsty Fayose sponsored hoodlums roaming the streets looking for people to kill.
- What specific conclusions can you draw about Fayose? Fill in Fayose’s Report Card as governor as you gather the information.
But none of that information will do you any good if you don’t remember it at the polls. If you don’t want to be fooled, if you want to cast votes that are based on actual facts, then you have to do a soul searching that goes beyond Fayose Rice.
Don’t forget that the purpose of election is not simply to decide an outcome, but to inform the public about ensuing potential effects. Don’t fall victims of falsehoods that would distract you from Fayose’s records of malfeasance, violence, intimidation, harassment, etc., and his failure to match performance with his representation in his days as your governor.
Uncommon power has combined with uncommon greed to create immense deceptions and losses for you during his administration. You were victimized, tormented, terrorized, humiliated, and impoverished by the scoundrel.
I want you to remember who Ayo Fayose is. Remember what he has done to you. Remember how well you think you know him. I want you to remember his days as governor – were you better off?
And remember to return Governor Fayemi to Ekiti Sate House June 21.
Bayo Oluwasanmi can be reached via [email protected]
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