Bayo Oluwasanmi: The Art Of The Matter

Much has been written about the outcome of the Ekiti State gubernatorial elections. Political pundits are still squaring off over the reasons why Governor Kayode Fayemi lost. I’m unable to dredge up words to describe the tsunami of the electoral defeat. It was a complete rout.

With a comic range that goes from slapstick to satire, many supporters of Governor Fayemi including this writer felt as doomed as the Biblical Job.  Many of us couldn’t understand the rationale behind the decision of the Ekiti people.

Many of us didn’t see it coming: the fades and fogs heralding a future of escalating loss of that proportion for an incumbent governor. Here we have a performing governor whose transformation agenda of Ekiti State is real, concrete, and visible.

Like anxiety in overdrive, shaking hands, vision clouding, fog-inducing, strikes like lightning without warning, majority of us were whipped by the election result. We were all scratching our heads for what went wrong. Indeed, Ernest Benn was right when he said “Politics … is looking for trouble, … diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy.”

In Buddhist cloisters, it is part of their tenet to ring bells at intervals throughout the day. The bell serves as a reminder to stop brooding on the past or worrying about the future and pay attention to the present.  Once the verdict was in, I have since cultivated patience and acceptance.

Election results have a way of doling out life’s lessons. To fail fast is to learn fast. Election results magnify our political weaknesses, phobias, and anxieties forcing us to confront them. The once rocky and flat political landscape beneath us, suddenly becomes an optical illusion.

The outcome of the Ekiti gubernatorial elections has forever changed the paradigm of Nigerian politics. We should have leaders courageous enough to identify problems and create solutions. Governor Fayemi didn’t show none of the crude ambition common with Nigerian politicians. His position all along has been life is not about position, it’s about purpose, and the purpose why he’s in politics is to fight to make Ekiti State a better place. And he did.

He truly is caring and compassionate about Ekiti people. When people need help, he’s always been there. He’s a great governor who has done great things for Ekiti people. He protected seniors by instituting social security monthly allowance. I believe that was tremendous.

Courage is the first essential quality for effective leadership. Governor Fayemi provided an incredible amount of courage for our people of this great state and brought hope to them. He was willing to stand up. He took initiative and took a stand in many tough situations even when no one else travels with him. His stand on problems confronting Ekiti State was powerful one, but not always a popular one. Ekiti State is considerably better having benefited from Fayemi’s vision and leadership.

If anyone doubted the deep love and affection people have for Governor Fayemi, the outpouring of support and praise following the result of the election should have removed all uncertainty. It really gave us an opportunity to appreciate a slice of history and see a legend in a very personal form – grace under fire. “If the result of the elections is an expression of the voice of our people,” the governor assured our people, “we must all heed your voice.” Governor Fayemi wears his defeat as a badge of honor.

To my people of Ekiti State – land of honor and fountain of knowledge – you must always watch out for mercenary hypocrites’ clever disguise. The invitation you have chosen to accept will determine whether you find virtue or vice. It is a question of time before the truth sets you free, but it will put you through a wringer. But Ekiti State must move on nonetheless.

The hemorrhage of democracy is typified by the virus of tyranny injected into governance. Democracy is essentially a process of carrying forward a nation or a state on the path of development to a better and higher life style.

Objectives are same for winners and losers but is the methodology that matters. In technical terms it is called governance. Good governance is the key to successful balanced and inclusive development. Ekiti people in their wisdom have decided to bring about the change of guard. We respect their choice.

We have a plethora of problems in Ekiti State. Most if not all are directly hitting ordinary people majority of whom voted for governor-elect Mr. Ayodele Fayose. These problems have to be addressed. The problems are not cafeteria menu whereby he can choose one and neglect the other. Any attempt to pick and choose which problems to solve will be like throwing a bucket of water at a forest fire.

Looking at the task ahead the question is whether the governor-elect will be able to fulfill all the promises he made either in public rallies or in the party’s official manifesto. Fayose administration will be charged with great responsibility. It has no time to waste or to go on deriding the outgoing government and its policies. The challenges and tasks ahead are far more important, more pressing, and more urgent than idle or boastful talks.

He should remember that governance deficit comes in when those who are to govern become victims of corruption and maladministration. And when there is no accountability, bad governance gets entrenched. Mr. Fayose has the responsibility to cleanse his image that stands tarnished during his first administration.

Mr. Fayose will do well to remember the golden principle of democracy: opposition and dissidents must be carried along through gentle persuasion. Differences of opinions have to be discussed and ironed out. A state is run by statecraft not by anger or vengeance or subterfuge. Governance is the art of the matter.


Bayo Oluwasanmi can be reached via [email protected]


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