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Akin Ojumu: The Return Of The Era of Gutter Politics In Ekiti State

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The news coming out of Ekiti State is terrifying, to say the least. All peace loving Nigerians should get really scared. Nigerians will do well to pay close attention to the rumble in the jungle of Ekiti Parapo.

Blow the trumpet, people. Sound the alarm, Brothers and Sisters. Trouble is brewing in the underbelly of Ekiti Hills.

Hitherto, this quaint little state has known relative peace. In the years that the outgoing Governor has been in office, this sleepy state has trudged along on with life uneventfully. The past three-and-a-half years have seen the trajectory of the Land of Honor bend, little by little, inch by inch, towards progress and development.

The State’s outgoing Governor has been accused, perhaps justifiably so, of being an out of touch elitist who fails to feel the pulse of the ordinary people of Ekiti. He has been labeled, rightly or wrongly, a carpetbagger who feels more at home among his fellow out of town friends – the imports from Lagos who allegedly win all the lucrative contracts and the plum government jobs.

For all his shortcomings – and he has paid dearly for it by the shocking loss of his bid for re-election as Governor – the era of Mr Kayode Fayemi has been a peaceful one for the people of Ekiti State. For a Nigerian politician, Mr Fayemi has been uncharacteristically chivalrous. Unlike most Nigerian politicians, Mr Fayemi accepted the outcome of the last election, in good faith and for the sake of peace, despite his misgivings about the electoral process. Following the declaration of the election results, he is said to have given his opponent a phone call, to congratulate him on his victory and to wish him well. Now, that never happens in Nigeria – never, ever. It is very rare for a Nigerian politician to do that. In Nigeria, the outcome of an election is never concluded until a verdict by the election petition tribunal – the courts always determine who wins elections in Nigeria.

Then comes the return of Mr Ayo Fayose, a man whose reputation as a rabble-rouser is legendary. He is a bulldog of a man with a penchant for troublemaking. Mr Fayose is a bare-knuckle political prizefighter, whose résumé of ignominy is as long as a tree. The aura around this man reeks of evil, and the stench of violence that oozes from him can be perceived many miles away.

First, it was a High Court Judge getting beat up, allegedly by the Governor elect himself and his political supporters, inside the hallow grounds of the State High Court. Now we hear that an ex Chairman of the State NURTW (aka Chief of the Touts), a supporter of the Governor elect, has been shot dead, by unknown assailants.

Drip, drip, drip, violence like rain, begins to drop through the leaky roof of Ekiti State. Very soon, the dam will burst wide open and the deluge of savagery will consume not only Ekiti, but also the country as a whole. That is the path we are heading, unless sanity prevails and the owner of the dog calls off their dog.

As a teenager, I remember – and still terrified by – the political unrest that was unleashed on the nation following the declaration of Mr Akin Omoboriowo the winner of the Governorship election in the then Ondo State (from which Ekiti State was carved out); an election that was indisputably and unequivocally won by the late Chief Adekunle Ajasin. As a nation, if we forget this history, or ignore it, we do so at our own peril. Electoral violence, like a volcanic eruption, spares no one; it consumes everything, and everyone, in its path.

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Article written by Akin Ojumu and culled from Saharareporters

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