OPINION! Bitter Truth: Fayose Deserves Impeachment, But Ekiti APC Are Ineffectual – Yinka Erinfolami

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(Left-Right) Ayodele Fayose of PDP and Kayode Fayemi of APC in Ekiti State

Upon reflecting on the political events/activities that has taken place in Ekiti State from January 2014 up until now, my view about Ekiti chapter of APC is that it is a party that is managed/controlled by ineffectual people in denial, that urgently need to realize and accept their limitations/faults/mistakes, so that the party can move forward to plan/strategize and reorganize, in order to transform into a viable, strong and effective political party.

A Faulty foundation

I believe the rot started with the mismanagement of the February 2014 membership registration exercise when it decided to build its castle on sand rather than on solid rock foundation. At the time, the party dismissed Labour and PDP’s allegation that the party coerced civil servants to register as members offhand by terming it a figment of rumour peddlers’ imagination, now the chickens are coming home to roost with embarrassing and complete election defeat. No excuses – It is unacceptable for a party that claimed it registered 226,527 persons (Breakdown of membership registration figures) in February 2014 to be incapable of translating that into votes in successive elections, period! When men sow the wind it is rational to expect that they will reap the whirlwind.”

The first (Gubernatorial) election

The voting pattern we saw in Ekiti State is not surprising because it was common knowledge before the governorship election that many of the young people in Ekiti, for reasons best known to them were disgruntled with the Fayemi administration but favoured Ayo Fayose. I remember Fayose boasting at the time that party supporters bought his campaign T shirts, which sold out, but many in the opposing camp did not take him seriously. This notion of young voters favouring Fayose was further supported by the NOIPolls Limited election Survey of April 2014 that indicated: 31% mostly youths between 18-29 are more likely to vote for Fayose; 29% of mostly working class between 30-45 and 45-60 are more likely to vote for Fayemi; 3% across board are more likely to vote for Bamidele; 37% are undecided on who they are voting for. Unfortunately, Ekiti APC chose to do what no serious party intending to win a major election will do – It labelled the survey report as ‘Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Polls’, and decided to ignore it, claiming it was designed specifically to embarrass the party. We all know the result of that election, including the decisions in the Court cases that challenged it. That election set the stage for the other elections – 2015 Federal and State elections

O kò sá Igi lógbé, o kò ta Ogùrò ní Ofà, o dé Ìdí Òpe o gbé Enu sí Òkè. Sé òfé ni Oje n’ro sí Enu ni?” (There’s no reward without work, no victory without effort, no battle won without risk.’)

It is delusional to expect that people you have not fully engaged with or made any significant contribution to their lives would automatically vote for you on demand. There are some people in APC who behaved as if Ekiti people owe them something without any justification; some also pushed people away from the party with ridiculous and arrogant messages on social media. I believe a serious party must understand the language of the masses and how to deal with them to its advantage particularly when it comes to paying attention to people’s welfare needs, not limited to giving food and drinks to potential voters. Additionally, a party must be able to adequately mobilise those working for it, including agents/canvassers/field workers etc, in order to gain their support and full loyalty. Ekiti APC failed miserably in both regards, it did not only fail to connect with the grassroots but also did not empower any significant number of party members or make any effort to boost morale among party members.

A LACK OF PUSH FOR MORE VOTERS

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JUNE 21, 2014 GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION

MARCH 28, 2015 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

APC

120,433

120,322

(-111)

PDP

203,090

176,476

(-26,614)

Registered Voters

733766

723,255

(-10,511)

Accredited Voters

369,257

323,739

(-45,518)

Total Votes Cast

360,455

(49.1%)

309,445

(-51,010 )

(42.8% )

(Source: INEC DECLARATION EKITI GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION)

Going by the figures above, Ekiti APC have been unable to improve on its 2014 June 21 governorship election showing by failing to tap into the 373,311 registered voters that refused to take part in that election, instead the party allowed things to worsen, with the figure increasing to 413,810 by March 2015, despite PDP losing some ground over the same period. The party, by failing to come to terms with the unfavourable governorship election result, allowed the distractions that prevented it from devising an effective strategy for attracting more voters

NEGATIVE CAMPAIGN & VOTER APATHY

Seriously, a party cannot rely on ‘negative’campaigning/’mudslinging’ alone to gain voters’ confidence without showcasing outstanding achievements or preferred policies, expecting to make meaningful impact or gains in elections. APC’s demonization of Fayose and his part failed to make any significant impact mainly because majority of his supporters in the 18-29 age group, were too young to understand the adverse events which characterised his first tenure, while many others from older age groups had no interest in the outcome of the elections. Less people voted in the 2015 elections than they did in June 2014.

GOVERNOR AYO FAYOSE

Do I think Fayose deserve to be impeached? His stomach infrastructure tactic appears not borne out of a genuine affection for the grassroots but just the means to manipulate people who are gullible for the sake of power, which he tends to acquire and to misuse it always.

In my opinion, I believe a hundred percent Fasoye deserve to be impeached, but not at all cost, and definitely not in an unlawful manner. I don’t see impeachment happening anytime before May 29. The 7 PDP member’s ignoble roles in all these may still return to hunt them.  Fayose is not in any way immune to impeachment even with a PDP controlled House of assembly because he is always his own worst enemy who may decide to press the self destruct button at any time in the foreseeable future.

What is my opinion about Fayose’s mandate? He scored the highest vote to defeat the incumbent in an election in which less than 50% of registered voters participated, which some people later claimed  is overwhelming support/endorsement by the people of the State. Unfortunately, this has been the excuse used by governor Fayose to deflect attention from his underhand tactics of mobilising thugs to cause confusion and mayhem in defense of his self styled ‘popular mandate’. Sadly, he is winning the propaganda war because APC doesn’t seem to be getting its tactics right at all.

WHAT NEXT?

To make mistakes and lose like APC did in the governorship election to Ayo Fayose with all his baggage is bad enough, but to then repeat it again in two other elections 8 months down the line is unpardonable. I expect APC leadership would do the needful and purge itself according to the advice given by the response in the interview I reproduce below:

[But why did the party leadership allow such things to happen?

This is a very clear thing in the context of what is happening now. Whenever a system fails to deliver, those driving the system, out of honour, resign. There are no two ways to it. When those who drove the system failed and did not resign, they are now dishonourable and they are bringing the party into disrepute. You cannot use the same voice, with which you advocated for certain things and get rejected by the people, to now advocate for opposite things. In the country (United Kingdom), which we admire, when the Conservatives fail, the leadership goes. I don’t know how many people remember the intense struggle between Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher. It is not personal, it is business.

When you fail, even in the corporate world, you give way to new hands. The fact that the governors are saying it to the executives of the PDP is not necessary; they should have just acted like Mr. President before the election result was announced. I expected that they would by now have resigned and say ‘we are setting a convention for this period to get temporary leaders until we can elect (new leaders), but we will honourably bow out.’ That is the proper thing that is required. To sit there until you are forced is unheard of; is the ultimate in infamy. Not going means that they want to superintend over the liquidation of a system which failure they drove.” – (Prof. Alphonsus Nwosu’s answer in his punchng.com MAY 3, 2015 interview)]

This is no longer time for incoherent excuses, but the time to start planning towards the 2018 governorship and other elections in 2019. The party in its present state is too weak to respond positively to any eventuality within the political landscape. It is getting increasingly difficult to stomach or watch people squander opportunities through sheer negligence and ineptness.

Having discussed this with a few others from Ekiti State, we are of the opinion that many of the people currently in charge of affairs are performing below par, whereas, our State deserves better than it is getting presently. We are looking at ways to remedy the situation. We are honest. We are compassionate. We have integrity. We are confident. We are flexible. We are capable and most of all we are ready to fill the void.

God bless Ekiti State. God bless Nigeria.

SEE ALSO: Judas Iscariot Has A Parish In Nigeria – Blessing Ekpere Ogbu

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