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Ekiti Polls: The Demystification of Ayo Fayose

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By Nkannebe Raymond Esq.

Four years ago when he re-emerged onto the political firmament of Ekiti State, nay Nigeria, through the instrumentality of the now infamous “stomach infrastructure” philosophy and aided by a compromised electoral process orchestrated by security agencies posted to the state to ostensibly ensure  peaceful conduct of the polls, Ayodele Peter Fayose “The Rock” as he likes to call himself, had the rare privilege of repairing whatever damage that was inflicted by his reign at his first coming in 2003, after defeating the then incumbent Niyi Adebayo, until his infamous impeachment three years later in 2006. With the gamut of goodwill that earned him a second bite at the cherry, one would have thought the 57 year old would hit the ground running in delivering to the people of Ekiti, a ‘State-of-the-art’ governance that had eluded them for some time. But that was not to be as events turned out.

As against this, Fayose in apparent obliviousness of his primary assignment which was the welfare of the people of Ekiti state was rather drawn into the politics of his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). At the height of things, it was difficult identifying who actually was the spokesman of the then ruling party. Apparently opposed to the emergence of the then candidate Muhammadu Buhari, Fayose made it his life ambition to de-market his candidacy at the electoral market and before the entire world. As garrulous and cantankerous as he can be, Fayose rained fire and brimstone. He quoted the scripture. He took on the status of a prophet of doom. He said Buhari would not live through 2015 as according to him, the man was diseased of some cancerous ailment. He called the bluff of former president Olusegun Obasanjo when the old war horse tore his party card and ended things with the then ruling party. He loomed larger than life and sold papers for the media houses on account of the controversies he spurned effortlessly.

With the emergence of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in power after the 2015 general elections, the man seemed to have become more emboldened contrary to what many analysts thought. He dared the presidency. He called the bluff of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). He told the world that he was God-sent, and thus can be undone by no Man. When his party lapsed into an internecine leadership crisis following the embarrassing outcome of the 2015 election, Fayose and his Rivers State counterpart, became the de-facto chairmen of the factionalized opposition party. But unlike his counterpart Nyesom Wike who understood the terms of his engagement with the indigenes of Rivers state on the strength of his developmental strides which earned him awards from both near and wide, Fayose was swallowed by the party politics of the opposition party. We got a picture of where he was driving at with that, when he declared his intention to run for the presidency under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) when the dust of the leadership crisis within the PDP had settled with the stamp of the judgment of My Lord, the Hon. Justice Rhodes Vivour in a well considered decision. How much he still wants to push that ambition in the light of the developments of the last 48 hours would be anybody’s guess.

Suffice it to say that while Ayo Fayose entertained the whole world with theatrics and megalomania, pundits both at home and abroad struggled to decipher the socio-economic thrust of his government. Whereas states like Anambra, Lagos, Kebbi had become popular for its giant stride in the areas of Agricultural revolution and other index of economic growth, it was difficult to identify what Ayo Fayose was doing in bettering the lot of the people of Ekiti state apart from daily joining issues with the Buhari presidency. It was said that governance took a back seat under his superintendence while political chicanery became the order of the day. Until this day, it appears the sole stamp of his second-coming would be the newly built governor’s office, and the 1.3 kilometer   Fajuyi-Ojumose overhead bridge that cost the state some 6.4 billion Naira. In about three years of his superintendence, the debt profile of the state jerked up to some 56 billion naira as reported by the Debt Management Office (DMO) in a 2017 bulletin, thus setting backward the developmental clock of the state.

On account of what would pass for low performance in key areas of economic growth, the civil servants of Ekiti state, famous for its marginal FAAC allocation, paid dearly with withheld salaries (that at some point extended for as long as seven (7) months); and unremitted pensions for retiring members of staff. A master of the art of dramatic governance, Ayo Fayose found a way around his woeful performance however. He somehow found a connection with the people of Ekiti, not on the sheer size of the goodwill earned by his stellar performance, but for the uncanny ability to be involved in their mundane lives and circumstances. He roasted bole on the streets of Ekiti; he hobnobbed with the market women; he ate amala the local Yoruba delicacy at local bukas; he wore jean trousers, polo shirts and palm sandals to state functions; he made frequent stops at the agbojedi sector to have a drink with the men, and so on and so forth. Somehow, this endeared him to the people who found a contrast in this behavior from those of many elitist Nigerian politicians who related with their subjects in rather formal manner. Ayo Fayose knew this, and he seemed to have exploited it to his advantage. And so while other governors who owed salaries were pelted with stones and what not, Fayose struck a relationship with the people even in the face of their glaring misfortune of which he was a factor. Such was the mystic if you like, of this interesting character.

Perhaps conscious of the fact that he had not lived up to the minimum expectations of the people, Fayose sought a successor in a character whose loyalty he could vouch for, as his time in the helm of affairs in the state drew close. He found this in his deputy, the soft spoken Professor of Building, Kolapo Olusola Eleka. A man who contrasted the character of his boss in many ways. As controversy trailed the choice of his successor, Fayose in his now familiar antic  of going spiritual, told a beleaguered press and anybody who would listen, that the God he serves revealed the choice of his successor to him in a dream. His larger than life status dominated the whole process leading to the election. He visited nearly every media house to sell the candidacy of Kolapo. He was visible in all the campaigns─dancing, cursing and throwing tantrums at the ruling party that were never in short supply. As activities leading to the elections climaxed, it was difficult to decipher who was actually the PDP candidate between Fayose and his ‘political son’  on account of how much he domineered the entire process.

 

However, while saner minds waited for a strong and convincing reason while Kolapo should be his successor, Fayose  could not muster anything convincing but to spew blackmail and propaganda at will. He claimed that the Federal Government was billed to rig the process; that INEC had been briefed to carry this into effect and that the security agencies drafted to the state were to make this possible. Only few days ago, he appeared with a cervical collar and addressed a press conference telling the world that his life was under threat and that the police chief be held accountable should anything happen to his person. “I am in pains!” “I am in severe pains!” he cried. And as he casted his vote at his Afao polling unit on Saturday morning, he appeared with the cervical collar, apparently to rub things in. he must have hoped to curry the sentiments of the Ekiti indigenes with all the drama that was deployed into that. The jury is still out on how much that theatrical showpiece affected the whole process.

 

Until their job is done, what cannot be contested however, is that Fayose made a caricature of governance in his second coming as the governor of the state of about 3 million people. This much was seen in his response to a question put to him at an April 2018 edition of the popular Tv program─ “Politics Nationwide” anchored by the fine Seun Okin of the leading Channels Television. Asked what he has done for the people of Ekiti state to enable them heed his call of voting his preferred candidate, Fayose went about telling lame duck story of how he was seen frying garri with the local women in the streets of Ekiti, and dared the opposition in the state to do same. It was a response that purports to make a heavy weather of his popularity. At different times in that interview, he claimed that he is the most popular Ekiti son, and went about reeling out his political CV of being the only son of Ekiti to have defeated two incumbent administrations in the state, and at the same time telling his stunned host that it may not surprise him, if he becomes the first governor of the state to install his successor in office. Such was the height of his braggadocio. He must have underestimated the intelligence of the people of Ekiti with the way he made a show of his popularity.  At different points he played God, and carried on with the swagger of an aristocrat perhaps suffering under the illusion that he’d not be defeated by the opposition. Not least Kayode Fayemi of the APC.

But all of that ended yesterday. With the result of the election returning the former governor and until recently the minister of solid mineral, Mr. John Olukayode Fayemi of the Radio Kudirat fame, as the governor-elect having swept 12 out of the 16 local governments of the state after a keenly contested polls, governor Ayo Fayose must be coming to terms with the harsh reality that may hit him soon. He must henceforth deploy his spiritual clout to make sure that his opposition PDP unseats the incumbent administration come 2019, otherwise, he must brace up for the political storm he’ll be made to contend with. Without prejudicing the man, there is no question of him having not compromised the resources of Ekiti in his sworn ambition to install his deputy as his successor. Already, the EFCC has made statements suggesting resuming prosecuting him for his involvement in the infamous Ekiti integrated Poultry fraud, now that his days of immunity are numbered. Another way out for the man is to mend fence with his successor, the gentlemanly, John Kayode Fayemi in a political settlement that may have all his “sins” forgiven to afford him a quiet life out of power.

Whichever way the man’s fate would turn out, will be shaped by events to come. In the mean time, he must carry on with his tail in between his legs as with the proverbial tale of the tail wagging the dog with the bitter pangs of not joining the pantheon of governors who saw their preferred candidate succeeding them. He may now go and attend to his “pains”, and while at that, live with the sad reality of having inflicted even more pains to the people of Ekiti while he carried on with his leadership style that lacked grace and panache. He’ll be surely missed for the humour he brought to governance which was in itself, a therapy to the psychological wounds wrought by the four years of his clueless governance to the people of Ekiti. Barring other reported ugly factors that determined the outcome of the ballot, which by the way does not form the crux of this article, the truth remains however that the people have spoken. And their voices have been heard. And the whole world is not under any form of misapprehension as to the greatest loser of the events of last Saturday in Ekiti. If Ayo Fayose was a mystic, the events of the last 48 hours have left him utterly demystified. As at the time of concluding this article, some 30 hours or more after the announcement of the results of that election, the once garrulous and loquacious Fayose, has since gone taciturn; he has neither congratulated the winner of the polls nor berated the conduct of the elections as is quite uncharacteristic of him.

He must be under the shock of his life. And one can only hope that the boarding pass linking him to France is nothing close to the truth.

 

Raymond Nkannebe, a legal practitioner and public interest analyst wrote in from Lagos. Comments and reactions to raymondnkannebe@gmail.com.

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Opinion

Voice of Emancipation: Hiding in Plain Sight

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By Kayode Emola

What is happening to the Yoruba Nation Struggle? Is sovereignty still an attainable possibility? These questions and many more are on the lips of enthusiastic Yoruba begging for answers whilst awaiting the birth of their new nation. Rightly so, given that many of us in the trenches promised that there would be no 2023 election in Nigeria, as we would have already left the country. Alas, it is less than a month before the 2023 general election is scheduled; only a miracle will be able to thwart the election now.

How did we get it wrong? Why haven’t we got out of Nigeria by now? I don’t think this is the appropriate time to start apportioning blame. However, I do believe that if we don’t learn from the mistakes of the past, then we are bound to repeat them again and again. We must be mindful that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Therefore, those hell-bent on causing schisms amongst the advocates of independence are not only impairing their work, they risk jeopardising the entire struggle if care is not taken.

The solution to the Yoruba question is hiding in plain sight, yet it is so simple that only a few can decipher it or see how to implement it. Rather than focusing on the practical steps to get us out of Nigeria, some people are now being cajoled by meaningless slogans. Consider the claims of the Ominira Yoruba 2022 team, that if 5 million people signed a petition in support of independence, Yoruba would be able to exit Nigeria and nothing could stop it. The petition surpassed its five million target and yet nothing happened.

So Ominira Yoruba 2022 announced that they would make a declaration of independence and this would be the catalyst that would bring us our own nation. Yet no plan was put in place on how this was to be implemented aside from flippant announcements on Facebook and other social media outlets. When this failed to materialise Yoruba Nation, they then came out with Reclamation, and following its fruitlessness, then Occupation. The truth is that, no matter how catchy a slogan we produce, if we don’t have a concrete plan on how to get Yoruba out of Nigeria, we will continue on this trajectory of big grammar inside empty cannon.

The first step in achieving anything in life is to ask if anybody in the world has done the same thing already. If so, you can learn from them and apply their methods to your situation. If there are none, then by all means go ahead and invent the wheel, do some trial and error and work out a strategy to get you to the finish line. However, in this situation, there are many countries whose precedents we can learn from, including Norway/Sweden, South Sudan/Sudan, Czechoslovakia and finally, former Yugoslavia etc.

Whilst some of these countries exited peacefully, some had extremely violent departures. However, the key element was that they were determined to exercise their right to self-determination. The unifying feature that they all shared was that they all declared their independence from the larger, and dared to face the consequences. For some countries like South Sudan leaving Sudan it led to a long and bitter civil war; in contrast, when Norway left Sweden, the latter accepted the declaration of the former and they parted peacefully.

If the only option that allows for every indigenous nationality to exit Nigeria is through the declaration of independence, then the simplest and most logical route would have been to bring everyone together in consultation. In this scenario, any declaration of independence by one indigenous nation in Nigeria could be followed immediately by simultaneous declaration from other regions. This would dissuade the Nigerian government from attempting to take a stand against these nations or starting a war that they could not possibly sustain.

In light of this, what should we now do? We need to organise ourselves into formations, working towards the greater good. Those in the diplomatic circles need to intensify their diplomatic outreach to those countries around the world that will be sympathetic to indigenes’ independence. Whilst those in humanitarian circles need to embark on massive campaigns with humanitarian agencies, explaining the reasons why Nigeria must be dissolved

If we all come together with this resolve, then Nigeria would have no option but to let us go because we would have the support of our people and the international communities. Undoubtedly, we will not achieve unanimous acceptance from every country, or even across own our people; but those who do believe in the cause must press on until victory is achieved.

Therefore, my advice to those still being deceived by slogans and jamboree is this: open your eyes and see that, unless we do the work, no amount of camouflage or deceit can bring us out. We need to be ready to be open-minded, to put in the effort required to achieve success. Yoruba nation *will* come, but not by lies of ¬_”a tí gbá”_ (“we have collected it”) or “God has done it”.

Even if God has said Yes, if we fail to put in the necessary work, we will remain on this mountain for a very long time. The year of 2023 still has a long way to go: we can work towards something meaningful, or we can continue to deceive ourselves that Yoruba nation will be served to us on a platter of gold with no effort on our own part. A word is enough for the wise.

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Adding Value

Adding Value: The Power of Imagination

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Dear Destiny Friends,

Success and failure start from the mind. The human mind is like a rubber, the more you stretch it, the more it expands. The human mind is the brain, if you don’t use it, it won’t work. We all have the power to change the course of our life without allowing us to be victims. This is because the greatest power God gave us at creation is freedom and choice. Just like you have the power to think positive thoughts, you also have the power to think negative thoughts. It should be noted that whatever you focus on expands.

It’s quite unfortunate that many of us don’t know how we can use our mind to attract opportunities, if properly stretched. For the human mind to work at optimal capacity, it must be capable of using the power of imagination. According to Napoleon Hill, “whatsoever the mind can conceive, believe, it can achieve it. The right question we should ask ourselves is if we are using the power of our imagination.

Imagination takes several forms. The human mind can be artistic in nature, it can be creative, and it can also be challenging. The mind will only work on how you program it. If you program your mind to think like a leader, it will be activated, if you program the mind to overcome challenges it will be activated, if you program the mind to either think positive or negative thoughts, it produces the desired fruits for you.

You may be wondering where the power of imagination comes from? The power of imagination starts from the mind. To understand how the mind works, you have to look at the brain. The neocortex and thalamus are responsible for controlling the brain’s imagination, along with many of the brain’s other functions such as consciousness and abstract thought.

One may ask, is imagination the same thing as intelligence?  One can imagine something, but don’t take proactive steps to implement it, but the man who takes actionable steps can be regarded as an intelligent man because he got the inspiration and knows what to do. According to Albert Einstein, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination”. This is a fact because the true intelligence level of an individual is not dependent on the facts a person knows but on how he applies them creatively to solve problems in the world.  Albert Einstein further stated that “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

The power of imagination cannot be overemphasized. One of the distinguishing traits between wealthy men and the poor men is their mindset. A big difference between a rich mind and poor mind lies in how they process information. While rich and wealthy minds have a positive and growth mindset, poor men have a negative and fixed mindset. While the growth mindset sees problems as opportunities to make impact by solving them, fixed minds see problems as obstacles to making impact. While rich and wealthy minds spend money to invest, poor minds spend money to impress. While rich and wealthy people spend after saving, poverty-stricken minds save from the remnant of their expenses.

This power of imagination works in different ways. Sometimes, it comes like a vision, a revelation. inspiration or even feelings. This imagination can be something you would like to change, or a cause you would like to work on. When you get this prompting, the best thing you can do is commit it to prayer and believe in it especially if it’s a revelation or vision you have been shown. It might look so big and impossible to attain. Whenever you feel this way, just know that you must activate your growth mindset.

Wealth creation starts from the mind. If you want to be successful in any craft, you must envision it in your mind. Most of the great people if not all the great people we celebrate in the world utilized the power of imagination to create a product. If you want to be rich or start a business, you need to take the bold step, if not, you’ll remain where you are.

Nobody can stop a person whose time has come. Nobody can stop you; you are the only one who can stop yourself if you doubt yourself or tell your dreams, vision, or ideas to the wrong person. The wrong person in this case can be your parents, friends, mentors or even your spiritual leader. Don’t get me wrong, these people may not be bad people, they may not understand the calling or vision you had. They may not even see you as the person capable of doing it because you don’t look it. They may be speaking from their experience which may not be your reality. Let me tell you, if God wants somebody else to get the revelation or inspiration, he will put the imagination in their mind. Just to encourage you, God does not call the qualified, he calls the unqualified and then qualifies you.

In conclusion, the power of imagination is a very powerful and creative tool a progressive mind can use to excel in life if properly activated. This is because nobody knows you more than you know yourself.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He’s a Human Capacity & mindset coach. He’s also a public speaker, youth advocate and creative writer. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success

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Opinion

Be Empowered to Remain in Power

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By Tolulope A. Adegoke

“When you “become” what money loves, you naturally command the attention of monies. Ask yourself, what does money love? Money cherishes VALUES! When you stop becoming valuable, what “values” attracts would stop coming to you! You simply fit into what soothes your actions, and into what your consistent attitudes deserve! So, you must keep “becoming” for what you desire or deserve to keep chasing after you! To “become” in this context means to “MANifest”! Chase excellence, and success would chase you pants down! Accept yourself in order to understand your being, so as to carve a soothing niche for a better version of “you” which you desire or deserve to become. Any other “you” in circulation is a counterfeit! Square up your shoulders and tell yourself “I deserve to succeed and God helping me, I will.” Remember, the sky is never your limit, God is!”Tolulope A. Adegoke, PhD., MNIM, FIMC, CMC, CMS

 Commitment has been described as dedication, steadfastness, allegiance, faithfulness or loyalty to a course, and individual, group or a supreme being. It is about giving one’s self to a course with success as the only option. Commitment binds you irrevocably to a course you believe in until success comes. It is not the same as mere involvement, but dedication to seeing a course(s) completed or fulfilled to cause an effect or impact either within one’s self, others, corporates and the world at large.

The world is filled with peoples. Anybody can be involved. Being involved in an activity that involves other people does not make you part of a team. As a matter of fact, it only takes a number of people involved in working together to have a group. You must understand that a group is absolutely not a “team”. The difference? In a group, people are involved in activity(s). In a Team, people are committed to a process and a goal. The difference between commitment and involvement is known by the difference in the “omelette and “corned beef”. In the making of omelets, the chicken is involved, in the corned beef, the cow is committed!

Commitment is the secret to the success of the postage stamp. To get the letter to its destination, it must first commit to the envelope. After that, the rest is a matter of time. A train gets to its destination because of its commitment to the rails.

Commitment operates in five major levels which would be expatiated below:

  1. Commitment to God (The Creator that gives to all that gives and receives)
  2. Commitment to a Course for a Cause

iii.              Commitment to Process

  1. Commitment to People
  2. Commitment to yourself

Commitment to God

Those who have discovered themselves in God have no problem committing to Him. Those who sideline God in success ventures will find out soon enough that it is the pathway to “frustration” and an insignificant “death”.

Commitment to a Course for a Cause

You must always remember that, you were never created to simply pursue wealth and all trappings of the worldly successes. After all your bills are paid, and you have a spill-over, what next? Highly successful and effective people, first of all, find a higher course for a greater cause for which they were willing to lay down their lives if need be, then throw themselves wholly into it. The principle is that, if death does not scare you, the possibility of failure cannot! As the Bible rightly said, “those who keep their lives lose it, while those who lose it, find it!” The other name for it is significance or relevance. Make money in order to enhance your platform(s) for significance or irrefutable relevance. At a recent time, Bill Gate has committed time and resources to finding solutions to the scourge of HIV/AIDS and poverty eradication in Third World countries. What he did caught the attention of Warren Buffet (who wasn’t reputable for charity), the World’s Second richest man at that time. This made him donate the sum of $37billion (US Dollars) to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. When asked why, he answered, “Because they know how best to give it away better and faster than I can.”

Commitment to a Process

Everything in life evolves. The only tree that grew to full stature in one day died the same day! Ask Prophet Jonah in the Bible. If you cannot commit to a process, you will forfeit the promise.

To master your skill in life, there is always a process of apprenticeship. Permit yourself to fail…but don’t remain a failure. The Olympic medalist who won the 100-metre dash in less than 10 seconds was only celebrated for what he had invested years of consistency and hours of practice to.

Tiger Woods had played golf as a child and he had always nurtured a vision to win every championship in golf. So he started to work towards that, easily.

The father (being a good Lawn Tennis Player) of Serena and Venus Williams (The World Lawn Tennis Champions) had coached them to always win since they were very young.

What the world celebrate today in these people is actually the process they had committed too long before they started winning laurels.

Commit to Yourself

Budget for self-development. Your greatest investment is the one you make on your personal development. When you are right, everything around you will be right!

Things don’t happen because you chase them to happen, rather they happen become you have become a center of attraction that commands the necessary attention. For instance, when you “become” what money loves, you naturally command the attention of monies. Ask yourself, what does money love? Money cherishes VALUES! When you stop becoming valuable, what “values” attracts would stop coming to you! You simply fit into what soothes your actions, and into what your consistent attitudes deserve! So, you must keep “becoming” for what you desire or deserve to keep chasing after you! To “become” in this context means to MANifest! Chase excellence and success would chase you, pants down! Accept yourself in order to understand your being, so as to carve a soothing niche for a better version of “you” which you desire or deserve to become. Any other “you” in circulation is a counterfeit! Square up your shoulders and tell yourself “I deserve to succeed and God helping me, I will.” Remember, the sky is never your limit, God is!”

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