It was vintage Fayose all the way. I am talking about the scorched earth interview granted by Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Peter Fayose to “The Interview” magazine that was published last Thursday. Quite typical of the man, he was lobbing verbal rocket grenades, scud missiles, amid a spattering of intercontinental ballistic missiles, at his object of derision, who just happens this time to be former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Fayose disclosed how inexperience and youthful exuberance, mixed with a dread of the then president, caused him to play the roles of errand boy, leading praise singer and accomplice-cum-partner of sorts in high profile tenure extension plots. He revealed how he was handpicked to chair the PDP Presidential Selection Panel in 2007 with the express order to upend chances of an “independent-minded” former Kaduna State Governor, Ahmed Makarfi, favoured by 75 percent of panel members, emerging as the party’s presidential candidate.
The ebullient Ekiti governor rued how then Rivers State Governor Peter Odili, who had previously received OBJ’s nod as the crown prince and had traversed the nation in a campaign blitz that was second only to the famed campaign style of the legendary Chief Obafemi Awolowo, paid no heed to his warning that his erstwhile benefactor had sworn that instead of the presidency Odili would be heading to prison, until it was too late.
Arguably the most pathetic of Fayose’s revelations were the intrigues behind the distasteful third term agenda and OBJ’s nauseating genuflection before a sitting Muamar Gadhafi just because he wanted the backing of the then Libyan strongman, whose financial largesse made nearly two-thirds of heads of government in the continent to be beholden to him, to extend his tenure as chairman of the African Union (AU)! Yes, Fayose confirmed that there were indeed well-orchestrated efforts by OBJ to extend his tenure after the expiration of the two terms provided for in the constitution.
Fayose named Senator Ibrahim Mantu (then deputy senate president) and Senator Andy Uba (then special assistant to OBJ on domestic affairs) as other key members of the ad hoc committee created to midwife the third term agenda. He disclosed that a frustrated and vengeance-seeking OBJ had vowed to teach then senate president Ken Nnamani the mother of all bitter lessons for extirpating the third term agenda, even as he described how a surprisingly suppliant and drivelling OBJ was scorned and humiliated by Gadhafi.
It was Fayose in his elements and nothing he said about the hypocrisies and shenanigans that characterized the OBJ era should have come as a surprise. What is very surprising though is the unbecoming silence of OBJ on the disclosures made by Fayose. OBJ is known for the unbridled use of his mouth to push back on any allegations against his person, just as US President Donald Trump does with tweeting. That he hasn’t uttered a word in more than seven days since the interview was published speaks volumes. If you ask me, I would say that he knows that Fayose still has much more up his sleeves than what he has downloaded into the public domain and has wisely chosen to let sleeping dogs lie, at least for now.
I must, however, concede that my perception of Fayose has mellowed down somewhat since reading the interview. Any person who can readily acknowledge, and demonstrate open remorse for, his mistakes ranks very high in my books. But it still hasn’t changed my perception of Fayose as more noise than substance. I’ve visited Ado-Ekiti, capital of Ekiti State, more than five times since the return of Fayose to Government House and I still can’t fathom what the noise is all about. The so-called new international market and the major street (along with one or two flyovers) are still at less than 40% of completion after all these years.
Only two edifices standout in the sleepy capital: the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) and the new hilltop Government House built by the outgoing Kayode Fayemi administration, which Fayose, in a misguided display of populism, publicly rubbished but has since moved into with pomp and pageantry. The only explanation for Fayose’s swagger must be because the standard of the average Ekiti indigene has fallen so low and abject poverty bestrides the state once described as the most educated area in the nation, such that Fayose’s political doctrine – stomach infrastructure or “oshokomole” in the local parlance – has become a formula for landslide electoral victories.
But only time would tell if his candid kiss and tell has struck a fatal nail on Baba Iyabo’s self-worth and delusions of grandeur.
Source: New feed