By Raheem Babajide
It all started on Saturday May 5, 2018 at the botched primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to elect its flagbearer. What was anticipated to be a keenly contested primary, turned out to be a walkover, as the delegates freely expressed their preference without ambiguity for John Kayode Fayemi. This shocked many audio-politicians, who have won the election on both conventional and social media before the actual day. The outcome showed that media hypes do not win elections, especially in Ekiti State. You need to be on ground and convince the people beyond doubt that you deserve their support and votes. The initial process was truncated to appease the audio-politicians.
“Even after a bad harvest, there must be sowing,” (-Lucius Annaeus Seneca). Therefore, another day was fixed for a repeat primary. Ojudu and his gang made spirited efforts to change the rule of the game at half-time by disenfranchising the delegates but failed. Despite the hullabaloo, JKF still won the primary at the second and final rounds. “Our sins are more easily remembered than our good deeds” –Democritus. For winning the primary, they refused to forgive JKF and the Party faithful for voting JKF instead of them. Also, the current State Working Committee of Ekiti State APC that was constituted long after the primary election must be disbanded because members were part of the delegates that chose JKF over them. Therefore, the Ekiti State chapter of the Party must be destroyed. This is the genesis and the cause of the protracted crises that bedevilled the Ekiti State APC.
The imbroglio rocking the party has defiled reasonable efforts aimed at mending the fence as the warring faction led by a Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari refused to give peace a chance. There seems to be no end in sight to the crisis as the group keeps undermining the Ekiti State chapter of the APC. Ojudu wooed and recruited other jesters into his folds and christened themselves the State Executive Committee (SEC) of Ekiti State APC.
According to Niccolo Machiavelli, there are three kinds of intelligence: one kind understands things for itself, the other appreciates what others can understand, the third understands neither for itself nor through others. This first kind is excellent, the second good, and the third kind, useless. This self-acclaimed SEC of Ekiti State APC led by Babafemi Ojudu is hell-bent on not just to throw the baby away with the bathing-water but doing everything within its power to kill the baby before throwing it out with the bathing-water. They do not see anything good in the State chapter of the APC or the APC controlled government, and both must be derided. You must have read the statement issued by these jesters purported to suspend Governor Kayode Fayemi from the APC in Ekiti State for some ridiculous propaganda. This reckless move was taken to counter the directive of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the APC, calling for the investigation of Ojudu and co for disrespecting President Buhari.
President Buhari acting on the resolution of the NEC of the APC, instructed all warring members / factions within the party to withdraw all their cases in court and explore the party’s internal conflict resolution mechanism. Sequel to this, the Ekiti State chapter of the APC setup a Reconciliation Committee and invited Ojudu and his co-travellers but in their characteristic manner, they snubbed the Committee and continue with their court case. Angered by this, the NEC of APC sent a letter to the Ekiti State chapter of the APC with strict instruction that erring members, that disobeyed the NEC directive should be questioned. Rather than addressing the real issue of their disobedience to the directive of NEC as read by President Buhari, they shifted attention again to Governor Fayemi.
In the words of Martin Luther King Jr. “…you will never be what you ought to be until your fellow humans are what they ought to be.” Ojudu and his gang are running from pillar to post for nothing, proliferating their mistakes. They are soaked and engrossed with hatred for Fayemi so much that their actions are now bereft of wisdom. When they wake up in the morning with headache, Fayemi must be blamed for it. When they make mistake or failed in the discharge of their responsibilities, Fayemi must be blamed. Even when it is crystal clear that the present quagmire they found themselves is self-inflicted, still they blame Fayemi for it. Frankly speaking, let us assume that nothing was wrong if they complain for losing the primary election to Fayemi, after all it is in our culture to complain after losing. But how long can one harbour hatred because of primary election? Can this be enough yardsticks and justifiable reasons to ignore and disobey the directive of President Buhari (and NEC) that all court cases be withdrawn and discontinued?
It is an aberration to disobey constituted authority (apology to late Senator Ajimobi). This set of people derive pleasure in placing themselves above the rule of law. They capitalize on their rich media network to harass, blackmail and intimidate people and institutions to sway things in their favour. These are the set of people Governor Obaseki referred to as extra-constitutional players and danger to democracy. Their impunity is out of this word and is no respecter of persons. Not even President Buhari. Their present predicament sprang up from the blatant disregards for Presidential directive which propelled the NEC of the APC to ask the Ekiti SEC of APC to question them. When a purported APC member and an aide to the President is the arrowhead of those working to undermine the directive of both the Party and Mr. President, then there is need for sober reflection. These people are taking Mr. President for granted and abusing his humility. But for how long are they going to insult the person of President Buhari by walking over on his directives?
Recently, a debate ensued on social media on why Asiwaju disrespected Ọọ̀ni of Ife. Some people maliciously concluded that Asiwaju didn’t respect Ọọ̀ni because he was the one who singlehandedly installed him. This ridiculous assertion opened can of worms and it was exposed that Asiwaju actually worked against the enthronement of Ọọ̀ni Ogunwusi. It was revealed that some people worked behind the scene and got President Buhari to compel Asiwaju to back down. Ooni Ogunwusi’s ascension to the throne didn’t have the input of Asiwaju whatsoever. Angered by this revelation, a long-time loyalist and foot soldier of Asiwaju wrote: “I agree with you that he was destined by God to be the Ọọ̀ni and that is why he did not encounter an “emphatic no” from Asiwaju. I’m sure you have experienced situations where those who initially opposed you eventually becoming your best supporter and even cheerleaders. Your over hyped influence of the President on a matter within the influence of Asiwaju is funny and the usual outsiders view. I may not know all those who influenced Asiwaju but I can tell you for a fact that he eventually supported the current Ọọ̀ni. If you think Asiwaju can’t act despite the President, please ask Ambode”. The summary of this is that, if you think Asiwaju cannot ignore, snub or disobey the President’s directive, go and ask Ambode! Taking pride in and gloating on how the President’s directives could be gleefully disregarded.
President Buhari has been embarrassed several times by those who naturally should be commanding respect for him through the way they treat and revere him. President Buhari didn’t just give directive that Ambode should be spared and allowed for second term, he actually pleaded but was ignored. He didn’t just ask that Obaseki should be spared and be allowed, he actually begged for him, again Mr. President was snubbed and disobeyed. It’s not surprising, therefore that his directive for the withdrawal of mere court cases was ignored. They have ignored and disobeyed him on more important issues and nothing happened. As usual, they are using Fayemi now as a diversionary tactic to shift focus on their deliberate disregard and disdain for President Buhari. What has Fayemi’s comical suspension got to do with the disobedience to the President (and NEC) directive? Ojudu and his reckless jesters are merely using diversionary manoeuvre to evade condemnation and the wrath of the NEC. But we can see through them. Not all APC members are gullible bootlickers.
Raheem Babajide, is an APC stalwart and writes from Ikorodu, Lagos