By Samuel Ogundipe
I think he’d escaped! Of course, Gov. Ayo Fayose may have escaped what would have been his second impeachment as the Executive Governor of Ekiti State. Of course, he’d been all over the media screaming unmitigated injustice meted out to him by “vindictive APC lawmakers bankrolled by Governor Rauf Aregbesola” from the neighboring Osun State.
Fayose’s popularity in Ekiti State is unmatched by any of our contemporary politicians in this country.
As the year 2014 halved, the enigmatic politician won a landslide mandate against an incumbent to complete his historical comeback following his impeachment an appreciable 8 years previously.
Since then, he’d spearheaded the return of every elective position held by the APC in Ekiti State to his party.
From all indications, rather than wane, Fayose’s popularity has continued to stubbornly soar.
Outside of Ekiti, Fayose is viewed as the poster child for all that is wrong with Nigeria’s political atmosphere. He’s viewed as acrimonious, corrupt, inept and, when compared with his predecessor Kayode Fayemi, unrefined.
For several days preceding Fayose’s triumph at the Supreme Court, the Lagos-based intellectuals, who continue to take ‘panadol’ for the imaginary headache of Ekiti people, shudder to ask themselves: What are the people of Ekiti thinking?
That this man who imagines himself the righteous hero in vintage movies would brood in solitude as his story came to a crashing climax?
That an attention-addicted governor would see the TV cameras of the nation focused on a spot just a floor above his office and not leap in front of them?
Sure, there was a collective spit-take across the Fountain of Knowledge 3 weeks ago following the news Fayose would give the closing argument at an impeachment trial he had hitherto boycotted. But how else, really, could this epic political psychodrama have ended?
One major supporter of the APC wrote that week: “God willing, by the end of this week, Fayose would’ve been history. He will be impeached before Friday.”
Then by noon Friday, apparently miffed by the fact that his prediction has all but failed, the eccentric political operative evoked a tantrum: “Why haven’t those Ekiti speakers impeached Fayose? Do they need us to donate some liver to them for them to do the needful?”
Apparently, many still don’t believe there’s something politically special about Fayose, and they seem not ready to pay assiduous attention.
Fayose emerged from the wilderness–he actually mentioned having took refuge in the wild surviving on bread at the climax of his impeachment proceeding in 2006– to, one again, become governor of Ekiti State on a jet pack fueled with pure moxie. The man believes –not without reason, yet, at the same time, beyond the limits of reason– that utter certitude and manic optimism masquerading as charisma are all he needs to win in the end.
Consider his story: A bonafide son of Ekiti who grew up from a humble family and managed to acquire enviable lifestyle for himself after leaving school. Always associates with those at the very bottom of the economic ladder.
All along, I’m guessing, people around him told him he was dreaming. He was out of his league. He should not make an attempt at returning considering his inglorious ouster the first time. Pipe down and play nice, he must have been told.
And all along, he proved them wrong, packing all the 16 local government areas of the state, a result that left even the most fervent of political observers jaw-dropped.
I can’t pretend to know what is or isn’t on the governor’s conscience these days. But we all know what’s in his script:
The Oshokomole confronts and dazzles the 19 APC lawmakers as the initially skeptical Nigerians watch. He makes his pitch. Nigerians start to believe. He closes the sale with fury and poetry. Strong men weep. The narrative changed and a consensus was established: The man should be left alone, his people love him and that’s all that matters.
Oh, for another moment, it looked like he may be gone. The lame-duck APC lawmakers will not bid farewell without a fight. Then, out of the blue, another high court dealt a finishing blow to the impeachment proponents, consequently laying the groundwork for his ultimate vindication.
Do these sound too surreal to be believed? I think so. And, deep down, Fayose probably does, too. But for a man whose wife belongs to a Christian denomination that doesn’t allow body piercing of any sort, God’s works are often not meant to be understood by mere mortals.
And what has he done really?
“I’ve done nothing wrong. When the whole story eventually comes out and events are placed in their proper context, Nigerians will see that the APC attempted an unholy and unconstitutional online impeachment of a state governor.”
Even if you’ve already heard this preposterous whine many times in the media blitz by his indefatigable media aide, Lere Olayinka, the reprise always promises to be electric.
Fayose’s political detractors who had seen nothing firsthand dutifully repeated information that’s already on the Internet.
To stave off boredom, Nigerians now speculate amongst themselves: Was it possible Fayose had in him one more act of preposterous bravado?
Not long afterward came the answer that should have been obvious: Of course!