By Olayinka Oyebode
Until he is bold enough to unmask and reveal his true identity as well as his agenda for this season, it will not be entirely out of place to refer to this hack writer as a masquerade who in recent times, has been going around newsrooms and social media platforms seeking for space to cut and paste the lies that are patently his and highly illogical political analysis that are nothing but another futile effort at pulling down the personality of Dr Kayode Fayemi, immediate past Governor of Ekiti State.
Hakeem Adisa’s article published in The Sun Newspaper of May 11, 2015 titled “What Does Kayode Fayemi Want”, is the second in as many weeks, designed to among other things, taint the sterling personality and democratic credentials of Dr Fayemi; sow a seed of discord among some prominent leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and also pitch the National leader of the party and former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu against some leaders of the party through a deliberate but senseless attempt to demonise them. His first attempt in this crudely rehearsed art of sophistry was published in The Nation Newspaper and a couple of other papers a week earlier. In it, he had attempted to paint a picture of an APC House that was divided against itself in the run off to the May 29th inauguration of the APC –led government.
Much as he tried to mask his true identity, his agenda and that of his paymaster, this hireling failed woefully to add up his story. The various ingredients of a lying tongue are glaringly competing for space in his desperate bid to crucify those he considered real and perceived enemies in his article.
Trying to be clever by half, Adisa started his warped writing with a fitting eulogy of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and his exemplary leadership as well as strategic roles he played in APC’s electoral fortunes that culminated in the emergence of General Muhammadu Buhari as President-elect. From there he took on some leaders of the party, including Lagos Governor, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), his Rivers State counterpart, Hon Rotimi Amaechi, Kaduna State Governor-elect, Mallam el-Rufai and Fayemi. He described them as “the young turks and technocrats” who are bent on rocking the APC boat.
But Adisa’s real mission which formed the title of the procured article is comfortably ensconced in the latter part of his tirade, where he bared his fangs against Fayemi, heaped up every imaginable distortion of facts of history to demonise him and make him unworthy in the congregation of right thinking men and women. But he failed in the assignment for that congregation of right thinking men and women he laboured so much to hoodwink do not readily buy into lopsided opinion of a deranged purveyor of falsehood and oddity. They have access to alternative and verifiable dossiers on the personality he is seeking to destroy. Adisa’s article is at best a long rehash of unfounded allegations and fabricated reports garnished with questionable sources and innuendoes. He has put his paymasters in more trouble by his uncouth approach, illogical reasoning and display of crass ignorance.
Adisa’s allegations that Fayemi worked for African Leadership Forum led by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and that he was at the verge of joining the PDP before he was lured with Ekiti governorship ticket were stories fit only for the lazy and fickle- minded. Fayemi’s life and career trajectory is an open book. Obasanjo has never been his employer. But that’s not to suggest that Obasanjo would not have been a worthy employer. The closest relationship he has had with ALF was as a participant in ALF’s CSSDCA initiative and its security and demilitarisation series. But he was involved in several committees set up by President Obasanjo purely on a technocratic basis. For example, he served on the Presidential Implementation Committees on NEPAD, on the MDGS and on Security Sector Reform and Conflict Management. He was also the main Technical Adviser to the Oputa Panel set up by President Obasanjo to investigate human rights violations. He has also actively collaborated with President Obasanjo in several Africa-wide initiatives including lately the Tana Forum on Security in Africa which President Obasanjo chairs. How any of these patriotic national and continental responsibilities translates into membership of the PDP remains unclear to any intelligent mind.
Secondly, the notion that it was Mr Opeyemi Bamidele who introduced Dr Fayemi to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu when he wanted to run for Ekiti Governorship is a lie that has often been repeated and one that deserves to be responded to if only to save the gullible from swallowing such balderdash. For the records, the relationship between Asiwaju Tinubu and Dr Fayemi could be traced as far back as 1994 in the heat of the NADECO struggle when they met in exile in the United Kingdom. They have maintained a cordial relationship ever since. Although it is really immaterial who introduced who to whom, but if Mr Adisa is ill-informed, he deserves to be properly educated.
Apparently groping in his labyrinth of lies, Adisa on the one hand portrayed Fayemi as a ‘political neophyte’ who is incapable of pulling any political string. Yet, he ignorantly credited him for denying the incumbent Ekiti Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose the senatorial ticket in 2011. He also alleged that Fayemi and other colleagues of his were running Asiwaju Tinubu down, but failed to give instances of the plot as well as its actualisation. If anybody is going to speak evil of Asiwaju Tinubu it is certainly not Fayemi who is ever willing to testify to the fact that he is a beneficiary of Asiwaju’s political sagacity and generosity in and outside government.
While Adisa in his fictional narrative blamed Fayemi solely for the APC loss in the Ekiti State governorship election of June 21, 2014 which is not a problem since the buck must stop at the leader’s desk, he mischievously avoided events leading to the controversial loss, including the revelations from the now famous Ekitigate tape. This is an apparent contradiction from someone who, through his writings poses as a loyal party member. Most discerning Nigerians who monitored what happened have gone ahead to credit Dr Fayemi for his abiding commitment to democratic ideals, a principle that has now been emulated by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Needless to say that Fayemi’s achievements in the four years he served as governor of Ekiti State are well documented in the hearts of the people and has become a standard through which the incumbent administration and future administrations would be measured. Even when paid writers like Adisa turn the other eye, Fayemi’s record of achievements in the areas of infrastructure development, social security scheme for the vulnerable members of the society, community development programmes and health care programmes speak for him as an advocate of good government and they have all become standard initiatives in the APC Manifesto.
Outside government, he has devoted his energy and time to working with other compatriots to build APC into a flourishing party that will take the country to the next level of development. And when the opportunity came, he brought in his administrative ingenuity and innovative leadership style as chairman of the National Convention Committee. The committee under his leadership gave the party what is unarguably the best organised national convention in the country’s history. There is no doubt, the party’s hugely successful convention helped to convince many Nigerians on the APC’s readiness to provide the right leadership for the country.
As Head of the Directorate for Policy, Research and Strategy of the APC Presidential Campaign, he also contributed immensely to sharpening the policy direction of the campaign, a vital ingredient that endeared Nigerians to the APC as a serious platform as opposed to the PDP campaign which dwelt more on hate campaigns that were bereft of any policy direction.
Inadvertently, Adisa betrayed his agenda by suggesting that there is a struggle for ministerial appointment between erstwhile Governor of Ekiti State , Engr Segun Oni, former Lagos Commissioner for Information, Mr Dele Alake and Dr Fayemi. Engr Oni and Mr. Alake are certainly qualified to aspire to any position in any government but it must be stated that Dr Fayemi is not in competition with anyone over any job. This is where Hakeem Adisa’s paymasters missed the point, hence his frustrated lies. In any case, every intelligent person knows that it is the President-elect’s prerogative to select his appointees and no one else’s.
The question must also be asked: what does Adisa’s paymasters intend to achieve through his unscrupulous attempt to rubbish the contributions of Fashola, el-Rufai, Saraki and Amaechi to good government and the political success of APC as well as trying to set them against Asiwaju Tinubu? The answer seems not far fetched – having worked together to confront and defeat the ruling party – PDP, it is time to focus on the architects of progress within the APC, set them against one another and sow seeds of discord in the Party.
Hakeem Adisa was hired to do a hatchet job and was too much in a hurry to get it done. Apparently this uninformed writer of what ordinarily should be an informed commentary was misinformed, hence his deformed article. Himself and his paymasters surely deserve our pity for their crude attempt at deconstruction, a development which has helped in no small measure at unmasking the masquerade. Certainly his paymasters can’t be an asset to APC and the incoming government but let them continue to search for what Fayemi wants. That is already clear to every well-meaning Nigerian – Fayemi wants integrity, character, progress and competence as the highest standards in public service. So, for Fayemi, service is the watchword of his politics, not position, not opportunism.
*Olayinka Oyebode, a journalist is Chief Press Secretary to Ex-Governor Fayemi