By Ibidapo Balogun
The centre can no longer hold and the Falcon can no longer hear the Falconer as the simmering conflict of interest between the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and his erstwhile political ‘boy’ and former Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has now blown open.
Both camps, WESTERN POST can reveal, have now engaged sponsored writers to fight their battles, which has further advertised the cracks within the APC in the South-west that used to be one united bloc.
Fayemi has never really seen Tinubu as his political godfather despite the fact that the former Lagos State used his vast contacts and resources to ensure his election as Ekiti State governor in his first term.
The former governor instead related to and saw former Ekiti State governor Niyi Adebayo as his own political godfather.
After he lost re-election in June 2014, a project to which Tinubu was not fully committed, Fayemi began to further distance himself from Tinubu and when General Muhammadu Buhari emerged as APC presidential candidate, the former governor moved over to Abuja to provide intellectual support for Buhari until he emerged President-elect.
Fayemi, along with some others around Buhari, now prides himself as a technocrat and they have constituted themselves into a camp that would determine who gets what office from Buhari. The former Ekiti State governor has dubbed himself the Chief Strategist of the President-elect, General Buhari.
The media war began with some smear campaigns against Tinubu carried by an influential newspaper in the country in the last few weeks.
Fayemi and a few other anti-Tinubu elements have been linked with the smear campaigns but WP cannot independently confirm this.
But a counter report by an online portal, which emerged about two weeks, was christened “Fresh Smear Campaign against Bola Tinubu Uncovered: Adams Oshiomhole, Rabiu Kwankwaso and John Oyegun also targeted”.
The report indicated that certain young Turks within the party led by former Ekiti State governor, Fayemi, is leading the pack of those that consider themselves as ‘technocrats’ against “the real pillars of APC who toiled for his formation and emergence as a formidable party, which wrestled power from the Peoples Democratic Party”.
Also said to be in the camps are outgoing Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Governor-elect of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai and outgoing Governor of Rivers State and former Director –General of Buhari/Osinbajo Presidential Campaign, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi.
Fashola had sponsored a candidate, his former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General of Lagos, Supo Sasore, for the state governorship race against Tinubu’s candidate, Akinwumi Ambode, who eventually won the election.
Amaechi on his part holds Tinubu responsible for his failure to emerge as General Buhari’s running mate, while el-Rufai is only playing the Hausa-Fulani ethnic card that would not like a Yoruba man to wield too much power in a government headed by a Northerner.
The report claimed that Buhari’s open acknowledgment of Tinubu’s sacrifice and role in the March 28 poll drew ill-feelings among the camp who allegedly wants to cut Tinubu to size.
WP learnt that since the report was published by the online portal, Fayemi has been battling to explain his own side and to halt further publication of such damaging reports.
“Fayemi is uncomfortable with such publication and he has launched out to get his own side of the development published, a favourable article at that,” a source close to the former governor said.
But while at that, another article critical of the former governor’s new found role entitled “What Does Fayemi Want?” emerged in some national newspapers at the weekend and on Monday.
In the article, the writer, one Hakeem Adisa, “a keen political observer of the nation’s political affairs” castigated Fayemi for his alleged moves against Tinubu.
“Given dispassionate thinking, it could be seen that this campaign of calumny is bound to fail ab initio because of the monumental roles played by Tinubu, Oshiomhole, Kwankwaso and Oyegun, the true pillars of APC in ensuring victory for Buhari, which he might still count on in future elections. For instance, in the presidential election of March 28, the yeoman’s efforts of Tinubu in securing the frontiers of the South-west for Buhari and the deployment of his vast networks and effective coordination of political big wigs for same purpose across the country cannot be overlooked,” the writer said.
“It is an undeniable fact that Tinubu’s influence swung the APC’s presidential ticket in Buhari’s direction at the national convention held last November in Lagos against formidable contenders like former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso,” he added.
Then a clincher: “Again, what does Kayode Fayemi want? At this juncture, it is imperative to trace the political trajectory of the man that is trying to bite the fingers that not only fed him but also made him a notable political figure in Ekiti State and Nigeria in general. The public may not be aware that Fayemi was under the guise of working for the Africa Leadership Forum (ALF) surreptitiously working for the democratic draconian former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
“Without being immodest, it could be stated that he was at a point indirectly a PDP man before the lure of ambition to become governor drove him apart from the Ota farmer. So, way back in 2005, Opeyemi Bamidele, former Information Commissioner in Lagos State, brought Fayemi to then Governor Tinubu who took it upon himself to help him achieve his goal of becoming governor of Ekiti State, no matter the cost. The first seed money running into millions of Naira, with which he commenced his political voyage, was given to him through a powerful Tinubu core loyalist commissioner in the Centre of Excellence.”