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Unto PDP a Child is Born

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One man – the Ekiti State Governor-elect, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, is viewed in contrasting degrees by two Nigerian presidents. To former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Fayose is a cast away who has no business being in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). But for President Goodluck Jonathan, he is a hero; a political son who has been born into the PDP, and whose kingdom shall help conquer the entire South-west. These conflicting views on a character such as Fayose by the two presidents are rather confusing, yet interesting.

History teaches that not a few cases of corruption might be politically motivated. Yes, the accused may have definitely misappropriated funds belonging to the commonwealth, but the self-acclaimed crusader for the fight against corruption, in pursuit of ‘justice’ and ‘accountability’, may have jeopardised and made nonsense of a genuine crusade, through entertaining other agenda – most times personal vendetta.

Take for instance the administration of President Obasanjo, during his second term, had through the Nuhu Ribadu-chaired Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecuted Fayose, who then was Ekiti governor over allegations of financial impropriety.
The case that is still hanging over his head saw Fayose charged to court in 2007 for allegedly stealing N1.2 billion belonging to the state, an amount later reviewed downwards to about N400 million.

According to the prosecutor, Fayose had converted the money meant for a state poultry project for his personal use. At the end of the day, he and his deputy were impeached.

Fayose was once considered a political godson to Obasanjo. It was that obvious that Obasanjo made Fayose the chairman of a committee set up to shop for his (Obasanjo’s) successor.

During one of Obasanjo’s visit to Ekiti as president, he was reported to have said this about Fayose: “A father cannot but love a son, who has a striking resemblance of him.”

The once favoured godson whom the godfather delighted in and declared to the world of being a striking resemblance of him was however  humiliated out of office during Obasanjo’s supreme reign in Aso Rock.

The former president was famous for allegedly sending the EFCC after any governor or anyone who fell out of favour with him. A onetime chairperson of the EFCC, Mrs. Farida Waziri, after Obasanjo accused her of not being qualified for the anti-graft job, had retorted in a statement wherein she alleged that Obasanjo used Ribadu’s EFCC “to witch hunt political enemies in the rabid pursuit of a third term agenda. Waziri was not alone in this accusation.

During a 2008 visit to Afao-Ekiti in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Fayose also said this to a gathering of supporters: “Obasanjo is not a good man; he is a very, very bad man. Nigeria should not pray to have people like Obasanjo in the history of politics again. Obasanjo caused all the problems in Ekiti because he turned himself to a demigod at a certain time during his regime.

“What manner of president was this man for eight years? If he tells you something, he will go back on his words. Today, the people that brought Obasanjo to politics are regretting. Talk of Malu, Danjuma or IBB himself. The G-32, they are all regretting.”

Father and son would continue to fall deeply apart. In December 2010, at a welcome home party by his community in Okuku, Osun State, former governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who had been deposed as governor of the state by the Appeal Court, was entertaining former military president Ibrahim Babangida; then Governors of Oyo and Ogun states, Adebayo Alao-Akala and Gbenga Daniel, and a host of others when Fayose arrived the event greeting everyone of them but Obasanjo.

Feeling insulted, Obasanjo reportedly asked Fayose if he did not see him, to which the latter replied: “I won’t greet you. You are a bad person. I don’t greet bad people.” A visibly angry Obasanjo retorted: “You are a bastard.” Refusing to take it, Fayose fired back, “You are a father of bastards,” and then walked closer to Obasanjo and said, “You created all these troubles in the South-west.”

It is these troubles that Obasanjo allegedly created in the South-west PDP that Fayose, now basking in the glory of a magical comeback, has decided to fix. The once humiliated and cast away godson has now become the poster child of the PDP, trying to unite its members in the South-west, and as far as he’s concerned, Obasanjo can either “shape up or ship out.”

Not just Obasanjo, he’s attacked the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola and taken on many other supposed opposition leaders in the South-west – telling every All Progressives Congress (APC) governor in the region that the PDP would reclaim the states under their control.

Following his June 21 election, Fayose, at a South-west sensitisation tour of the PDP, reiterated in Abeokuta that PDP would regain the South-west at the 2015 general election.

“We had to allow sentiment of change in 2011. The change the opposition preached has left our people worse than they met us. It is crystal clear now that their change has no human face. Our people are ready to go back to the path of progress; they are ready to leave darkness for light. My overwhelming victory is a testimony to the fact that our people have rejected APC and their deceit… Our people cannot be deceived again.”

Responding to accusations in an article by Fashola that the Ekiti votes were bought, the Ayo Fayose Campaign Organisation (AFCO), through a statement by the Director General, Dipo Anisulowo, said “The governor’s comment that Ekiti people were induced with money to vote for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is an insult on the entire people of Ekiti State, and we in the PDP will not take lightly to anyone insulting Ekiti people under whatever guise.

“The major problem of our friends in the All Progressives Congress (APC) is hypocrisy and until they purge themselves, that hypocrisy will destroy their party. It is only a hypocritical mind like Fashola that would claim that the results of an election as credible as that of last Saturday (June 21) was induced by money and that Dr Ayodele Fayose ought not to have been voted for by Ekiti people because he was standing trial for alleged corruption.”

Now regarded as the automatic leader of the South-west PDP, based on his superior position as Governor-elect, Fayose is now considered or considers himself as a rallying point for the PDP in the region. He hopes to leverage on his victory during the 2014 Ekiti gubernatorial election, to unite a divided South-west PDP to reclaim the rest of the states of Ogun, Osun, Oyo and Lagos.

Uniting the PDP sometimes means an alliance with other political parties to oust a common critical opponent – the APC. Aside his utterances regarding PDP being set to coast to victory against the APC in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Osun, Fayose is gunning for an alliance between his party and the Labour Party (LP) as a strategy to flush out the Ibikunle Amosun-led administration in Ogun State.  Concerning this, he recently visited the former governor of the state, Gbenga Daniel.

The Ogun LP Chairman, Niyi Osoba, after the visit, wrote in a statement that, “Ogun State Labour Party wishes to reiterate its mutual belief in the Amosun Must Go (AMG) project and therefore wishes to open its door for discussion with any party that shares its philosophy and the ideology of making life better for the good people of the state particularly the workers and the oppressed masses.”
It has long been established that the PDP, in states where its candidate is not popular, lends its support to a smaller party all to ensure that its major opponent, the APC, does not win. It was proven in last year’s Anambra gubernatorial election and in Ondo State the year before.

This PDP political strategy is public knowledge; what is not, is that Fayose who was once a cast away would become PDP’s favoured son. If anyone had told Obasanjo, he would have likely retorted, “Not in my lifetime.”  

Article Credit: Thisdaylive

Updated 4 Years ago

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Tags:     PDP     Mr. Ayodele Fayose     President Olusegun Obasanjo     President Goodluck Jonathan