Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State is not one of my favorite politicians…actually; he’s not even one of my favorite people! I find him to be quite dubious, overly animated, and with a somewhat exaggerated view of himself! Now, these are traits that are not alien to politicians- especially Nigerian politicians. In actuality, these traits are quite at par with the disposition of the average Nigerian politician. But in a man like Fayose, they come across as highly nauseating…maybe it’s because his vices always seem to greatly outweigh his virtues- whatever those are! In short, I cannot stand the man most times! His frequent outbursts seem to me to be quite juvenile, and much unbecoming of a man of his age. And then, one cannot look past his comical theatrics (remembering China) which would seem to be more suited to Reality TV (taking a cue from Donald Trump), than Politics and Governance.
Anyway, much as I detest the shenanigans of this eccentric Ekiti man, I have recently found myself standing with him on his latest proclamations against the Fulani Herdsmen in Ekiti State.
You see, the antics of these Herdsmen are not new, but they are becoming more alarming and brazen each day. I have actually written about some of their attacks in a previous article. But before Fayose, no other Governor has been bold enough to tackle the issue square-on, and take such a bold and firm stance without mincing words! Not even those whose States have been victims of such attacks!
So the story goes thus. Some days ago, the herdsmen attacked a community in Ekiti. They killed 2 people and injured many others- as per their usual mode de operandi. But if these herdsmen thought that Ekiti State would take their aggression lying low, they were grossly mistaken. Unlike other States whose Governors would drag their feet before even visiting the affected community, Fayose wasted no time before making his way down to the scene of the attack. He gathered the hunters in the community, and gave them very clear instructions: “I want to say it clearly; everything you want me to do, I will do. Because the moment you are not secured, then I had better resign as your Governor. ” “They have killed two; they have killed all of us. A fight against one Ekiti man is a fight against everybody.” “I stand by you, I stand for you…I will not disappoint you!” “Enough of these political herdsmen operating as herdsmen…we are going to fight you.” “Anywhere you find a Cow that is grazing unnecessarily on our ways, call my attention, we will take them out.” “Some people are behind them using AK 47. You rape my wife? You rape my children? If they attempt it, bring them down!”
I swear, I felt Goosebumps, just listening to his words. Just like that…all it took was one attack, and Fayose was ready to unleash the wrath of Zeus and all his demi-gods on these murderers! He proclaimed that a Bill was going to be sent to the State House of Assembly, making Cattle Grazing illegal in Ekiti State. So if you want to feed your Cattle on Ekiti Grass, you must set up your own ranch! Bravo, Mr. Governor!
Then I asked myself, “Why can’t that man in Benue State (Ortom) do the same thing?” Hundreds of people were killed in Agatu, scores were injured, houses were burnt, farmlands destroyed; and yet, Ortom is still employing a ‘kids glove approach’ on the issue! Four of the communities in Agatu have now being taken over by these Fulani Herdsmen, while Governor Ortom watches and invokes the name of God at every opportunity! Oh, did I mention that Fayose also emphatically asked the indigenes of the affected community not to leave? These were his words: “Don’t run away, don’t go to another community, it is your home and nobody will drive you out of your home!” Such words of inspiration and encouragement!
In singling out the differences between Fayose and Ortom, one may say that their personal characteristics account for much of their different approaches- Ortom always looks docile, while Fayose (like Dino Melaye) has the ever-noticeable countenance of a Lion on the prowl! One can also call to attention, their different party affiliations- Fayose being an ‘Umbrella Man’ and thus a member of the opposition, while Ortom ‘carries a broom’ alongside Mr. President!
But my Dear Brothers and Sisters *saying it in the voice of my Priest at Mass*, this is Politics, and this is a War! A General fights not for himself, but for his country and its people (pun intended, as I also reflect on the somewhat lukewarm stance of our President). Like Fayose said, if he cannot assure the security of his people, he would resign! Ortom must take the same stance…Buhari too!
How many more must die before our politicians realize than humans are more valuable than Cattle? Did they take their oaths of office to govern over Animals, or PEOPLE? These are desperate times indeed…desperate times which call for desperate measures! Fayose may be many things: a clown, a jester, a dubious and cunning fellow, an arrogant caricature, a pompous sycophant…but he is also a man of his people, and a man of action. And for the first time ever, I have found myself standing with him!

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