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What Ekiti elections say about Nigeria (1)

First, we came in at 17th position – Congrats to  ANRP

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We were given our certificate on the 10th of January 2018. Out of the 4 such parties which could muster structures and documentations to participate in this elections (not a mean feat at all for those who haven’t tried), WE CAME FIRST. The others are FJP-42, YPP-49, and PANDEL-74.  We did better than some of the older parties; KOWA – 23, AA 41, APGA – 70, UPN – 33, YDP – 31 and so on. 

We know what the issues were. We know our own internal issues and lessons that we’ve learnt. We know it’ll be better next time. By Jove, we scored 138 in a local election at Oluyole Ibadan, in a single ward! So how much more the whole of Ekiti State. Something is amiss but we know we can surely do better. 

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Yorubas say we should not all sleep and put our heads in one direction. This means people should think outside-the-box sometimes, and bring on new perspective, no matter what it’s worth.  This means that traditionally and historically our people understand the value of being contrarian.  They also say that 20 children cannot play together for 20 years.  This means that our people know that change is constant and that RENEWAL is essential.  It is therefore against the spirit of our people that we remain fixated with a certain narrative; e.g. the PDP/APC narrative, for so long.  But that was when we had much value as a people. PDP and APC are one and the same and we will not get tired of saying it. Everyone in APC has been in PDP, and vice versa. Well, almost. Now that Fayemi has won, check them out in Ekiti, all those who worked for Fayose will switch fast to Fayemi. It is all about their bellies, their fat accounts, the need to stay relevant, to feed the waste that they are now used to, the many concubines, the unwarranted foreign trips, the expensive schools for their children, the access to big SUVs and mansions, the ‘afowofas’, their egos. I watched as a former schoolmate of mine who was known for cheating and fraud ranted for Fayemi against Fayose and I shook my head.  Deceivers are replete in politics. That is why I’m not a politician but a nation-builder.  Nigerian politics has never been about THE PEOPLE OF EKITI, who have unfortunately been gutted. In the next four years, chances are those people will be in a worse condition – afterall Fayemi has been there before and what magic did he perform?  This election opened my eyes to the terrible state of poverty in Ekiti. I traveled there a bit, went to villages I’d never been before. 

I thank and congratulate the 125 people who braved all odds and voted for us. These people ignored the monies on offer. It was show and collect. Those who gave the N5,000 were in every backyard near the polling booths. A party leader called to inform me that one of our polling agents came up to him and said ‘sorry, so and so gave me N10,000 and I am voting for them’. He stopped helping us monitor the votes even with ANRP tag around his neck. Such is life. The 125 people ignored the violence. There were menacing people at every polling booth, looking for that deviant who will not vote for one of the two clubs. It was as those boys used to do in university those days. You must be protected by gang boys or else! People voted and showed the sheet before squeezing same into the box. If you didn’t show your ballot paper you were a marked person.  Many self-respecting people simply stayed at home, and allowed thugs to determine their future for them.  These 125 who voted for us went with their consciences. We won! 125 times! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

I assure all those who are with us, that it shall surely be better next time. And this has strengthened our resolve to stick to the straight and narrow. We shall never offer anyone money in our campaigns.  Anyone who wants to vote for us should vote for us.  And those who want to vote for ignorance and poverty should continue. We will insist even more on our ethos and modus operandi. We stand in the gap to say Nigeria can change, and must change from what it is presently. 

We congratulate Dr Fayemi. But all I want to tell him is this; don’t give excuses like you governors usually do. You knew what you were going to meet, so, don’t act surprised.  Yes, Fayose was owing N117bn. He added to what you were owing before he ‘won’ in 2014. None of the debt is sustainable or serviceable. Ekiti will probably never be able to pay because there is no cash flow coming from anywhere. The debt is a one-way street; it can only grow.  In Ekiti, in every state and nationally, we are in another, deeper debt trap as a result to the kind of economics that you, Kayode Fayemi, and your friends, plus the Federal Government you serve, subscribe to.  Don’t go there to ‘blow grammar’. Make sure you aren’t deceived by your usual coterie of Oxford/Cambridge/Harvard consultants.  They don’t develop any country/state they go to, much less Ekiti. They will collect the dollars and the people will remain exactly the same – or worse. You worked with them in your first term. They partly fed your insularity; your thumbing your nose at Ekiti people as if they were smelling. Better not repeat the mistake this time else… I want to see the out-of-the-box ideas you want to bring to Ekiti. We are tired already!

A post-mortem- What the elections say about us

From the beginning of the elections, and due to the ubiquitous presence of social media, the world had been seeing images – photos and videos of poor citizens being induced to vote by the top echelons of these two parties who have access to the public till. A BBC report the night before captured women returning from where they had gone to collect N4,000 with which they were required to vote for one of the two parties’ candidates.  The next day at the elections proper, it was vote and show. Images are replete as voters showed agents of particular parties and then marched to some backyard to collect their four or five thousand Naira.  I was also told of how a small chieftain in one of the villages received N500,000 cash that morning; money that he was to share to voters around the area. 

Brothers ditched brothers for a penny. Parents went against children. Wives turned their backs on their husbands. All for the Nigerian brand of poverty politics.  The youths took over. They saw it as another game between two favourite English football teams. They compared notes and did all they had to do to conjure numbers for the ones paying them. Two parties had a field day. The rest were hangers on. The two parties had access to state resources.  That was the only way they could foot the bill. Not only does nobody produce anything in Nigeria, even if they did, no sane businessman will use hard-earned profit to gamble in politics. So people’s taxes were used to play this game. And the people will surely pay for it. In fact we’ve been paying for this.  

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