Ekiti 2018: APC and politics of acrimony
by Adegboyega Ajayi
It is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends and it is just as wrong, or even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends. Members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Ekiti State are currently working at cross-purposes. This may spell doom for the party and lead to another abysmal outcome in the forthcoming governorship election in the state. The APC in Ekiti State is blessed with all shades of characters, out of which about 40 individuals have shown or declared interest in contesting the primary election of the party, to choose its flag bearer. The fact that APC has this array of eminently qualified personalities vying to fly the flag of the party is an impressive blessing. Unfortunately the APC in Ekiti State seems to be at a loss on how best to manage this blessing. There is nothing wrong in having many aspirants within a party. It’s absolutely good and healthy for the party members to be presented with various options to pick from. However, it is absurd, barbaric and counterproductive for the various aspirants for the party’s ticket to engage in or encourage campaign of calumny against one another. Unless something is done quickly to caution the gladiators and tame some foot soldiers (attack dogs) of the aspirants, the party will move towards imminent but avoidable implosion and perdition in Ekiti State.
There is urgent need for a paradigm shift for the aspirants and their foot soldiers. Rather than talking about their common enemy (the PDP) and / or programmes of their principals, majority of party faithful derive pleasure in talking negatively about other aspirant(s) perceived to be the threat to their principals’ ambition. The focus was on Chief Segun Oni at a time. There was nothing they didn’t say about the man before and after his official declaration. At different times, Senator Gbenga Aluko, Rt. Hon. Femi Bamishile, Senator Babafemi Ojudu and others were at the receiving ends of the unnecessary and fruitless attacks. Dr. Kayode Fayemi is currently at the centre of the storm. He has not been spared for a moment since the news of his anticipated declaration broke out.
It is worrisome that the APC members could devote so much precious time, energy and resources to destroy and decimate fellow aspirants within the same party. If by sheer luck you win the primaries and pick the ticket, do you expect those you (or your proxy) have decimated to rally round you at the general election? If providence gives the person you (or your proxy) decimated victory, how would you come out to market and campaign for such person?
In the build up to the 2016 gubernatorial election in Ondo State, the state APC experienced something similar to what is currently going in Ekiti State. Some of the aspirants were at each other’s neck. The foot soldiers of various camps engaged in whatever means (right or wrong) to market and promote their principals. The present Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu was one of the most widely criticised aspirants during the campaign for the Ondo State APC primary in 2016. The campaign of calumny against him was so high that at a time he was not rated among the three top likely winners of the primary. However, before things got out of hands the aspirants came together under the name of “APC Aspirants Forum” and with the backing of the party leaders in the state, called all camps to order.
Where there is no law, there is no crime! The Ondo State APC and the aspirants collectively signed an MOU with strong warning that no party member must engage in campaign of calumny or disparage any aspirant. The focus of each camp then was on the common enemy (the PDP) and what you are bringing on board (your programme) as an aspirant. This helped to restore sanity to some levels because “at his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.” This is one major reason all the aspirants congratulated the eventual winner of the Ondo State APC primary election, immediately he was proclaimed winner. Though one or two later recanted and withdrew their congratulatory messages.
Someone said there is nothing progressive about the APC. As libelous as this may sound, the attitude of the party faithful is giving credence to that assertion, as currently seen in Ekiti State. It is a common knowledge that the PDP-led government in Ekiti State have left no stone unturned in its quest to discredit and rubbish Fayemi and his government. There is nothing new about the antics of the PDP. As a matter of fact it should be expected. What’s disheartening however is the attitude of the APC toward the incessant attack on Fayemi. I am yet to see where Prince Dayo Adeyeye, Senator Abiodun Olujimi, Dr. Dare Bejide and Barr. Owoseni Ajayi or their supporters openly castigate Fayemi or celebrate his persecution by the state government. Unfortunately where or when people celebrate, promote or publicize the persecution of Fayemi you will always find APC members at the forefront.
Fayemi seems to be enjoying free publicity at the moment because some aspirants (and their followers) talk about him more than their agenda for Ekitikete. Imagine about 30 different camps (aspirants and followers) talking about an aspiring aspirant across the length and breadth of Ekiti State simultaneously. His posters were torn and defaced within 24 hours they were pasted whereas some posters have been out unnoticed and untouched for months!! Who is afraid of Fayemi?
To be continued tomorrow.
Ajayi wrote from Ikoro-Ekiti.