In a word: It is freedom that gives us sustainable prosperity and not prosperity freedom. So, if Fayose is able to secure big freedom for Ekiti and ultimately for Nigeria, by the logic of that alone, he is the greatest of Nigerian governors at work and play today. And the next point is that no serving governor comes a near second.
To give insight into the matter let us cull the following. Rochas Okoroacha, is the governor of Imo State. He is formally the biggest Igbo hero or anti-hero hanging out and about in APC. Yet this is the story of Okorocha:
The acting president has also demonstrated an unalloyed loyalty to his principal… He has also debunked any criticism of the Buhari administration in his absence. In contrast, the governor of Imo State, Mr. Rochas Okorocha, treacherously criticised the Buhari administration for allegedly marginalising the Ibo. He complained that even under a president they supported, they had nothing to show for it. “In Imo State for instance,” he insisted, “all we have is a minister of state for all our efforts and extreme sacrifices to ensure that the APC had a good outing in the last elections. I know you are acting president and have the ears of the president, so there is no better person to tell our painful story than you.” The governor went on and on in indicting the Buhari administration, which he had hitherto praised for its wonderful achievements. In a show of loyalty to his principal and his administration by the evident disloyalty of a governor, who had pretended servile obeisance to the president, the acting president responded with a rebuke: “If there is any governor in this country that has the ear of the president, I will say that it is Governor Okorocha. As such, it cannot be said that the state is marginalised by the APC-led Federal Government.”
Colonel, retired, Abubakar Dangiwa Umar. For more details and references, see, The unreported genocide against the Igbo by Dr. Jimanze Ego-Alowes.
So, the question is: What economic good, what infrastructural bonanzas, can an Okorocha deliver to Owerri, to Imo people? That is even if Okorocha turned Imo into a mini Tokyo in infrastructure, never mind he has failed to, the point is that he has transformed the independent, free and proud Imo people into slaves, slaves in their own country.
That is, Okorocha is a governor of slaves. And the implication in logic is that he is the governor of slaves or the slave governor, which is one and the same thing.
And this is in the fact that he has allowed himself to be a leader, who is star struck or lost for words on behalf of Imo people when he ambles up to Abuja, when he meets his lion king?
Now, what infrastructural benefits can compensate Imo people in being made slaves in their own country? And this is a country, which their fathers won in sweat and blood? And this in a 21st century?
It is this cancerous breathlessness that explains why and how neither Okorocha, a sitting governor, nor Dr. Chris Ngige, an old timer, can speak out as their South East Igbo, an oil producing region, is contemptuously dismissed from oil governance. And those who don’t have oil or even rain water in their regions are hired in. And these men are silent. To the extent these men are Igbo, then would it offend logic if they are declared as drones, politically and otherwise? Their genius is to be serving their babas from the other room, sorry the other region, while posturing as heroes or brave men at home.
And of Tinubu, it is written: Do you believe Tinubu has any influence on Buhari? No, I don’t think so. In more ways than one, Tinubu has been more of a victim than a beneficiary of the Buhari administration. It’s unfortunate, because I think the man deserves better treatment… Time and again, this has been proven over the last two years that those who have real influence on Buhari don’t even have a position identified within the party or any (official status) in the government. Dr. Junaid Mohammed. Punch 27th August 2017.
And an old Awolowo political warhorse perfects the picture of things a la Tinubu:
They are all my boys. By the grace of God, Tinubu was governor through me… For him to be opposed to restructuring, under which he was elected governor and under which he deceived the electorate, he’s a betrayal of the people and the Yoruba land. Restructuring is in their manifesto, so why have they developed cold feet? Because they want to be politically correct. The herdsmen are ravaging the country and they can’t say a word because Buhari himself is the head of the herdsmen. We have said that, they have not denied it. Cows can now drive pupils from the classrooms and they keep quiet. Herdsmen can harass a man like Chief Olu Falae, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, in his own farm and they even abducted him, yet not a word from Tinubu. Punch 15-07-2017
That is a Tinubu can’t speak. Tinubu is not just a former state governor, he was a regional potentate and rainmaker. But he is become a lion, a caged lion in Abuja. He has lost his roar, and can’t even scent-mark his own territory, at least, according to Adebanjo.
Now if the matter is this corrugated for Tinubu, you may imagine the state of grace or lack of it for the south-western big names and governors in and before their baba in Abuja. If the lion can’t roar where will his cubs find the courage to raise a toot? So, what prosperity can they really bring to their peoples? The prosperity of slaves, slaves in their own country? These questions must be asked. The answers will help us frame the heroism and insight of a Fayose. The guy is dedicatedly free and has freed himself from this self-solicited slavery for a full, nwanza-style stomach?
But can we now do a mental experiment. Just imagine a Fayose in the shoes of any of Ngige-Okorocha coterie, etc. parleying with their lion king. It will certainly be the drama of the leader of one pride negotiating with another, pride to pride, mane to mane. Fayose knows in his bones and acts it with his torso that a governor is not a cub in a pride. A governor is a pride leader in a federation of prides, little matter the alleged pecking order. A democracy is not a military dictatorship where the dictator is a king of his satraps, the governors.
Now, what of the competitor governors from the North? It is self-evident that the only thunder they have is to support their baba in his brazen northernalisation policies. Take Nasir El-Rufai for instance. He is a governor at Kaduna State. He is a guy who is trenchant with his voice. His book, The Accidental Public Servant, will serve as prosecutorial evidences. But he has never said a word, repeat one word, on the NNPC as a wholly northern lake policy of this Buhari/APC regime. Yet El-Rufai is ranked as the best and most fearless of his class. So, it is clear this fearlessness, if it ever existed, is to push for the empire of the North over the rest of Nigeria. So, strictly, he is not a Nigerian governor of a northern state. El-Rufai is a northernist governor. That is not governance. That is at best imperialising nepotism. And the cost is a ruined polity.
So, give or take, Fayose is the only sole on its feet, standing. The others, whether it is Okorocha or El-Rufai are lost souls. And that reminds one of the great Russian masterpiece, Dead Souls. Dead Souls is almost a fictional binary of what is happening here between the opportunistic minions, their baba and Nigeria. It is the tale of souls lost souls dreaming that they are the saviours.
The greater point is this. Fayose seems to know that as the history of Russia proves, a rich slave is a kulak. A kulak despite his alleged riches, holds no title to all his alleged wealth. In fact, the kulak is himself a title owned by the princes of power, disguised as state.
So, the first and greatest wealth is freedom, is in freedom. Outside freedom man is as poor as Satan.
And Fayose is the lone governor, who appreciates, dramatises and lives by these truths, these less than self-evident truths. All he is saying is: Give me freedom and I will prosper in it. Give me and my people freedom and dignity and we will bake my bread and make my cake. Take away our freedom and we will beg you for bread, we will live only by and on your generosity. And that is all you want. That we be enslaved to your generosity, that we don’t stand on our own industry. No, we are freeborn, we are a proud and independent people. My people and I, we demand for freedom first and above all. And we are not verbalising. We are in it; we are for it, sweat and blood.
In Fayose beating his peers to clinch the best governor ever, it is clear he now makes the shortlist of the greatest governors of all times. Judging by the pricelessness of freedom, history will judge Fayose as one of the few who will rank above all others. In fact, taken toe to toe, taken pound for pound, Fayose is the greatest, the most enlightened and enlightening politician in this Burharic era. Nobody in elective position comes near him. Nobody suspects or demands for the unbounded wealth that can be mined from and in freedom, like Fayose. Ahiazuwa.
Finally, there is a praise name the Igbo have for Fayose style courage. They call men like Fayose, Agbawo Dike Izu agba ya ngba na awor. Many Igbo understand the concept behind the name vaguely. Agbawo’s truer and exhaustive meaning is the hero who puts a leg down for all-inclusiveness, for universal democracy, for equality before justice and governance and law. And such a man for the whole Nigeria is Agbawo Peter Ayodele Fayose. Please, could the freedom loving peoples of the universe rise up and acknowledge Fayose, the nze na ozo not chieftaincy title of Agbawo of Nigeria. He deserves it as no other.
Coming Next: The Fayose Premium and the economics of freedom.
•Jimanze Ego-Alowes is the author of many books including the latest Nigeria: The Unreported Genocide against the Igbo. Now Available at: Maxwell Opara & Associates Tel: 08037427486 Global Plaza Off Awolowo Way, Jabi Abuja.