By Ayo Akinyemi
The race towards 2018 governorship election in Ekiti State is already gathering momentum. So Soon? How time flies. The time is here again for the people to hold their destiny in their hands.
“Ekiti: A thousand laughs… A thousand cries…” was the title I intended for this piece at first, for reasons. Created in 1996, the state along with others in the country, came on board the train of democratic rule on 29 May 1999. In the 18 years of this democratic dispensation, it has been a tale of fluctuating fortunes for the state, a tale of as much laughs and cries.
In the space of 18 years, the state has been governed by a record of eight administrations: Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Mr. Ayo Fayose, Mr. Friday Aderemi (one day), Brigadier General Adetunji Olurin (rtd.) (six months), Tope Ademiluyi (31 days), Segun Oni, Tunji Odeyemi (79 days), Segun Oni, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and Fayose.
First, we have to put an end to the cycle of instability. The seat of the governor has been a musical chair, rocking back and forth. In the words of our elders, Oba Mewa, Igba Mewa (10 rulers, 10 seasons) – 10 styles of administration, multiple approach to issues, multiple policies.
The time is here for us to situate the seat on a solid base for a focused, well structured governance that would be enduring and sustainable – a template that would naturally command universal endorsement and compel continuity without rancour. What we have on ground today, sincerely, with every sense of responsibility, is not the right template for the state and for us as a people.
Good enough, Ekiti has a unique characteristic of being a completely homogenous state. In addition, it is an established pattern of a two-party state. Since the inception of the current political dispensation, the two major political parties have been exchanging the baton of power. Going by the established pattern, the baton should be expected to change hands in 2018. This, however, with all emphasis, should not be taken for granted.
In other words, it would be a Herculean task for the All Progressives Congress (APC) to wrestle and wrest power from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the grip of Governor Ayo Fayose. This is the truth. No sentiment. No fantasy.
For the battle ahead, therefore, the APC, first and foremost, must sink its differences and collapse individual interests so as to have a strong formidable political party, that would, above all, ensure the emergence of an equally strong and formidable governorship candidate.
It is a plus for the party that Oni has been persuaded to join the race. He has a pedigree. He has been tested, and can be trusted. He has the experience, strength and mental capability for the battle ahead. He is a low hanging fruit for the APC. Let us pluck the fruit with ease for the good of all.
A humble golden advice to the scores of governorship aspirants in the APC, is to embark on a massive membership drive in the interest of the party and, more importantly, in the interest of the state in need of a new image, a new orientation and a new face of governance. There is no contesting the fact that each of the aspirants being touted has recognisable potential, which, if collectively harnessed would situate the APC on the path to victory. For the party, it is needless for the aspirants to dissipate their energy and resources on fratricidal struggles.
Our people need re-orientation. We need continuity for focused accelerated development in Ekiti State – the Lagos State example. Good governance goes beyond impulsive, effusive pronouncements and theatrics. Identifying with the people goes beyond the drama of the governor riding on Okada, eating pounded-yam in a bukateria and paying for the meal of others in the buka. It entails much more than the governor’s convoy stopping by the roadside for the governor to buy roasted plantain and groundnut and asking the vendor to keep the money paid in excess. Enough of the drama.
•Ayo Akinyemi wrote from Ora-Ekiti via [email protected]