Ahaome Raymond

One interesting character among Nigerian politicians is their usual dramatic charades and gimmicks in order to gain cheap spotlight and public sympathy after they might have left their offices with some perceived skeletons in their cupboards.

If there is any politician who deserves an award for the best political jester/ farce actor on Nigerian political stage, since the return of democracy in 1999, the first name that would come to the minds of the judges would be the immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose. His track records in causing ribs cracking hilarious laughter with his occasional jesting and gimmicks are quite ineffable. For those whose memory is not plagued by amnesia, it would be recalled that early this year, during the Ekiti state gubernatorial polls, Ex- Governor Fayose caused a ridiculous stir on the media, especially the social media platform -YouTube as he was caught on TV camera, weeping like an infant abandoned by its weaning mother, allegedly assaulted by some of the battalions of police personnel who were sent to monitor the election. In the same viral video, Fayose was seen carrying a neck brace, having been allegedly beaten like kerengu drum by people he claimed were instructed by President Muhammadu’s led APC, and the “transmission! Transmission!” police IG, Ibrahim Idris. However, at the end of the day media reports indicated that Fayose was merely acting one of his seasonal dramatic farce and charades, having failed woefully in his bid to ensure that his political god-son, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, and the opposition PDP clinched the fiercely contested gubernatorial polls which was eventually won by the ruling APC.

Meanwhile, since every seasonal film comes with different episodes and sequels, on 16th October 2018, last week, Fayose again hits the stage with another scintillating political charade, as he was seen in the early hours of that day at the EFCC office, Abuja, neatly adorned in a black T-shirt with conspicuous white inscription that reads” EFCC, I AM HERE”. With him was a fat bag hung at his back, to submit himself to the anti-graft agency for probing, having completed his tenure as the Governor of Ekiti state. Funny enough, media reports indicate that the “EFCC, I AM HERE” T-shirt is now selling in the fashion market like hot bread. Its picture is the ambassador to different social media platforms.

Prior to this, Fayose had already written to the EFCC, informing them of his intention to submit himself for probe in order to prove his innocence in the 11 count charges by the commission, for money laundering and alleged embezzlement of 1.3billion naira, allegedly received from former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro. He even missed the inauguration of his successor, Dr. K. Fayemi, just to prove to his critics that his hands are as white as snow. 

Yet, if one should judge Fayose’s smart move, one would suspect sinister motives behind his Jesus-like surrender to the EFCC. By doing so, is he trying to prove to Nigerians that his tenure as the Governor of Ekiti State is without taints? Or was it humility and the desire to set exemplary precedence as Mr integrity of Nigeria democracy?  Even if it is so, has he forgot the traces of his reckless handling of the finance of his state as he was accused of embezzling fund meant for workers and half salaries of teachers which was paid only once in a blue moon?

Even if these allegations are merely media fallacy, can Fayose say with confidence, that by turning himself in, in company of his friends such as the controversial River State Governor, Wilson Wike and the ever vocal critic of President Buhari, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, among others are mere coincidences or an attempt to impair the eagle eyes of the EFCC and divert public attention from the allegations levelled against him. Or could it be just a tactical aesthetic display by him to win the sympathy of Nigerians?

MEANWHILE, my goal is not to demean the integrity of this political comedian but to stir up the cognitions of readers, especially those who may be vulnerable to the endemic pangs of easy sympathy, a formidable dagger with which some of our political tortoises used to hoodwink the thinking faculties of the masses. 

By and large, by submitting himself to the anti-graft agency for scrutiny, Fayose deserves our commendation. Nevertheless, he should not think that by doing so, Nigerians would easily fall prey to his dramatic charade if it is meant to gain public sympathy and entomb the allegation levelled against him. He should also not forget that we may have enjoyed his brilliant aesthetic display as a 21st century political clown whom Nigeria has ever produced, but like our ancestors said, “actions are seeds capable of germinating to bear fruits”. He must not forget the sophism of King Solomon of Israel who once said, ” there is nothing new under the sun”. Every of our actions are like smoke which cannot be covered with the lid of cheap tortoise charade and treacherous dramatic display. If he is indeed clean as he parades himself, he should cooperate with the EFCC by giving substantial answers to the questions to be posed to him by the commission. On the other hand, if found innocent, Nigerians would roll out their drums to celebrate him as a true saint. If otherwise, at the end of the investigations, he should be ready to face the wrath of the law, even though our justice system at times displays gross injustice in its dispense of justice.

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