• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Fayose: Aregbesola’s candid advice to a ‘lonely’ brother


Although the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) still maintains two states in the South West- Ekiti and Ondo- only the former can truly be said to belong to the umbrella party.
Ondo State under Olusegun Mimiko belonged to the Labour Party (LP) until August 2014 when the governor moved to the PDP.

With the bulldozing power of the APC, it is not likely that PDP will retain Ondo in October 2016, when a new round of gubernatorial election will hold.

Ayodele Fayose was elected governor of Ekiti State in the June 21, 2014 gubernatorial election. He defeated the then incumbent, Kayode Fayemi of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Fayose’s victory and the controversies that surrounded it further strained the relationship of the two major contending parties in the state, and by extension other APC-controlled states in the region.

It would be recalled that Fayose rode to power on the crest of his undisputed popularity among the electorate, owing to his effective employment of “stomach infrastructure”, which has come to be popularised in the polity.

The Ekiti governor was to become vocal and arrogated to himself the conscience of the PDP. He took on the APC and became the megaphone of the party.

Before the general election last year, particularly the Presidential, he fired from all cylinders and bothered little about whose image was impugned by his vituperations.

Even after it was clear that Goodluck Jonathan had thrown in the towel, Fayose never dropped the gauntlet. He constantly inflicted mortal injuries to the APC with his verbal punches.

In the current APC war against graft, Fayose had severally alleged that members of his party were being unjustly singled out for persecution.

It was against this backdrop, therefore, that his journey to Osun State last Tuesday to visit his counterpart, Rauf Aregbesola, a staunch member of the APC and close ally of both Bola Tinubu, national leader of the broom party and President Muhammadu Buhari, has continued to raise dust.
Opinions have been divergent on the real reason behind the visit. While some people say he may have gone to seek Aregbesola’s help to speak to the President on his behalf for forgiveness; some others say he may have realised that he cannot effectively function and succeed as an island in the South West, notwithstanding party differences.

There are other analysts who believe that Fayose’s visit may not be unconnected with the travails of the PDP and its near-extinction.

An analyst, who spoke with BDSUNDAY on condition of anonymity, said: “Governor Fayose must have realised that the game is up. You and I know that the PDP is destroyed beyond repairs. Every keen political observer would agree with me that PDP cannot stand any election at the Federal level in its present state. So, if there is going to be anything like PDP as a party in the nearest future, it means that there would be serious re-alignment of forces.”

On the other hand, his decision to go to Osun may have been informed by the victory of Aregbesola in the August 9, 2014 gubernatorial election as a result of the quick adoption of his (Fayose’s) principle of “stomach infrastructure” as an avenue to achieving electoral success.
While in Osun, Aregbesola recognised and addressed Fayose as “my brother”, party differences, notwithstanding.

It would also be recalled that after he lost the gubernatorial election in 2014, Fayemi had also described Fayose as his brother.

The former governor, while accepting defeat, told the world that he had conceded. He said: “I have just spoken with my brother, Mr. Peter Ayodele Fayose, congratulating him on his victory. In a few hours from now, I would be meeting the governor-elect to discuss the future of our dear state and how we would work together to institute a smooth transition programme.”

This tone of affinity and brotherliness was also employed in Osun last Tuesday. However, Aregbesola pointedly told him to face the reality of the death of the PDP as a party.
Aregbesola said while he is not asking the governor to abandon the opposition PDP against his wish, he would only advise him to join hands with a political party that will give hope to the people of Nigeria.

He also charged the Ekiti State governor to direct his energy towards bringing human and physical development to western region and Nigeria as a whole.

For the Osun governor, Fayose’s visit was a demonstration of maturity, saying it takes a very mature human being to know that at the end of every public office, he will be left with humanity.
“Osoko has said that he is not going to leave his party, but the reality today is that PDP has served its term in Nigeria. When a horse is dead, it is either you abandon it or you bury it.

“I want my good friend and brother to know that PDP has exhausted its stay in Nigeria, it can no longer be revived; let us look at a political party that will give hope to our people. Opposition must be for a purpose, I stand by you on the unity of Yoruba land and that our leaders not put down in the country.

“The war is over; we are in a season of mobilising our people to agriculture and produce such that we will economically have the strength to give leadership to the nation and Africa. Our energy must be directed at bringing human and physical development, we have enough in this region to give leadership,” Aregbesola stressed.

He assured Fayose that he will stand by him in his effort to galvanise the people of South-West for accelerated development.

Analysts say that the visit may likely check Fayose’s frequent verbal attacks on the APC; they also believe that the days to come will clearly show the real reason Fayose made the historic journey.

Zebulon Agomuo