From whatever perspective one views it, the brutal attack on Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, a serving senator, the leadership, members and supporters of the All Progressives Congress in Ekiti who are on a peaceful rally by a detachment of mobile police men led by a Bayelsa-born police officer, forewarns of the dire dangers ahead as 2015 approaches. The attack was provocative and is a direct umbrage and assault on the constitution and an affront to the people of Ekiti State. It was meant to point the way the Jonathan presidency and the PDP hopes to overwhelm and over run the country as he dreams of continuing in the office they have collectively ridiculed and minimized since 2010 unfurls.
For those who might not know, the attack adds to a rich list of worrying predilection to illegality, irascible exuberance, dread and impunity that the Jonathan presidency and the PDP are employing to serve notice of their readiness to trample on the rules, the law and existing ordinances so as to appropriate an increasingly hostile political clime that had been made more hostile by their dour and humbling performance in power, which had attracted hefty international condemnation and ridicule. The desire not to take enemies by Jonathan and his tendency had led to deep fissures within the PDP and this led to a mass exodus that had considerably weakened its strength and resolve to continually annex power through foul electoral practices. That Jonathan and his PDP have been engaging in expensive campaign rallies and road shows even when party campaigns are yet to be flagged off, says a lot of the damage the unilateral quest of Jonathan and his clique for continuity had inflicted on the PDP.
That a sitting governor, the chief security officer of his state, the embodiment of the constitution of his state should be set upon by commissioned police officers, claiming directive ‘from above’ and that the sacred office of the governor should be so violated in such impudent manner, speaks of the ensuing dangers ahead. It speaks of a democracy imperiled and it launders the gargantuan impunity and lawlessness that continue to dog our so called democracy such that it remains a stunted democracy fifteen years after it berthed as a nascent democracy. The show of shame in Ekiti where a police officer sabotaged and held hostage the democratic institution forewarns of the endangered and mutilated form of democracy we have in Nigeria; subjected to the inordinate whims and idiosyncrasies of one man and his cahoots.
The brutal attack on Governor Fayemi is coming on the heels of the shameful and primitive way soldiers have been commissioned to attack and wrestle down newspapers and curtail the free press and coming just at the same time the aircraft of Governor Chibuike Amaechi was grounded in Kano on silly suspicion that he was supportive of the emergence of former Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido, who was removed from office for revealing a whopping multi billon dollar scandal perpetrated by the Jonathan government, as the Emir of Kano. These and many other cases of clear exasperation point to the imminence of many more crackdown and a widened impunity forte that will be unleashed in the days to come.
It is curious that Fayemi who was target of the illicit clampdown by a tele guided police was in the fore front of the battle to rescue the country from the clutches of military tyranny. It is even more instructive that the characters now misusing the police to go after their opponents wined and dined with the military while the struggle lasted. It is even more instructive that they are employing the same brute, callous and anti democratic means to achieve democratic victory. What happened in Ekiti, while serving as warning to what Nigerians should expect, as a desperate party and government tries to muzzle its way through the resistance of the electorates, should serve meaningful notice on the continued misuse of the police for ulterior selfish and partisan ends, when the country is being over ran by all manners of outlaws.
The contest in Ekiti is well projected given that the two leading candidates are clear contrasts of each other. Fayose’s enforced stint as Ekiti governor was a bloody, tragic era when murder, impunity, lawlessness and all manners of outlawry were employed to violate the tranquility of the sedate state. It was a period Ekiti trust into the national limelight for all the wrong reasons and witnessed a dearth in development and progress as the largely internal PDP bickering lasted. Lives were lost, limbs were severed and governance screeched to a halt as the fierce contests for fortes lasted. Fayose himself was impeached as governor for reasons of corruption and till today, he has corruption and murder charges hanging on his neck. In contrast, incumbent governor, Kayode Fayemi is a suave, urbane, cool and calculated scholar, pro-democracy fighter, politician and administrator. He had brought these lofty personal traits to not only reduce the tension that reigned in Ekiti prior to his coming but also to positively impact on governance resulting in massive achievements in the nearly four years he had been in power. While his academic pedigree is redoubtable, Fayose’s remains shrouded in conjectures.
What more, going to the contest for the governorship stool on June 21, Fayose has a tattered house bristling with malcontent and reservations about his candidature, from his co-contestants to the PDP ticket, Fayemi has an impregnable and coherent structure that had added lay harvested the very best and brightest in Ekiti PDP in the person of former governor, Segun Oni.
The difference between the two candidates is like that between two parallels. It is like what separates day from night, darkness from light, black from white. It is as clear as contrast might be. So it presents alternatives, it presents choices, it presents jarring opposites from which voters in Ekiti must choose. There are no blurred lines, noted herrings, no meeting points, no similarities.
In deploying the type of brute force that was at display in Ekiti last Sunday, it may be apparent that the PDP doesn’t fancy the chances of its candidate against Fayemi. It is apparent that the resort to crude and illegal self help is meant to awe, intimidate and overwhelm Ekiti voters to go with the most fearful and the most brutal. It is apparent that that the PDP is exploiting its notorious alliance with the police to scare Ekiti people to grudgingly go along with it. How well it succeeds in this deadly will be revealed in a few days to come. But Ekiti voters and people are not fools that cannot differentiate oranges from apples, even under the nozzle of the gun. They certainly will survive this callous effort to enchant them and force a diseased choice on them.
But the Ekiti police attack should provoke national outrage, not only on the misuse of the police for ulterior political and personal interests but also on the need to reform the police and other security agencies and preen them off the hands of malevolent politicians. The culprits in that Ekiti show of shame especially the commissioned police tout from Bayelsa State must be hunted down, chained and prosecuted for his actions tantamount so to a coup against constituted authority. The principal characters and moles used in that travesty of democracy must be identified and served their due comeuppance if we are to save this democracy from the perils of primitive self interest. The hired good that were employed to assault and denigrate democracy by pointing guns at a sitting governor must be fished out and dismissed from the police force because they stand to impugn on the already battered image of the Nigerian police. Above all these, Nigerians must stand up and demand a just state, served by policemen that are not at the beck and call of political desperadoes.