The Ekiti state election has come and gone, and what remains is to learn the lessons from the political debacle of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which was defeated resoundingly by Ayo Fayose, of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). My problem with APC leaders is their overconfidence and heavy reliance on newspaper propaganda, instead of working hard to attain their political objectives. What they forgot was that over-confidence can defeat even champions. They had erroneously concluded that once you controlled the media propaganda machine, they would have the ball at their feet. In other words, victory was automatic in their wild imaginations or calculations.
They told the whole world that the federal government employed police and soldiers to Ekiti to help Fayose and the ruling party to rig the election. They made the same allegations during the gubernatorial election in Edo State. However, when Adam Oshiomhole eventually won the election, despite the so-called deployment of soldiers and police their language changed. If they had lost the elections even if it was free affair, they could have automatically blamed rigging for their defeat.
The outcome of the Ekiti gubernatorial election was an eye-opener because it shows the limit of APC propaganda and how far they can deceive the people through false alarms. True to their nature, they read meanings into every security deployment. In fact, they even alleged that governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso’s flight was disrupted to prevent him from travelling, and no such incident ever happened. They are fond of spreading lies to gain sympathy. However, propaganda, if stretched too far, can expose the underbelly of its users. You don’t have to be a political pundit to know that defeating a grassroots politician like Fayose is not a piece of cake. Perhaps they had underrated Fayose of PDP as inconsequential, and therefore, assumed that he was easy meat. But politics does not work at way. The fact that Fayose is not an intellectual giant doesn’t mean he lacks political influence.
I wonder how a man that formidably establishes himself in the hearts and minds of the people like Fayose should be dismissed out of hand by APC leaders. They heavily deployed well- financed media propaganda against Fayose, but in the end, it didn’t work. In what appears to be the greatest political upset the APC has suffered in recent memory, the resounding defeat of Dr. Kayode Fayemi was an unbelievable political fiasco, at least in the eyes of the opposition leaders.
Politics is not an academic exercise in which your hopes or calculations are built on theories and excessive idealism. Fayose of PDP does not possess the intellectual erudition of Dr. Fayemi, but the truth is that the APC candidate didn’t have the grassroots connection to sustain himself in power or win a second term in office. A thousand ‘Tinubus’ could not have defeated Fayose. Even when former President Obasanjo removed him unconstitutionally from office through his attack dog- the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Fayose, who was loved by his people; and it didn’t diminish a bit.
APC leaders are masters of sanctimonious posturing; they always present others as corrupt and discredited. What is surprising, however, is that the APC leaders always fail to notice the heavy logs in their own eyes while they point to the specks in the eyes of their political rivals. Former Presidential candidate of the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the 2011 elections, Malam Nuhu Ribadu once said that he didn’t spend his kobo during the campaign. Who did then? Whoever bankrolled his campaign had his reason for sponsoring someone as a candidate. Many Nigerians were taken aback why the southwest, with the exception of Osun State, didn’t vote for Ribadu. The politics of godfathers is not limited to PDP alone; the devil of godfather also resides in APC. Let us be sincere about this and stop deceiving ourselves.
Dr. Fayemi was defeated by a wide margin of votes and, therefore, rigging had no nothing to do with his defeat. The election was heavily monitored by independent observes and none of them complained about rigging. In fact, Dr. Fayemi didn’t waste time to concede defeat because the election was transparent. APC leaders must go back to the drawing board and find out what went wrong. They should also recognize the fact that winning elections go beyond media manipulation and propaganda at the expense of understanding voter psychology. What happened that APC alimented the voters in Ekiti state so soon?
Ahmed Sa’ad Usman via firstname.lastname@example.org