EKITI: When Democracy Is Not Convenient
Nigeria News takes a look at the APC governorship primaries in Ekiti and the violence.
It was Chief Elemure Ogunyemi, the late grandfather of Ekiti Music, and one of the most articulate musicians I ever met, who once told me that to the Ekiti man, justice is second nature. He posited that while others see it as stubbornness, the Ekiti man sees it as a necessity.
It was, therefore, befitting to his genius, that when Ekiti state, the most homogeneous state in Nigeria was created, the people of the now Ekitiless Ondo state rephrased Elemure’s eternal hit “kini a o to she eyi si o, Ekiti kete” (What are we going to do with this, Ekiti people?) to “A ti ribi dawon so o, Ekiti kete, ko so petition ni Ondo mo o, Ekiti kete, Ko si riot ni Ondo no o Ekiti kete” (We finally got rid of them, Ekiti people, no more petitions in Ondo, no more riots in Ondo, Ekiti people).
As hilarious as this may seem, there is a truism in the allegory, as Ekiti people do enjoy writing petitions, and do like to riot at the slightest provocation.
All these came into play on Saturday at the APC congress in Ado, as I watched individuals, most of whom were in the trenches in the war against military dictatorship, move to actively abort a democratic process midway because it looked like the outcome may not favour their aspirations.
Now, there is nothing unusual in people trying to express their grievances, especially in a contest in which they felt the cards were unfairly stacked against them, but it is usually before the voting started or after the result was becoming obvious, but not in the middle of voting in a delegates only system.
There is something I call the Role Reversal Syndrome, a theory of mine that states that victims of a particular system of oppression tend to repeat the same once they become the oppressors, sometimes even more vicious.
Look at the Israelis against Palestinians, The Quakers against American Indians, and to an extent, the Rwandan genocide.
It is ironic, therefore, that a party that was brutalized barely four years ago with federal might has come full circle to do the same to themselves now that some of them now have federal might!
But this is not an excuse to jettison lifetime pursuits of Democratic ideals by endorsing, if not participating, in the abortion of a Democratic process, it is like a lifetime proponent of abortion rights denying her son’s girlfriend the same right because that may be her last chance to have a grandchild.
I have looked hard at the Ekiti fiasco and there is no way all the gladiators would emerge with their reputations intact.
I understand the need for redemption, it is not easy for Fayemi to have a legacy of losing all 16 local governments as a sitting governor.
It is not easy on Oni to be called a former governor when legally he was never one, and not easy on Ojudu to be muscled out by the apparatus of a federal government he serves as the Chief political strategist in a political contest.
The clear winner in all these is, of course, Ayo Fayose. When I wrote a couple of years ago that Fayose is a true reflection of the current Ekiti psyche, some Ekiti sons protested. Now it is obvious that Fayose is not an exception.