Last Saturday in Ekiti State, Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose was effectively pulled down from his high horses and made to fully come to grasp with the transience of power. Nothing lasts forever. Not even mendacious idiocy the likes of which the Fayoses of this world epitomise. For me, beyond the gloating over the humbling of man that calls himself ‘The Rock”, those who connived together to bring him to that ultimate reality should learn a greater lesson from his humiliation. Perhaps, if he had applied the brakes when some of us warned him against being a victim of the inevitability of pride coming before a shameful fall, Fayose would not the laughable, deflated and powerless rabble rouser that he has suddenly become with the defeat of his candidate in last Saturday’s election by Dr. Kayode Fayemi. In a piece titled “Immunity, impunity and Fayose’s angst” published in June 25, 2016, I had warned the irascible irritant to be mindful of actions that spell doom for him. But do they ever listen? Read on…
“Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad”. When Prometheus, Henry Longfellow’s character in the 1875 poem, “The Masque of Pandora”, uttered those timeless words, the author never anticipated a Mr. Fayose of Nigeria putting life into such immortal lines in 2016 and beyond. However, driven by the imps of gross miscalculation and wanton lust for reckless ‘popularity’, Fayose has audaciously sallied forth from one needless controversy to another – criticizing, pontificating, puffing, huffing and making allegations that elicit the amazement of both contemplative citizens and featherbrained fans. Yes!
Fayose’s rascally impetuousness and sheepish political pranks are well documented both in words and in life images captured in videos and skits. His self-professed disdain for a Muhammadu Buhari presidency explains the relentlessness with which he stalks every move made by the administration. At the silliest height of his rant, he invoked the spirit of death against the President. Fayose it was who told a stunned nation that octogenarian Buhari should be on diapers just like his (Fayose’s) mother! He equally has ranted serially about a presumed life-threatening disease impeding the ability of Buhari to govern well. He has accused the President of leading a herd of corrupt people to ‘ruin’ Nigeria. As long as the topic is Buhari, Fayose has never failed to unleash bareknuckle punches. For him, Buhari is not just the gravest mistake in Aso Rock; he is a tragedy in governance.
As a prominent figure in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, Fayose’s form of criticism is clinically deadly, hate-filled, infused with peppery bile and vitriol. As a serving governor conscious of the powers the immunity clause confers, Fayose takes advantage of that rare privilege to the fullest. Egged on by a coterie of praise singers and knowing that the President is constitutionally demobilised even if he desires to move against him, the man they call ‘Spotless’ has become a thorn not only in the flesh of Buhari but his policies, associates and the All Progressives Congress. Therefore, while Fayose barks and bites, the Presidency merely gawks at him in stupefaction. Such is the overriding power of a questionable immunity that our Constitution confers on the President, Vice President, state governors and their deputies. Fayose regaled in it. Hardly a week passes without him treating the public to his rabid and ferocious attack against Buhari or his family. It was as if that was his primary duty as a state chief executive. And it is one job he relishes.
It was, therefore, not surprising that the natural victim of Fayose’s spirited defence against the restriction order placed on his personal accounts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission would be Buhari and, of course, his wife, Aisha. In fact, it would have been shocking if the governor had linked his latest woes to anyone else order than the man he loves to hate. By the way, this is not about the farcical drama scripted, directed and acted by Fayose when he invaded the premises of the bank in Ado-Ekiti earlier in the week to demand statements of his accounts. It is more about the lame excuses the governor gave to justify why an institution saddled with the arduous responsibility of checking graft should not be on his case. It is about the shamelessness of grappling last straws to wish away the mendaciousness with which otherwise responsible and trusted public officers continue to rape the national treasury. It beggars belief that Fayose would expect the EFCC to steer off his financial dealings in the last two years until the end of his tenure on the laughable submission that immunity confers on him the powers to do and undo all that he wills. With his ‘spotless’ posturing as the untainted political gadfly in the PDP and Buhari’s Achilles heel, wouldn’t it have been nice if Fayose had punctured EFCC’s claims of humongous and strange lodgements in his accounts in the run-up to his election instead of whining about a nebulous immunity clause that only legitimatises the larceny, lawlessness and crass abuse of power?
Given that Nigeria’s immunity clause effectively arms those that enjoy it against prosecution of any sort, should it also infer that such persons could not be investigated and then tried after they might have vacated the office? In this simple question lies Fayose’s dilemma and the source of an endless chronic idiocy. Listen to him: “I am a sitting governor and under Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution, I enjoy immunity. This government has no respect for constitutional provisions. They should not be in a hurry. In 2018, I will be done. I will come to them myself. I have become a figure in this country that I have nowhere to go. The rascality of EFCC must stop. Did they not contest election? Where did they get the funds from? Is it because they are the sitting government?”
How I wish Fayose could remove the log in his eyes before offering to blow out a speck lurking in a friend’s eye. No one, in the entire life of this democracy, has displayed specious rascality and prudish bellicosity than Fayose. To my understanding, the section in question did not, in anyway, forbears the relevant agencies from investigating the individuals covered by immunity clause.
If I may ask, would Fayose had preferred a situation where the EFCC turned its sniffing noses against a whistle-blower’s report of premeditated looting in the run off to the Ekiti election? Aside the legalese which empowers the governor to hold on to straws, demanding that he should be spared the burden of investigations and prosecutions based on his present status, morality demands that this advocate of equity and hater of political rascality ought to come to equity with squeaky clean hands.