Ekiti Election: why Fayose Defeated Fayemi & Lessons for APC By Bayo Adeyinka
1. People Don’t Care How Much You Know, Until They Know How Much You Care
True, Governor Fayemi built roads and embarked on urban renewal. His footprints were all over the State. However, he was disconnected from the masses. There was a general perception that his government was elitist and he didn’t do anything to correct that impression. He did not have the common touch. He was building for the people but the people did not feel any connection with him. His style brought back a feeling of nostalgia about Fayose’s days to the people. Fayose could speak their language.
Fayose also made a mountain about living among the people. In all the years he was away from office, he never left Ekiti. He did not become a Lagos or Abuja politician and the people noted it. That was why there was a chant of ‘Ghana Must Go’ a few days to the election – referring to where Governor Fayemi resided at a point in time. Did Fayemi engage in town hall sessions across Ekiti constantly through his tenure? If he did, were they effective? Our politics in the South-West still remains rudimentary and that is why any touch of populism will carry the day.
2. All Politics Is Local And When You Forget This You Get Punished For It…
Governor Fayemi practically lived and campaigned on social media. He ran a very effective FACEBOOK and twitter campaign. You can never fault him for taking advantage of technology. However, twitter does not vote and most FACEBOOK activists don’t come out to vote. When Governor Fayemi assembled bloggers from Lagos and brought them to Ekiti to assess his performance, I knew he was embarking on a fruitless exercise. The bloggers could only influence the opinion of those who read them and how many people actually read them in Isan, Ijan, Erio-Ekiti, Iworoko and other less-city towns?
3. When You Refuse To Make Friends Of A Former Adversary, He Hurts You More Than Ever
This election was APC’s to lose. Actually, it should have been a walkover for Governor Fayemi if they had kept Fayose in their corner of the party. Fayose was a major contributor to Fayemi’s victory at the last polls. I remember Fayemi published an advertorial thanking Fayose for his efforts. When Fayose’s father died, it was widely acknowledged that he carried a signage with the note ‘Vote For Fayemi’. When Fayose celebrated his birthday, the who’s who in the then ACN were present and they poured accolades on him.
However, he claimed there was an understanding that he will be given a senatorial slot as compensation. This was never honored and he decamped to the Labour Party where he was trounced. He brought in this bruised ego into the political field. When a man’s ego suffers, other things bear the consequences. What would it take to cede a slot to ‘Oshoko’ and let him retire at the Senate? Even the Holy Writ asked us to quickly make friends of our adversaries lest they put us in gaol. APC is now in gaol, politically.
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