What Ekiti Election Result Says About Nigerians By Nasiru Suwaid
“For every epoch, era or period, there often arrives’ an admonishing prophet and for every congregated communal group, a particular individual with a specific message is always sent. Every society is blessed with the type of leader it deserves.”
One thing that I always find quite contradictorily confusing is the term secularism, which is the proactive effort and attempt to separate the Church from state or to put it more glaringly and in the context of a multi-ethnic country like Nigeria, it is the governance concept that demarcates every type of religious belief system, from the secular and godless workings of an operative governance system or civil service structure. The great conundrum here is that those individuals sent, either as messengers of God or even as a begotten child, did not only preached as mere puritanical holy men, who only challenged the norm, rather, they not only sought to change the medium of how people pray but their mode of governance system, which proved inadequate in protecting the poor, defending the weak and uplifting the vulnerable. Within the context of classical theology, a state is but a depictive identity of the faith of its constituents, it is the reason why a country like the state of Israel is a Jewish state and the Islamic Republic of Iran is an Islamic state, while the United States of America is the god’s own country without much belief in God.
The greatest conundrum ever is how you can separate Church or Mosque from state, how could citizens who have been left with their faith intact, be made to manage their lives through organized governance without input of such belief system. Could a leader be said have been chosen by God, as well as emerging from the popular consensus of the majority of voting electorates, when the process that had produced the politician, was not driven by penitent vows of a religious worship. What demarcates the position of a politician from that of a statesman in our society and what separates populism from loyalty to fundamentals of good governance, where is the thin line or even a thick barriers the separates the two from each other and from whence a huge barrier mutates into a bridge, transforming itself from being one of a kind unto the other. Before now and within the context of the Nigerian political lexicon, populism is usually aligned or compared with progressivism and the progressives are the ones tagged action governors or administrators, who are characteristically reformist in nature, development in orientation and visionary in outlook, an attribute that does preclude corrupt sharing of rice to gullible voters as a characteristic.
When the result of the Ekiti state governorship election was announced, unlike others, I was not surprised or even shocked, but merely interested in the sociological determinants which might have made the people of the state to have acted the way they did, by voting for change from the norm. I think the first the fallacy that came with the creation of All People’s Congress is the erroneous assumption, party politics could be segmented and demarcated between two opposing blocks of good versus evil, at least not in terms the of general membership of the parties. Thus, it would be socially irresponsible and need I say ignorant, to presume anybody that contest under the banner of Nigerian opposition, cannot be rejected by the electorates and everybody who sought for an electoral mandate, while standing under the canopy of the ruling party, must be rejected as a duty by every honest citizen.
The simple truth is that from the genealogical origination of our democracy, which is the American federal system model, political parties are merely alternative vehicles of choice, where a contestant seeks to substitute the incumbent, by offering better choices in policies to be adopted, better alternative in accountable presence to serve the need of electorates and as a celebration of the power of the electorate to effect a change.
What is mystifyingly contradictory is how Nigerians classify populism, they explain how a Fayose could defeat a Fayemi because of popularity, but before now, the one individual who has typified and defined what is to be termed popular is General Muhammadu Buhari, whom at the very least is exceedingly loved in the far northern states. However, he seemingly does not have the money to give nor the wherewithal to grant such largesse, yet he is popular amongst the poor peasants and even the educated elites, the question that immediately follows is whether what constitutes populism in the state of Ekiti is quite different from its definition in the far north or the value system of the two areas under discussion is markedly different, as to classify that popularity in Ekiti is earned due to gratuitous handouts, while populist loyalty in the far north is earned due to admirable character trait of projected honesty, truthfulness and exemplary performance while still in office.
It is worth noting that every negative character trait of an essential Nigerian citizen that is obtained down south is also available up north. The only rationally acceptable projection is that what had happened in Ekiti state is a referendum on John Kayode Fayemi as an individual, not his party, not his manifesto, not his programs but his ineffective campaign machinery that could not sell its candidate, it is why he was decisively outwitted by his opponent’s sustained propaganda mechanism.
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