#EkitiDecides has come and gone, the people of Ekiti State have decided the person who will rule them over the next four years. Ayodele Fayose won an election which was adjudged by observers to be free and fair (as far as we can tell anyway). Perhaps the only dark cloud hanging over the whole process was the “rice politics” which some aggrieved parties feel decided the outcome of the elections. I am not from Ekiti State, neither do I live there, so I might not know the whole story, but I still feel we should not fall for the simplistic argument that that the election was only decided by the rice that was shared. No matter how much rice was shared or the person(s) that shared the rice the people of Ekiti State have made their bed, how they lie on it is up to them.
The elections in Ekiti state have come and gone, Fayemi and Bamidele lost, Fayose won. But the ripples will not die down, especially on social media. Finally here is a chance for some people to become popular by attacking some “social media activists” whom they have an unrelated personal vendetta against. Here is an opportunity for some people to add a notch to their “social media overlord ship” and show off how knowledgeable they are and how the people who voted Fayose were “idiots” and why they are sure Nigeria will never be ready for good governance, because their candidate lost, and one thing you can trust Nigerians to never do is to pass up a chance to become celebrities. But that is a matter for another time.
The discussion that has been going back and forth got me thinking about the argument I had with a friend a few months ago, over whether it was right for men of God to ride in bulletproof cars and go around with bodyguards. My friend’s contention was that these men of God have many enemies and if they don’t take these measures, their lives will be prematurely terminated and the purposes for their ministries will be unfulfilled. This left me wondering about just how long “purpose” has to drag on before it can be regarded as fulfilled. It also reminded me of one of the interactive programmes held by Oyo state Governor Abiola Ajimobi at the beginning of his tenure, where he mentioned the fact that he didn’t really care about a second term and that if he contested and the people voted for him, that would be good, and if they did not, he would not be angry, given that the state is not his property, and every citizen of Oyo state has the right to rule. In this case of Ekiti state, we have a Kayode Fayemi who has just completed a four year term, who (in my opinion), should not be overtly bothered that that the people have decided he should not serve a second term. The point worthy of note here is that since the life of the individual is finite, and the state is not, there is no individual that can actually solve every problem of the state even if he is allowed to serve ten terms. The question here therefore, should not be why he has not been allowed to serve a second term? It should what enduring legacy can he point to after the four years that he has served? This brings me to the life of Jesus Christ. He was thirty three when he died, and his ministry was for only three years (which by the way is shorter than an executive term in Nigeria) and he didn’t even start until he was thirty. Without the benefit of hindsight, one would judge that preparing for a three year ministry for thirty years is a waste of time and effort. Today however more than a third of the world population follow Jesus Christ’s teachings in one form or the other, now how about that level of success for a ministry of only three years. The unique thing about our lord Jesus Christ was that his ministry’s end was not even premature. He knew when his time was up, but he was sure that his message was so powerful that he knew even after his death, it will still continue to be preached around the world. This is the question that Kayode Fayemi, and all the people (especially bloggers and social media activists who are apoplectic that he has lost) should consider. Prof Dora Akunyili (may her gentle soul rest in peace) did wonders as Director General of NAFDAC, but at the end, an infamous stint as Minister for Information and a lost senatorial election put huge black marks on otherwise glorious public career, but the less said about that the better.
Personally, I am all having ambition, for completing the good work you have started and not abandoning a good project midway, (and even presidents of the strongest democracy on earth are not free from the lure of second terms, see also Obama, Barrack) but I also feel that in the end history is going to judge you for what you did, not how long it took to do it. Even if the people of Ekiti state put rice over good judgement by voting Kayode Fayemi out of office, Fayemi himself must sit down and look back at what he has done for the people of Ekiti state in four years. If he can point to one positive thing, then he doesn’t need a second term. As the Yoruba will say “it is not number of teeth that counts, even if one has only two, if those two are white, then everything is perfect.