Ekiti: Of Hakeem Adisa’s hand and Segun Ayobolu’s voice, by Hakeem Jamiu

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After reading Segun Ayobolu’s column entitled “Ekiti Fiasco: Who Is To Blame?”, published on the back page of the Nation Newspaper, May 16, 2015 edition, my immediate reaction was to fetch a similar article written by a faceless writer- Hakeem Adisa, published in The Sun Newspaper of May 11, 2015 edition with the title “What Does Kayode Fayemi Want?”, and placed it side by side with a previous article by Ayobolu written in his Nation Newspaper column on July 5, 2014 titled: “Further Thoughts On Ekiti Polls”. After a textual analysis of these articles, my suspicions were confirmed- Hakeem Adisa’s diatribe, recently published in The Sun Newspaper was a rehash of Ayobolu’s July 5, 2014 article in The Nation which I responded to on July 12, 2014 and Ayobolu’s May 16, 2015 article is nothing but a sickening regurgitation of Hakeem Adisa’s most recent article to which a rejoinder by Fayemi’s media aide, Olayinka Oyebode, published in The Sun of May 12, 2015 had sought to correct.
As a matter of clarification of identity, I remain Hakeem Jamiu and I am not as anonymous as Hakeem Adisa.

Quite paradoxically, both Hakeem Adisa and Ayobolu seem to have more than a passing interest in Ekiti politics and its principal actors. While this is not a sin, what is baffling however, is their near maniacal penchant for distorting facts, their unbridled hatred for the person of Dr Kayode Fayemi, immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, and the youthful gusto with which they peddle their lies against him with the intent to pull him down while at the same time labouring so much to promote some poorly masked parochial agenda.

One cannot but wonder whether Hakeem Adisa usually has a glimpse of Segun Ayobolu’s write-ups or the duo usually hold a conference where they decide their next line of attack in their avowed move to pull down, assassinate character and sow the seed of discord. Or how does one explain the situation where the only thing that flows from the pen of a columnist like Ayobolu are discredited tunes that have emanated (or billed to emanate) from a certified faceless writer- Hakeem Adisa? Or do we simply conclude that with Segun Ayobolu no one needs to bother about the true identity of the masquerade called Hakeem Adisa? Or simply put, is Ayobolu the same as Hakeem Adisa and vice versa?

While Ayobolu at his diplomatic best maintained that Fayemi failed to fulfil his promises to Governor Ayo Fayose following his support for his party during the rerun elections on 2009, Hakeem Adisa was more daring. He stated that Fayemi erred by not yielding the Ekiti Central Senatorial ticket to Fayose to contest the 2011 senatorial election adding that Fayose would have been appeased with the senatorial ticket (which was won by Senator Femi Ojudu). The question begging for an answer is how would Fayemi, a governor elected on the platform of the then ACN, have ceded the senatorial seat to Fayose who was contesting on the platform of Labour Party (LP). Or how would he have neglected the candidate of his party to support another party’s candidate?
It was Fayose who broke his own promise of not contesting for the governorship seat of Ekiti until the Court of Appeal decided Fayemi/Oni’s case, but Fayose went ahead to declare his governorship ambition while the case was still in court in September 2010, believing that Fayemi would lose at the Appeal Court.
While Ayobolu declared that Fayose could no longer reach Fayemi after he became governor, Adisa said Fayemi no longer picked Fayose’s calls. One wonders how the duo got to know who picks whose calls and how that affected the delivery of democratic dividends to the people.

The allegation of aloofness and disconnection from the grassroots which were vigorously canvassed against Fayemi in the writings of the duo followed the same pattern as their veiled but vain glorification of Fayose as the man the Ekiti people love, citing the outcome of the just concluded March 28 and April 11 presidential and Assembly elections in the state as reference. Ayobolu however shot himself in the foot by trying to justify the fact that the heavy militarisation of Ekiti ahead of the June 21 governorship election, the attendant revelation of the questionable involvement of some serving ministers and other PDP politicians as well as the military in the election was not sufficient ground to lose the election. In other words, Ayobolu was of the opinion that in spite of the emasculation of APC chieftains, massive deployment of soldiers, Policemen and SSS operatives with a clear mandate to win the Ekiti governorship (at all costs) as a befitting trophy for President Jonathan’s planned invasion of the South West, the APC should still have won the election. Adisa’s script put it in a cruder manner when he alleged that Fayemi lost “mercilessly” because of his aloofness”, without a mention of the war waged against the APC by the PDP’s federal might in the isolated election where movements of even serving governors were brazenly curtailed. While I have debunked the theory of aloofness and losing touch with grassroots in my reaction to Ayobolu’s article on July 12 2014, and on many fora, I wish to let Ayobolu and his ilks know that Ekiti is the sacrificial lamb for the success of the APC in the March general elections.

Strangely, both Ayobolu and Adisa found it convenient to blame Fayemi solely for the Ekiti governorship election loss, but are quick to praise APC and some leaders of the party for the victory recorded in some states and in the Presidential election! The fact is that the APC lost in Ekiti owing to some inherent internal contradictions within the state chapter of the party and the onslaught of the Goodluck Jonathan-led Federal Government. Outgoing President Jonathan and his cohort won the Ekiti governorship election and Fayose was simply the beneficiary.

As pointed out by Engr. Segun Oni, a former Governor of the state and National Deputy Chairman of the party, the PDP victory at the National Assembly election and the Presidential elections of March 28 and April 11 respectively were not essentially because of Fayose’s popularity, but as a result of bandwagon effect (for the party in government), a development that has become a recurrent decimal in the electoral history in Ekiti State. Apart from the bandwagon effect syndrome, it was PDP’s consolidation of the June 21 electoral heist but people like Ayobolu would not hear any of these because of the operation pull Fayemi down at all costs.

Ayobolu’s main purpose of writing the article came out towards the end when he concluded advisedly, however, that the leadership of APC should look beyond Fayemi, Opeyemi Bamidele and Femi Ojudu in the choice of who becomes the ministerial nominee from Ekiti State for what he described as the “unresolved feud” among the three. He, however failed to mention the fact that Bamidele who was governorship candidate of the LP in the June 21 election was yet to be fully re-admitted into APC.

According to Ayobolu, the state’s slot in the Federal Executive Council should be given to “a brilliant technocrat who is also an astute and seasoned politician, a person who is detached from the current intra-party APC politics of intrigues in Ekiti….”
Ayobolu, like an experienced poker player, had kept the ace-identity of his preferred ministerial nominee- to his chest. Not so for Adisa who boldly identified former Lagos Commissioner for Information, Dele Alake, as one of most qualified for the ministerial slot in Ekiti for his contributions to the success of General Buhari’s election. Ayobolu slyly left out former Governor Segun Oni out of his list, even though the former Governor was identified as a viable candidate by Adisa. Instead, he deliberately made a mince meat of the character of the first civilian governor of the state, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, with the hope of removing the highly respected politician out of the equation.

This crude attack on the person and political credentials of Adebayo-who is fondly called “Omoluabi” in Ekiti APC circle and the deliberate sidelining of Engr Oni from his list, while calling for the disqualification of Fayemi, Ojudu and Bamidele (who is still in Labour Party), thus reduced his choice to Dele Alake- a name he probably would like to unveil in his subsequent articles but which Hakeem Adisa has unwittingly announced on his behalf.

Is it not strange that Ayobolu recommended his “brilliant technocrat” who is completely detached from Ekiti as the one who will bring all the factions together only when he has been given the Ministerial slot? A man that has never visited Ekiti for once since he lost senatorial primaries in 2011? Why can’t the technocrat put his wizardry into use now by bringing the factions together before he is given ministerial appointment? Fayemi is not in contest with anyone over appointment just as he did not contest to be made the chairman of the Presidential primaries which he conducted to the admiration of the whole world. The transparency of that exercise was responsible for holding the party together after the primaries and contributed in no small measure to the success of the APC at the 2015 March and April elections. Very soon, Ekiti APC will bounce back to the chagrin of detractors.

While fairness is a major hallmark of the journalism profession, Ayobolu is fast becoming a perfect example of how not to be a responsible journalist, dabbling into details of Ekiti local politics he has scant knowledge of. His penchant for being used to set ignoble agenda and assassinate character is legendary. At best his submissions are cheap and petty and they are carelessly served without sparing a thought for the reading public. My advice for him is that the easiest way for a writer to lose credibility is for him to become a hatchet writer or an attack dog. This present voyage is not only laughable, it is also silly. But by the way aren’t we in the silly season already?

*Jamiu, a socio-political commentator, writes from Ado-Ekiti.

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