MARK my words, Ayodele Fayose, the two-term accidental Governor of Ekiti State, is seriously troubled and fidgeting as the governorship election inches closer in the state to signal the end of his reign. Mark Lawrence may have had him in mind when in his award-winning book, Prince of Fools, he wrote that “It is often said that cowards make the best torturers. Cowards have good imaginations. Imaginations that torment them with all the worst stuff of nightmare, all the horrors that could befall them.”
Fayose has ridden roughshod enough on the people who have given him the rare opportunity to govern them twice. He is the quintessential coward, who has mastered the art of chess-playing so wrongly that the best form of defense, for him, is to attack, attack and attack. This record-breaking regret from Afao in Ekiti State is one coward that thinks very highly of himself, yet acts lowly. He suffers from schizophrenia, a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels and behaves, whose symptoms include false beliefs, confused thinking and hearing voices that normal people do not hear.
Fayose is a control freak who also suffers from hubris. In Greek vocabularies, hubris means violating the bounds set for humans. It is an excessive display of confidence, pride or arrogance, which ultimately causes the transgressor’s ruin. He is an enemy of decent living, and like the proverbial “Ajegbodo,” he loves to drag as many decent people as possible down to his low level. Since he is not aspiring to an elite status, he is equally not expecting anyone to do so. He loves to wrap the people in his emotional cocoon, play the servant role and cloak his self-serving agenda in the guise of a service to a noble course.
Fayose is teaching the people how to dance macabre, which, for those who care to know, is the dance of death. Macabre Dance consists of the dead or a personification of death summoning representatives from all walks of life to dance along to their grave. Should we continue to dance macabre in Ekiti State?
Because Fayose is a bully and he is manipulative, he is obnoxious, loud, rude, with limited knowledge of governance, uses foul language on his people, his country and his superiors, he has courted enough controversies to last him the rest of his lifetime, and even have more than enough left to bequeath his children.
But Fayose is not done yet. He keeps courting more! It is rather predictably pathetic, therefore, that Fayose continues to manipulate the people at will, so much that he is still giving them false hope that all will still be well under him, and if his chosen successor is allowed to continue his reckless reign, things will remain the way they are, and soon people will forget what good life was once like, if ever there was one. Fayose cares the least that Ekiti, under his claws, has continued to grow down instead of up.
Fayose’s reign of terror reminds one of the boiled frog syndrome. There is this premise that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out. But if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death.
This is what Fayose sees as happening to the people he is governing, especially the civil servants, the teachers and the local government workers. He keeps pushing them to a point that they will no longer give a damn about receiving their salaries as a matter of right, but as a privilege. And whenever some pelf gets into their hands, they will be eternally grateful for the magnanimity of Mr. Governor, since they were no longer looking forward to it. The doctrine, according to Fayose today, is that a known devil, which is him, is better that an unknown angel, or an angel that they once had, but were fast forgetting what it looked like. Just like in the days of Animal Farm, an allegorical novella written by George Orwell, the book also reflects events that led up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then on into the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union.
Fayose has defecated on the pride of Ekiti. What oozes out of the once hallowed State today is no longer honour and pride, but foul and filthy smell of impunity, brigandage and gangsterism. Fayose has turned once-upon-a-time land of honour and integrity to land of horror and a bad example of how a state should be governed. Yet he keeps saying there is no cause for alarm, that he means well for the people and they should keep trusting him with their future, until they are all cooked to death!
Fayose is the Prince of Fool in Mark Lawrence’s book. A coward, which he is, he feigns both confusion and innocence at the same time. One moment, he tries to play dumb, at another, he suggests that any harm done by him was unintentional or he was helpless and could not have done otherwise. He would use covert intimidation and empty braggadocio to prey on the conscience of his undiscerning victims. You can never be right with Fayose as he would consistently throw you to the defensive by veiled threats. In keeping his victims permanently down, Fayose the coward also employs guilt trip, a special kind of intimidation tactic, which usually boxes his victim to a self-doubting, anxious and submissive position.
Fayose is a brute that employs a great deal of sarcasm and put-downs to increase fear and self-doubt in the people in order to make them feel unworthy and defer to him. Fayose is prepared to lead his people to fight war of blame, exactly like Adolf Hitler, the German politician, who was the leader of the Nazi Party in Germany from 1934 to 1945. Hitler initiated fascist policies that led to World War II and the deaths of at least 11 million people, including the mass murder of an estimated 6 million Jews. Fayose of today and Hitler of then surely have so much in common.
Like today’s Fayose, Hitler’s fervid beer-hall speeches were attracting regular audiences. Early followers included army captain Ernst Rohm, the head of the Nazi paramilitary organization the Sturmabteilung (SA), which protected meetings and frequently attacked political opponents. Sometimes he would give a fierce look, sometimes he would speak in an unpleasant tone, sometimes he would cast snide in rhetorical comments, or even make one feel ashamed to challenge him. He would kill, he would maim, he would plunder, yet all these were only ways to hide his cowardice and foster a sense of inadequacy in his victims.
Notwithstanding, Fayose, like Hitler remains a coward, and a pathetic one, who hides under the façade of being brave. Whenever he is boxed to a corner, Fayose would go into self-pity, portray himself as a victim of circumstance in order to gain pity, sympathy or evoke compassion with the intention of getting the sympathisers’ attention and support. If all these fail, he would resort to blackmail.
More often than not, Fayose, is the aggressor, who would brandish anger and rage to shock his victim into submission. If this is resisted, he would vilify his victim as the oppressor, thus putting such victim of his wicked acts in the defensive while simultaneously masking his aggressive intent. He would falsely accuse his victim as an abuser in response to the victim’s standing up against him.
According to William Edwards Burghardt Du Bois, there is but one coward on earth, and that is the coward that dare not know he is a coward. Fayose is the one. Ekiti does not deserve him or any of his cronies any longer. Having built the gut to commit countless atrocities, one would think he would show remorse or save enough to face the consequences. But No! and Never! Which explains why the time to save Fayose from himself is now!
*Dipe, journalist and political analyst, writes from Ado Ekiti.