Highly respected academic, Prof. Mobolaji Ebenezer Aluko, has warned against what he sees as an attempt by some Ekiti state government and political party officials to impose an aspirant on the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state as the consensus candidate of the party using state machinery.
The Ekiti state born pioneer Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University Otuoke in Bayelsa State raised the alarm in an open correspondence to Mr. Segun Dipe, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ekiti State chapter of the APC, where he stressed that such a trend, which speaks of nothing but “impunity and arrogance of power,” would spell doom for the party in the upcoming governorship election.
Prof. Aluko, who took time to tutor Dipe and those who share the PRO’s views on how not to play politics, especially the politics of succession in a civilized setting, noted that there is nothing wrong in governors having a preference as to who they would support for elective offices such as the presidency or who should succeed them as governors in their states.
What, he said, is reprehensible, corrupt, unethical and illegal, is what seems to be taking root in Ekiti State where government officials, according to him, are using the state’s resources to openly campaign for an individual even ahead of the time permitted for the commencement of campaigns by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),
In the no holds barred drubbing of the PRO, Prof Aluko, who stressed the need for power to shift to the Southern senatorial zone of the state, warned that “impunity and arrogance of power breed nothing but resentment and loss of that power ultimately,” stressing that “when you compound that with unfairness, injustice and inequity against the South, the result may just be lying in wait for us all.
He specifically condemned what appears to be a tacit endorsement of an individual aspirant as the government anointed consensus candidate by a cabal that has gone to the extent of “directing” local government chairmen and councilors as well as other government employees to use official time, vehicles and other resources of state to organize welcome reception for the individual who only went to Abuja to obtain governorship nomination forms.
Full text of the open correspondence to Segun Dipe by the erudite Professor reads:
Segun Dipe, nobody says that Governors are not important in the choice of Presidents in any country – least of all Nigeria – or in their gubernatorial successor at the state level.
What is unprecedented going on at the Ekiti State level right now is the corrupt, unethical and illegal practice of using public office for private gain: of Ekiti State officials using their official titles to support an aspirant as if GOVERNMENT has adopted a consensus candidate even before the primaries in January. Open campaigning has even begun illegally, with billboards all over the place – against INEC timetable.
That is immoral, unethical and illegal, and will hurt the party of which you are PRO. It is being done with nauseating impunity.
A consensus candidate, if at all, is built from the open conclave of aspirants, not by a secret cabal meeting in secret to anoint a favored person, using unknown and unknowable parameters, convening rigged secret polls, with unknown pollsters and unrepresentative polled, and then asking all to bow down before a “favored” aspirant.
“Won ni won ti gbe! Won ti gbe!”
Gbe kini? Gbe tani? As Femi Bamisile said, “Nkan to gbe, kan gbe’ele!” Asiko o ti to!
How can you have a Commissioner for Local Government “directing” the Chairmen and Councillors of LGs to go to Ikere to welcome an aspirant, who all he has done is return from picking a nomination form? The ALGON then mispeaks that his account was hacked. Come on! What is the big deal of all the carnival of obtaining a nomination form except to try to use “government brute force” to intimidate other aspirants – which is counter-productive and will not work? What is more corrupt and illegal than an array of government officials using government time; vehicles, security personnel, etc to go OPENLY with a candidate to Abuja to pick a nomination form – some adorning badges of government office to boot? What can be more odious when the SUBEB Chair – paid by Government on Government time – openly saying that no man or woman born should oppose the aspirant of his choice? Is that what he was appointed to do – a political megaphone for an aspirant?
What is so important about an aspirant getting paid persons to attempt unsuccessfully to shut Ikere or Ilawe down, or to make life miserable for Ado citizens- because he has picked a nomination form?
This is apart from the total lack of respect being meted out to the Southern Senatorial District by party apparatchiks and collaborators, despite the fact – or in fact maybe because – the Party Chairman is from the South. Ekiti cried marginalization in the Western Region; cried marginalization in Ondo State, and when a District now shouts marginalization after 25 years of state creation, some of you say, “Nothing like that” – and you “get” some people in the South to go along with you because they feel intimidated by government or state “System” as one of them – who knows himself – told me recently.
Impunity and arrogance of power breed nothing but resentment and loss of that power ultimately. When you compound that with unfairness, injustice and inequity against the South, the result may just be lying in wait for us all. These are not in tandem with the ethical values that we touted we wished to restore in JKF2. That is not the continuity that we should be seeking for 2022.
There you have it.