Fayose: Insult, salsa dancing and criminal justice. By Taju Tijani


Last week, the Ayo Fayose’s tragi-comedy left the shore of Nigeria, the land of political shenanigan, to travel to the Caribbean where the chief comedian, Fayose himself, hugged the dance floor to a pyro-gyration of salsa music with a Caucasian lady. Fayose, one of Nigeria’s most audacious hooligan-politicians, after Dino Melaye, delighted all dancing enthusiasts like this writer so much that I was green with envy seeing a man facing serious corruption charges in a hedonistic abandon in a rustic island of ease, sea, sun, salsa and sex.
Would it be safe to say that by this action we are embracing the reincarnation of the second phase of Fayose’s noxious, toxic, raving, rowdy, rambunctious and shambolic social media engagement?  In recent time past, Peter Ayodele Fayose’s political antecedent did not inspire hope. His political Wikipedia reads like a page from a book of infamy. He was variously seen as a gangster, mobster, murderer, predator, venal, blood-thirsty, incompetent, looter, ritualist, phoney, wayward, drunk, dull, desperado, brigand and violent. In Nigeria’s political theatre, these attributes are badge of honour anyway and it always bear fruit among the looters we commonly called politicians. Fayose symbolises all the ugly aberrations of our politicians and he got rich in the process. Lobatan!!!
During his tenure as governor of Ekiti State, he worked on his people’s emotion as an enigmatic grassroots politician. He realised early on that Ekiti was a state seething with hunger and unemployment. With a mixture of populism and proletarian wisdom, Fayose rice bundle became an instant hit going by the snaking queues published in the newspapers. Again, realising that unemployment was a red-eyed demon, our man, acting more like a Croesus, distributed N5,000 to anything that moved then in Ekiti. These gifts or dividends of democracy were his pre-emptive strikes on future looting and corrupt governance. He overwhelmed the Ekiti voters with emergency stomach infrastructure and conquered and reclaimed the soul of its teeming Esaus who were too willing to sell their birth rights for a bag of rice and N5,000.
Since his exit from power and the commencement of his trial for corruption, Fayose has never shown any contrition, rather, the man has maintained a bullish, arrogant, daring and stubborn persona, first to his base, that he is still their hero, and second, to his haters, that Nigeria’s criminal justice system is too weak to convict an alleged felon like him.
Whether we like it or not, his thought cannot be dismissed as the ravings of a lunatic or the product of overactive imagination.
Now, Fayose, Ekiti most lovable rogue, has given the Nigerian public another provocation in the pantomime of his indiscretion to lie to the court that he was going for a medical check-up, which then turned into a jamboree of erotic dancing session in a leafy Caribbean beach. Fayose has been bombing and filibustering the system for years and this latest audacious mockery of our legal system, (going abroad for treatment) if not amended, will open the door for more future abuses especially by politicians on trial for corruption.
Just last October, Fayose, alongside Spotless Limited, his eponymous company, was nailed for corruption. He was charged with an 11-count charge of receiving cash payment of $5 million from Musiliu Obanikoro, who was then the Minister of State for Defence. It was alleged that the money did not go through any financial institution. Through the oscillating variations of delay and collation of more evidence by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Fayose then plumbed the depth of our national insanity and asked to be granted leave to go for a medical check-up abroad. The ex-governor was granted permission to travel to South Africa to attend to his health. He is also expected to appear in court on January 16, 2020, for the continuation of his trial. Then cometh a bizarre moment of insult and assault on our collective intelligence. His unending comedic thriller you might say!!!
When the video of his mindless escape to a paradise hideout went viral, Fayose, the lanky rhino of Ekiti politics, was ungracious, ill-mannered, bullish and rascally. My first response when I viewed the video was to ask why this nation has been platforming a misfit like Ayo Fayose and heralding him as a righteous rebel who could get away with everything. The role of a political playboy does not fit Fayose, a man standing trial for stealing N2.5 billion of public money.
On being caught over his lie, hear his nasty rant: “These haters, when I was on their case, they were crying. Now I’m on my own lane enjoying my life, they are still crying & sucking. Expect more so you can cry more. I’m on medical check-up not admission. Celebrating New Year is my right, haters can hug transformer. Happy New Year.”
This is Fayose at his most insane moment. Where is character, decency and decorum in this statement? As a former public office holder, where is that civilised engagement and respect for the nation that gave him such rare privilege as a former governor? I wonder how the most unhinged apologists of Fayose will defend his midday call on his foes to opt for suicide through transformer hugging. People like him are tied to transformer in a country like China, North Korea and Saudi Arabia for stealing state money. Fayose’s rhetorical depravity which was meant to wrap his ego in the oxygen of public space has turned out to be a statement from a barbarian who has consistently stood against public morality, decorum and decency.
Abroad we are all sharers of Nigeria’s shame. We pray that Nigeria’s challenges will turn into a testimony of excellence, but no, a savage like Fayose is always lurking in the shadows to darken that hope with self-sabotaging behaviour that tends to project our collective humanity as backward, barbaric, thieves, crude, unserious, unintelligent and wicked. Over 20 years of uninterrupted democratic renewal, we are still perversely pleased with the way we tackle corruption.  We are creating a society of grab what you can and nothing is going to happen. Nigeria is lost to both local and international shame; so sunk in corruption that a looter like the thuggish fanfaronade called Peter Ayo Fayose could still remained untouched by our criminal justice system. Many others like Fayose are on the loose and we are running an anti-corruption administration.  We are a global laughing stock.  We are only doing well in the production of more looters in a nation ranked as the poverty capital of the world.
Today we have to appeal even to the avowedly unreasonable among our Judges and Doctors to yield to reason and make it impossible for any politician charged for looting public money to travel abroad for medical check-up when his or her case is being heard in our court. This elitist privilege that allows looters to show contempt and lofty distaste for our laws through monetary manipulation of Judges and Doctors is unfair, oppressive, unjust and has the potential to desecrate our tottering institution of justice – an institution that needs our profoundest esteem.


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