By Ehichioya Ezomon
THE 2019 general elections are about 17 months away, and yet, politicians are unconsciously foretelling what they and their political parties will do or hope they can do to win the votes.
In this regard, the alleged political maneuverings that defined the 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State were literally resurrected recently by Prince Dayo Adeyeye, the spokesperson for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Surely, without meaning to re-litigate the absurdity that came to be known as “Ekitigate” in Nigeria’s lengthening political lexicon, Adeyeye confirmed the hotly contested accusation that the PDP, as the ruling party then, stole the election with the backing of the “federal might” in Abjua.
The former Minister of State for Works was addressing his political supporters in Ado-Ekiti about Governor Ayodele Fayose’s unilateral adoption of his deputy, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, as the candidate, without primaries, to fly the PDP flag in the 2018 governorship poll.
While he criticised the governor’s action as a flagrant breach of the Constitution and the Electoral Act, “which would not stand,” Adeyeye’s main concern is that without the backing of a Federal Government, failure awaits the PDP in Ekiti in 2018.
His lamentation: “The PDP in Ekiti is in a delicate position. We have no federal might behind us. We are not in control of the army, police and others. Again, we are no longer enjoying the popularity with which we came into office in 2014. If you conduct an opinion poll today that does not favour us because of the actions and inactions of this (Fayose) government.”
Prince Adeyeye was a major participant in that election, having aspired to be governor but, according to him, “I would have won 70 per cent of the primary if not for the abracadabra (magic) they did.” A reference to Mr. Fayose and the PDP hierarchy.
The import of his moaning is that were the PDP still in power in the country, the 2018 Ekiti gubernatorial poll – and by extension the 2019 general elections – would have been a foregone conclusion for the party, by employing the instruments of “federal might… control of the army, police and others.”
Here, “others” is anything imaginable, ranging from security agencies, manipulation of the electoral process, and money, which the last time was allegedly in billions, allocated by the federal authorities and airlifted and trucked to Ekiti to help elect Mr. Fayose as governor.
Recall the use of governmental powers then. The flights of opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) governors, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State and Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State were grounded in Benin City and Akure, respectively; and the Army, which was reportedly used to manipulate the electoral process in Ekiti, prevented Amaechi and other party leaders from entering Ado-Ekiti, to campaign for the APC candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
And in Rivers State, besides locking down, for weeks, access to the Government House against then Governor Amaechi, the power mongers organised thugs to stone five visiting northern governors at the Port Harcourt airport.
Thus, nothing could be more revealing about the evil influence of official powers to undermine elections than the Adeyeye bombshell, which appears not his intention to make, but a slip of the tongue: When people unconsciously say something they wouldn’t have said, or would have said it differently.
This is known as a Freudian slip, popularised by Sigmund Freud in his 1901 book, ‘The Psychopathology of Everyday Life,’ in which “he described and analyzed a large number of seemingly trivial, bizarre, or nonsensical errors and slips, most notably the parapraxis (slips of the tongue and of the pen).”
Wikipedia defines a Freudian slip as “error in speech, memory, or physical action that is interpreted as occurring due to the interference of an unconscious subdued wish or internal train of thought.”
In other words, a slip of the tongue “is motivated by and reveals some unconscious aspect of the mind,” such as the one that Prince Adeyeye harboured only to be spilled at a moment of expression of regret.
A slip of tongue is a window into the heart of man, which the Bible describes as “deceitful and wicked.” (Jeremiah 17:9 and Mark 7:21). And anything that issues out of such mouth reflects the state of the mind.
Truly, Jesus Christ, in Matthew 15:18-20 (also Luke 6:44-45), in response to the Pharisees, who questioned why the common people did not wash their hands before eating, said that evil thoughts are cooked in the heart before they come out of the mouth.
As Jesus told the disciples: “Those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart… For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies…”
So, out of Prince Adeyeye’s mouth came those things, which his heart had conceived: That elections are only won by the use of governmental instruments to advance the political fortunes of the ruling party.
This is a dangerous message that he’s sending out to the public. It’s a well-laid alibi for victory or failure in the 2018 Ekiti governorship election in particular, and the 2019 contests across the country: A sort of “we told you so.”
The ruling APC and the government of President Muhammadu Buhari should quickly and forcefully quash this seed being sowed before it takes root in the minds of voting Nigerians.
It’s imperative for the government to rebut the Adeyeye message, and assure that just as the Ekiti political “abracadabra” of 2014 did not occur in the three gubernatorial elections so far conducted under the current administration in Bayelsa, Edo and Ondo states, such electoral heist would not happen in Ekiti in 2018 and in the general elections in 2019.
Indeed, for the government to earn the trust of the people in the electoral process, the assurances must commence, and be demonstrated in the November 18 governorship election in Anambra State.
- Mr. Ezomon, Journalist and Media Consultant, writes from Lagos, Nigeria.