Every so often, a boorish character we are forced to put up with, drops on our universe.
You don’t have to do anything out of the ordinary to earn these characters. They just happen. They force themselves on us, maybe as punishment for sins committed by our ancestors. They are in our faces and won’t go away, no matter how much we wish them away. Like a bad coin, they dominate the news cycle every other day, for all the wrong reasons. Kanye West, Donald Trump, Idi Amin Dada, Muammar Gaddafi, Mobutu Sese Seko, Femi Fani Kayode, Ali Modu Sheriff, Queen of the Coast and Ayodele Fayose.
As Ekiti State governor for as long as anyone can recall, Fayose won’t just go away. He enjoys being in the news because he considers himself the news. Cantankerous, oafish, rambunctious and bullish all at once, he’s become Nigeria’s worst nightmare. You have to hark back several years in our checkered history to find a more unruly state executive. It says a lot about our values as a people when a murderer, motor park thug, unabashed cultist, a self confessed purveyor of evil, rabble rouser par excellence, ascends to one of the highest offices in our queer federation.
But here he is, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, sitting as governor of Ekiti State, all rambling thug of him; a man better suited to our public car parks as an agbero–who should be forcefully soliciting for stipends from motorists with a throaty voice that oozes of alcohol and agbo jedi–his natural habitat.
Here he is, in our faces on national television every other day, making very little by way of commonsense, appending his signature on cheques and joining civil servants on a strike. Here he is, uncouth, unruly and unleashed, hurling insults at the country’s first citizen and considering that act worthy of sainthood. Here he is, at an empty mall in China, wooing invisible investors.
Our country’s eternal shame, exporting his idiocy to the world. A scar we can’t polish away.
I have been reminded online and offline that should Fayose contest the governorship job of Ekiti 10 times, he’ll emerge winner 10 times. I have been told that the masses adore the pretend leader who delves into amala with them on the street corners, even if that same leader has no vision or plan for how to run a state. I have been told that an agbo jedi governor is beloved even if he can’t pay salaries and siphons the treasury into his personal estate. I have been told that as long as he keeps cutting Ponmo in the market-square with a fake grin to boot, he’s earned the right to be governor. In which case, we can all throw up our hands in despair and head home.
In the last couple of days, Fayose’s bank account has been frozen and he’s picked fights with his favorite punching bags–the first family and president Buhari. It has become clearer, however that the agbero governor is feeling the heat and that sometimes, what passes for a boisterous exterior is no more than a ploy to deflect attention from his thieving, corrupt interior. I can imagine the man at night, unable to sleep when no one is watching, petrified of his own shadow, scared of what tomorrow holds. A bully during the day and a sissy under the sheets. Look even closer and you’ll discover it’s all bluster.
Aisha Buhari was right. This mad dog needs to be chained and fast. But if that fails, when his immunity is stripped off him a few months hence, it will be time to herd this mad dog to the doghouse–where he truly belongs.
We’ll wait. It’s the least you can do when a boorish character drops on your universe.
Jude Egbas is on Twitter as @egbas