By Sunny Ikhioya
HAS it ever occurred to us, how beautiful and peaceful the world will be, if everyone will learn to apologise, when he/she is on the wrong or at fault? Because, people want to take what is not theirs, the world is assailed with different forms of crises.
The self centredness of man will not allow him to accept defeat, we love to eat our cake and have it. At the root of all the crises is; injustice. Two parties in a dispute cannot be right.
Secondly, the whole world will be a better place to live in, if we realize that; life is a game, a game of choice, the choice we make determines the outcome and the path our lives will take, in the course of our sojourn on earth. If we see life as a game, we must therefore, learn to see victory and defeat as sportsmen, accept decisions in good faith.
All games are not always fair, in football matches and other games, referees make mistakes, like the disallowed goal Nigeria scored in the game against France and the refusal of the referee to issue the red card to the player who ended the world cup campaign of our own Ogenyi Onazi, by deliberate injury. After all, referees are human.
In sports, the games are continuous, that is why, when you lose in one tournament or competition, you go back and do your homework, analyse the possible cause(s) of your inability to win, correct identified mistakes, come back next time and win, haven put those flaws in check.
If you see life as a game, you can lose and still be a winner and earn your respect; witness the tumultuous reception for the Colombians when they arrived home, look at the record of Chief Obafemi Awolowo during his life time; which politician, whether dead or alive is more revered today than him? And, this is inspite of his inability to win at the centre.
Back to the present day, which is actually the focus of this piece, let us look at the out pouring of emotions and appreciation of governor Fayemi’s gallantry in the face of defeat, during the recent Ekiti governorship election.
It was indeed a noble action and only real men – I mean, men who have transcended the mundane – will understand and appreciate this gesture. He has respected the wishes of his people and in the process avoided the needless shedding of blood and avoidable loss of lives. History will definitely, record this in his favour when the history of Ekiti state politics, nay Nigeria is put in proper perspectives.
Let it be made clear to everyone; it is only the governor that the people do not want, that can be successfully rigged out. We all witnessed the strenuous efforts Obasanjo and his PDP party applied in the recent past, to unseat governors Tinubu of Lagos and Kalu in Abia. The people stood by their men and the result from INEC declared it as such. Those stoking the fires of dispute and war in Ekiti state, have failed to understand or follow the dynamics of Nigerian politics.
The election has taken place, all agents of the various parties that contested the election have endorsed the election as credible, independent observers, both from within and abroad have given INEC pass mark, the people of Ekiti are happy with the result, the principal participant has accepted defeat, why are others beating the war drum? Methinks, it is a measure of our underdevelopment and we must begin to shed it off if we must move forward.
In fact, the trend of analysis is beginning to shift towards the denigration of the Ekiti people and, terminologies such as “Stomach Infrastructure” have been invented. The highly respected Professor Niyi Osundare wrote a sarcastic poem, mocking his own people.
Osundare is not residing in Nigeria. One wonders if he has taken the pain to do a study of his own Ekiti folks at the grassroots level, that will give him a better grasp of the situation at home before writing his poem, reducing the total being of the proud Ekiti man to Maslow’s physiological needs level.
Ask any Ekiti man, even those residing in Lagos, they will tell you that the voting, as expressed by the governorship election, was their choice, why provoke them with denigrating analysis?
Amongst the Yorubas, nay Nigeria, the Ekiti people have always been number one in educational exploits. Everything the Ekiti man engages in, he does so, self consciously and knowingly; before you confront an Ekiti man, he will tell you ” I am an Ekiti man, you cannot cheat or fool me”. That is how the average Ekiti man thinks, so any attempt to rationalize the election, in any picture other than what has been declared by INEC is an insult on the Ekiti people.
The truth is that, somewhere along the line, there was a disconnect between Fayemi and his people, and, the people have expressed their opposition to his style through the way they have voted. People should learn from it instead of postulating voodoo theories to cover up for manifest failure. The fall out of this can be seen, by the speed with which governor Oshiomhole of Edo state, retraced his foot steps on the sacked workers and the teachers examination. That is how to do it. There is always another election, learn from your failure and make sure it is corrected the next time.
The noble action of Fayemi is now being smeared by “bad belle” losers, even the wife has joined the fray to discredit the election result.
It is noble to accept the choice of the people, Pope Francis, recently apologized to the whole world for the atrocities committed by some Catholic priests, the Olu of Warri recanted on decisions he took, to allow peace to reign in his Kingdom.
The Ekiti people have made their choice. Let us all learn to imbibe and operate on the principle of nobility in defeat.
Sunny Ikhioya, a commentator on national issues, wrote from Lagos.