By Emmanuel Aziken
The allegation by Dr. Kayode Fayemi of plots by certain All Progressives Congress, APC chieftains to blackmail him on account of his possible aspiration for the presidential ticket of the party underlines the assertion that the year 2022 would be a year of vicious politicking.
Your correspondent had in this column a week ago advanced the claim that the year, 2022 would be one for extreme politics.
Interestingly, Fayemi’s assertion came a day after President Muhammadu Buhari in his interview with Channels Television claimed that he would continue to hide the identity of his preferred successor so that he or she would not be eliminated.
In a second interview with NTA, the president said that he works for six to eight hours a day, underlining his fragility. However, the context in which Dr. Fayemi put the alleged plots to blackmail him would suggest that those against him are exerting themselves far beyond the eight hour working limits of President Buhari.
Negative as it is, it would suggest that there are people within the APC with the dynamism to work for good or for bad for the country.
Now, Dr. Fayemi was careful in not naming the persons supposedly working to damage him. For now, we will be content to satisfy ourselves with his claim that those rubbishing him are within the APC.
The statement issued by Dr. Fayemi through his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode was titled, ‘Fresh Plot To Defame Fayemi.”
In deciphering the title, it would mean that there had been previous plots or plot against Fayemi. Of course political reporters are conversant with the profiling of the Ekiti governor in some quarters as an ungrateful person who contributed little to his becoming governor. Whether true or not is another matter.
Given the security background of Dr. Fayemi it would mean that the threat may have been potent enough for a man of his repute to come out to seek help. Or was it a false alarm?
Against the background of the claim by the Commander-in-Chief that he would also hide the identity of his preferred successor so that the person would not be eliminated, it is easy to assume that the contest for the APC ticket would be vicious. Buhari and Dr. Fayemi have now confirmed this.
Joining Fayemi’s statement and Buhari’s fears it is easy for some to claim that the APC may have turned into a nest of killers! One may then ask, must a ruling party as the PDP was once accused of, be a nest of killers?
As at the moment, none of the personalities suggested have come out to confirm participation in the APC presidential quest. But among those who have been repeatedly mentioned are Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. Other names within the APC that are mentioned from time to time include Senator Godswill Akpabio, Rotimi Amaechi, and Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
However, the pair of Amaechi and Akpabio are lying low and Akpabio’s bid is said to be farfetched given his newness in the party.
Fayemi said that his antagonist was set to launch a nationwide campaign of blackmail against him from across the six geopolitical zones. This would suggest that the rival the Ekiti governor is inferring has a nationwide support base.
Who between Tinubu, the national leader of the APC, and Osinbajo could have the capacity of launching such a nationwide onslaught against Fayemi?
Of course, it is easy for the simple-minded person to point at Tinubu given his nationwide clout. Is it not amazing that the Tinubu presidential aspiration has become an anthem in states like Kano and Katsina where the deputy governor’s wife is the woman leader of the Tinubu Support Groups?
The Osinbajo momentum is still brewing and his canvassers have focused themselves in the North with the intention of winning the support of the Northern elite class before coming home.
However, suggesting that because Tinubu has a national network would make him Fayemi’s suspect would be reckless.
Asiwaju that most of us know is not given to belligerent or extreme politics, at least when the subject matter is not President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Asiwaju has been hailed here and there, now and again for his forgiving spirit that has drawn former associates who in the past castigated him to his side. Your correspondent was touched to learn of how he went out of his way to visit Dr. Muiz Banire not too long ago when the latter was bereaved. Many who have called him all sorts of names have wandered and returned back home.
Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro are also among the group of former associates who went to join Obasanjo and returned to him.
So, given the vagueness in the Fayemi allegation, your correspondent and the political arena can only guess who Fayemi was referring to. Indeed, beyond the pair of Tinubu and Osinbajo whose camps are also throwing jibes at one another, there are also many out there who are looking forward to contesting. But if the C-in-C is not able to protect his preferred successor from political vagabonds, you can then imagine the fate of the ordinary Nigerian now in the custody of bandits in several forests around Nigeria.