The Comedy of Errors is one of William Shakespeare’s early plays. It is the shortest and one of his most ridiculous comedies, with major part of the humuor coming from joke and mistaken identity. It tells the story of two sets of identical twins – Antipholus of Ephesus and Antipholus of Syracus, sons of Egeon and Emilia, who were accidentally separated at birth.
With their political exposures and experiments or if you prefer, experiences in Ekiti politics, Mr. Peter Ayodele Fayose and Dr. John Kayode Fayemi are likened to the identical twins in Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors. For the past decade or so, both have bestridden Ekiti politics as colossus of sort, with each usurping or attempting to usurp power from the other.
Presently, the stage is set and the last is yet to be heard of the unfolding Comedy of Errors in Ekiti in the build up to the gubernatorial poll, majorly between Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates, not minding that Fikayo Olowolagba in the Daily Post of Thursday, May 17, 2018, listed INEC’s 40 governorship candidates for the poll.
The former Minister of Mines and Steel Development, and the immediate past Governor of the state, Dr. Fayemi, is the flag bearer of APC, while the present Deputy Governor of the state Professor Kolapo Olusola, represents PDP and Mr. Fayose, the incumbent Governor, is intent on ensuring that his party, PDP, slides to victory come Saturday, July 14, 2018.
More or less, this is the battle of the titans. Both are quite familiar with the political terrains of Ekiti politics and it is just the question of who outsmarts who at the end of the day. The Comedy of Errors began with a purported picture of Dr. Fayemi who donned himself in a garb of humility sharing jollof rice “without meat of course,” to the haggard looking citizens of Ekiti.
This gimmick is not new to Nigerian politicians. When elections are around the corner, they always shamelessly do same thing with a sole target of wooing the electorates and winning their votes. Soon after, they would abandon them in their dungeons and continue their exotic lives. When last I checked, I couldn’t recall seeing Dr. Fayemi as a Minister doing the same. The question is, what has changed?
On Tuesday, July 10, 2018, during the APC Mega Rally in Ado Ekiti, where the party stalwarts including President Muhammadu Buhari had gathered in solidarity to Dr. Fayemi, the Honourable Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige upped the ante to the Comedy of Errors currently unfolding in Ekiti political arena.
To the shock, glee, and panic of party faithfuls, Dr. Ngige, in a trending video clip, mounted the podium, with a microphone in hand, and twisted his neck like agama lizard, and opened his mouth wide and said, “Fayose is the better wife. He cooks very well. Mr. President, when Fayose cooks, the food is sweet. So, people of Ekiti, you must bring back Fayose on Saturday.”
It took the kind intervention of one of the Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, I suppose, to remind the Hon. Minister that Fayose is in the opposition and should be upbraided, not praised, in our typical politics of calumny, after all, it was for his sake that APC connived with the IG and sent outrageous number of police personnel to Ekiti.
This is despite the fact that Ekiti is not at war but is relatively peaceful and warming up for “mere” election. One would have thought that citizens’ exercise of their civic responsibilities shouldn’t pose threat to lives. This should be peaceful because contending candidates should ordinarily present their credentials and allow the citizens to choose the better of the candidates.
This was not to be. Writing on the Punch of Monday, July 9, 2018, Adelani Adepegba gave an insight of the number of personnel deployed. “The police,” he reported, “have deployed 30,000 operatives, two helicopters and 250 patrol vehicles.” This is not all, in fact, it’s a tip of the iceberg for more adequate measures are equally being put in place for the “success” of the poll.
Yes, “The deployment,” the police said, “also included 10 Armoured Personnel vehicles, Police Mobile Force Units, Counter Terrorism Unit, the Special Protection Unit, the Anti-Bomb Squad, Conventional Policemen, the Armament Unit, Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department and the Sniffer Dogs Section.”
The Force Public Relations Officer, acting DCP, Jimoh Moshood in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, July 8, 2018, said that “The security operation for the poll would be supervised by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Operations, Joshiak Habila, who would be assisted by an Assistant Inspector-General of Police.”
In addition, “Four Commissioners of Police, eight Deputy Commissioners of Police and 18 Assistant Commissioners of Police” would join Mr. Habila as well. He explained that “Each Senatorial District would be manned by a Commissioner of Police.” All these to ensure “adequate security and safety of life and property before, during, and after the elections.”
If you think enough had been done in terms of provision of security for Ekiti 2018 gubernatorial election, hold your breath for surely, you are grossly mistaken. In the estimation of the police, a lot more needs to be done and so, “four policemen and two others from other security agencies will be on duty at each polling unit throughout the state.”
“The Police Mobile Force, to be headed by a very senior officer, will provide security at the results collation centres” while “other security and safety agencies who are members of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on the Election Security in the State would complement the Nigeria Police during the election.”
“Commissioners of Police and their personnel in the neighbouring states to Ekiti State, such as Ondo, Osun, Kwara, Kogi, Ogun, Edo and Oyo States have been directed by the Inspector General of Police to be on the red alert with their personnel.” There is need too, to ensure an ordered conduct and a non-interference by “foreigners.”
As a consequence, “Restriction of vehicular movement in and out of Ekiti State will commence from 12-midnight of Friday, July 13, 2018. This will last till the end of the election. Travelers and other road users are advised to make use of alternative routes. However, those on essential duties on the genuine course will be granted passage.”
Woow! What a loving security outfit Nigeria has! Look at how they “love” Ekiti citizens to have concentrated such vast resources all for their “safety.” Or am I mistaken? I hope not! And yet, the sudden proactive actions of the police towards Ekiti election in contrast to passive response to the nefarious activities of herdsmen across the country, leaves a lot to be desired.
How comes that in Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Adamawa, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Kogi, Delta, Enugu, Ebonyi and many more, herdsmen killed and are killing citizens in their numbers and yet not 1,000 police men could be found to send there? I thought we were told that we do not have enough security personnel in Nigeria.
Where did we garner the personnel for Ekiti poll? Do you mean to say we mopped our entire security just for a State election? What happens to the remaining segments of the nation in case of invasion?
Well, it appeared that the APC-led FG is bent on winning Ekiti election either by hook or crook. May be, Governor Fayose decoded this and felt they couldn’t out do him in the Comedy of Errors. His was the case of an owl crying in the night and the child dying in the morning as captioned by APC Newspaper of Friday, July 13, 2018, “Nigeria has interesting Comedian.”
In that mocking Breaking News, we read, “A customized tear-gas breaks Governor Fayose’s neck and hand in the midst of his staff in Ekiti State.” Of course, the social media was agog the following day with the news of Fayose being attacked by the combined forces of security agents. He complained of seething in pains and disgracefully broke down in tears publicly.
Well, he who wears the shoes knows where it pinches. In as much as I detest unnecessary harassment of opposition by the APC-controlled FG, I couldn’t understand the stunt Fayose was trying to pull this time around. No matter what, I think he should be man enough in the moment of his adversity and brace up for the challenge. After all, he boasted to be a rock?
On a closer scrutiny still, Dr. Etin-osa Imagbenikaro, brought an interesting insight into the Fayose saga. The outspoken Governor was seen in pictures on the floor surrounded by his aides. In the video clip where he broke down in tears after alluding threat to his life, he was adorned with a neck collar and arm sling ostensibly, to support his “broken” neck or arm?
But this is where the script writer proved amateurish as exposed by Dr. Etin-osa in her helpful tweet: “I actually do not understand this contraption. I’ve tried to hold it in. But I’ve been laughing hard. If anyone tells me they fixed this for him in a hospital, I’d be shocked beyond belief. How do you connect an arm sling to a neck collar that’s bracing a “broken neck?”
That’s a million-dollar whopper–stopper question. In a veiled response, an account on twitter which allegedly belongs to the former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, with the twitter handle @Chief_Obasanjo came handy to lend his voice to the Comedy of Errors being orchestrated by the embattled Governor of Ekiti who was allegedly tear-gassed.
Obasanjo tweeted, “Governor Fayose only impresses illiterates and fools. He’s never in the news for laudable projects, he’s either riding bikes, buying fish and ponmo or insulting someone. For how long are the people of Ekiti going to allow Fayose to keep disgracing them. For how long?” Shockingly, the incidence took place in Ekiti State Government House.
To many, the Comedy of Errors from Dr. Fayemi, Dr. Ngige, the Police and Mr. Fayose would appear as mistakes but I beg to differ. Maybe all of them are in full control of their faculties acting out badly-rehearsed scripts at the inopportune time in the wrong stages. Maybe they had contemplated and decided to act. Recall that this was not the first time this would happen.
During the APC recent Convention in Abuja, one of the clowns in the garb of a party stalwart was busy hailing PDP in the midst of a tumultuous convention. Again, he was to be reminded that it was an APC contrived slogan that should proceed from his mouth not PDP’s. When I sat and reflected, I asked, could these be mistakes or well-articulated? Mistakes! I think not!
Fellow Nigerians, we need to be wise. We need to brace up for action and denounce the hypocrisy of our political leaders who amuse themselves with our plights when it suits them. How comes only when election is at the corner most politicians suddenly become humble and want to befriend us? What kind of friendship is this? In truth, they don’t really care about us!
They are concerned about their electoral victories. We don’t need such parasitic friends. We want genuine friends who will stand by us and with us in our adversities. While we pray for peaceful election in Ekiti, I urge us to, shine our eyes and cast our votes wisely. God willing, we shall overcome the antics of hypocrites and chart a positive course for our nation.
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