The Ekiti 2014 gubernatorial elections which held on Saturday, June 21 returned Ayo Fayose as victor over incumbent governor, Kayode Fayemi. The results of that election reminded of five lessons which I had hitherto forgotten:

1)       Ekiti 2014 and the re-definition of a good man

By Vincent Nzemeke (@vincentnzemeke on twitter)

“The result of the gubernatorial election held in Ekiti state this weekend evoked memories of a stage play I watched at the Muson Centre, Lagos sometimes in the 2011.

Although it was an adaptation of Chinua Achebe’s famous book ‘A man of the people’, the play which also had the same title was tweaked to fit into the reality of modern day Nigeria.

Debuting just weeks before the 2011 general election, it was a political satire that portrayed our lives as a people. It was set to depict the complexity of elections in Nigeria and how the perception of the people can affect the outcome of an election.

In the play, Tobi an American returnee was vying for a senatorial seat with Chief Omobolaji Bello, a stark illiterate who had accumulated so much wealth from his position as the one and only chairman of the biggest motor park in the community.

During the campaign, Tobi marketed lofty ideas and visions for the community to the people. He waxed lyrical about how he had spent his time and personal resources to develop the community and went about with a list of what he had done and the many things he hoped to achieve if given a chance to represent the community at the Senate.

Chief on the other hand, had a carnival-like campaign that touched every nook and cranny of the community. He had itinerant dancers who made a show everywhere his train stopped. He spent a better part of the campaign period throwing jibes at Tobi and telling the people not to allow him corrupt them with his foreign ways. And of course, he had a deep pocket from which he doled out money relentlessly to the people.

To cut the long story short as we say in this part of the world, when it was time to vote, the people settled for Chief Bello. They rejected the lofty ideas and vision of young Tobi and settled for the chief who had over the years connived with politicians to under-develop the community.

At the end of the performance, the leader of the advocacy group that organized the play asked us (the audience) why the people chose Chief Bello. There were many opinions because everyone had an explanation for what we had just seen. But at the end, we all agreed that there would never be an acceptable definition of “the man of the people”, especially as it relates to politics in Nigeria.

As the results trickled in from Ekiti on Saturday, that million dollar question resonated in my mind. It was obvious from the early results that Fayose, the PDP candidate had a commanding lead.  I was curious to know why the people of Ekiti where it is said that almost every family has a professor would send a cerebral governor like Kayode Fayemi of APC packing and replace him with a man who was impeached some years back.

If the people of Ekiti could turn their backs on a governor whose performance in the last four years has been adjudged to be well above average even by his political rival, who then is qualified to be called a man of the people?

Is it the man with an eye on posterity who devotes himself to building infrastructures and delivering other dividends of democracy that can be bequeathed to the next generation or the one who simply gives the people what they need to survive today?

Since the election ended, I have read tomes of commentaries in newspapers and social media platforms that are at best ridiculous. The Fayose lackeys will tell you that their man won because PDP is better than APC but I don’t buy that.

I have always described both parties as two sides of a bad coin because they are different only in names and symbol. The broom is as corrupt as the umbrella.

The election in my estimation was a protest against Fayemi who even in the halcyon days of his administration had been accused of running an elitist government. I once had a chat with a civil servant from the state who told me point blank that the man was way too sophisticated for the ordinary man in Ekiti.

According to him, Fayemi junkets from one part of the country to the other delivering lectures about how the future of Ekiti would be better while the people lack the basic things they need to live through today.

Fayose, methinks won this election because he is a good man in the Nigerian sense. You see in this clime, no one cares a hoot about tomorrow; we live for now and simply leave the future to take care of itself.

Fayemi concentrated on what posterity would say about him, Fayose bothered only about what those living now think about him. That is why it is so easy for him to connect with the lowest of the low in Ekiti and get them to vote for him.

I am also of the view that Fayemi devoted too much effort to social media rather than getting to the grassroots. As one of the tweets circulated on Saturday puts it: “the peasants and ordinary folks in Ekiti who voted for Fayose have no Twitter and Facebook accounts. The governor should have known that the bulk of those singing his praise on the social media don’t even have time to vote. Fayose did not brag on Facebook, he did not gather followers on Twitter, he went to the people and that was what mattered at the end of the day.

All said and done, Ekiti 2014, has given me a perfect definition of a good man in today’s Nigeria. I believe this new definition will also be useful to those of us aspiring to venture into politics sooner or later.

A good man is he who does not give a hoot about what posterity would write or say about him, he simply lives for now. A good man is not he who talks about leaving a legacy for generations yet unborn; he is the one who shares food, money and other essentials needed by the masses to live through today.

When I finally decide to begin my political career, I hope to be a good man.”


As written by Vincent Nzemeke, a friend, brother, former and future colleague who blogs at vincentnzemeke.blogspot.com

2)       When I finally decide to begin my own political career, I hope to be a good man too; a good man who has a twitter account.


3)       An incumbent cannot lose a re-election bid in Nigeria unless (a) he slapped a priest in Owerri; or (b) he is not a good man. P.S: Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will do well to know this in view of 2015.


4)       Our leaders are not forced to be who they are not by their positions of authority or by political parties or by ‘pressure’; they elect to be the IGODO masquerades they turn out to be.


5)       “Leadership itself is merely the opportunity to serve & power is a God-given resource with which we are meant to change lives for d better” – Kayode Fayemi.





  1. A good man is he who does not give a hoot about what posterity would write or say about him, he simply lives for now. A good man is not he who talks about leaving a legacy for generations yet unborn; he is the one who shares food, money and other essentials needed by the masses to live through today………..Great Article!

  2. ‘If u cannot beat dem, y not join dem?’ OR ‘The man hu runs away today lives to fight another day’…
    hmn… Epic statements most apt in dis generation; statements dat suggest, on the surface, a pragmatist, bt at d cores NO INTEGRITY – a core through which cowardice gently filters through.
    Never was it told that d world was absolutely free from corruption, or that men less sought for d ‘mundane’ things of life or wot i might refer to as d Basic Needs of man. If so, men did not suddenly develop likening for the man who provides dem dere needs- infact, historical events which had taken place in ancient times can proove dis. And so, how come a good man has suddenly been redefined?
    Dt statement …….redefined’ is but an offspring huz ancestral core is the man hu runs to fight again.
    For heaven’s sake goodness is an objective reality (truth) which is not subject to opinions, hence cannot be redefined. Wot has perhaps not been understood, is dat a good man is a GOOD MAN, and a LEADER IS A LEADER. Warren Buffet has dis to say abt a leader: that ‘a leader is one who has followers- nothing more nothing less’. Ultimately, a leader must have a vision, and influence his followers to key into dat vision. If people hav not tolled in line, with ur vision, then as a leader hav u failed!
    In dt case, let not excuses be given for one hu has failed in his task of influencing followership, only to leverage on d long standing credible definition of a GOOD MAN. In times past Jesus did it; bad as he was, Adolph Hitler also did it; not so far frm our time Madeba tot us dt same value; and before our very eyes Fashola stands as an ICON.
    So, Emeka and others hu may hv considered being that cowardly ‘good man’, before u take up dt political office, be a leader-with a vision, integrity, and ability to influence followers, and not a PUPPET hu wud dance to d tune of his ‘blind’ followers. Or better still, if a good man has been redefined, then DEFINE IT!

  3. If the people of Ekiti unanimously voted Fayose, i really do not think it bothers me. When the time comes, they will tell the tale.

    • I think there is a sort of general nod as to the fairness of the elections, so yes I agree with your stand, Tobe. It’s just astounding still, our sense and modes of judgment

  4. Well, as to the people’s sense of judgement, I do not know abt that. Bt, prior to the election, I k.ew Fayemi would loose if d election was free and fair. There were so many pointers. The one I really noticed was the grassroots were not happy with him. The bike riders, the market women, those I spoke with agreed he was not delivering on his promises. Though I saw good roads, electricity was fairly good, security was ok and public schools were being renovated, they were not still happy with him. Y? I really dont know. Guess Fayose capitalised on that.

    • Wow! Really? This is a revelation oh…first we’re hearing on here from an eye-witness. Question now is: what else could a man have promised his people that had left them bitter and still unsatisfied after he’d given them power and infrastructure? Who has these answers?

      Anyi, thanks for sharing oh

  5. Though Fayemi gave basic amenties, I mean I must commend that Ekiti have very good roads. Yet there were pointers like anyi rightly said. I spoke with my teachers at my PPA and they were bitter, they weren’t getting good benefits for their profession. Rather than take care of immediate needs of the people, Fayemi spent so much on those infrastructures. Of what good would a smooth road be to me if I don’t have money at hand to pay for my t.fare? I also gathered from the people that, although they knew that Fayose’s first regime wasn’t good(more of defacto kinda) yet he met their needs at the grassroot( today’s Niaja mentality-give me food for my stomach and leave the rest). Fayemi was a good governor buh Fayose is the man of the people-he gave them what they wanted 2 buy their votes. They should get ready for the Fayose’s era, we hope it’s good dis time.

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