Sam Omatseye and his colony of hatchet writers - By Obafemi Oluwadare
The Nigerian Presidential election will hold in 2023 but the atmosphere is already charged with political activities, movements, meetings and political realignments across the country.
The most noticeable of all the political activities is the recent travails of the diminutive and controversial suspended national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole who is battling for political survival. Closely related to this is the politics of the presidential primaries of the APC which is the underbelly for the Adams Oshiomhole debacle. No doubt, the embattled APC chairman has stepped on many toes as well as done many things wrong by his high handedness which has affected the fortunes of the party in states like Zamfara, Rivers and Bauchi.
Many faceless groups and individuals have been canvassing the candidacy of APC leader and former Governor of Lagos state, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu even though he is yet to declare his intention. On the other hand it is rumoured that Ekiti State Governor, and Chairman Nigeria Governor's forum, Dr. Kayode Fayemi is also eyeing the seat but he has not said so and in fact recently, he denied nursing any presidential ambition but that he was only a bridge builder by mediating in many conflicts across the country. I want to make it clear from the beginning that both Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Dr. Kayode Fayemi are illustrious sons of Yorubaland and they are eminently qualified to be President of Nigeria if they so desire.
However, what I don't understand is the barrage of attacks against the person of Governor Kayode Fayemi by a colony of hatchet writers shamelessly led by one Sam Omatseye, the pompous back page hagiographer masquerading as a columnist of The Nation newspaper, a pen merchant and protege of Asiwaju Tinubu. Omatseye is nothing but an attack dog too full of himself and suffers from self conceitedness.
The hatchet writing started from Idowu Akinlotan's Palladium on Sunday March 8, on the back page of The Nation titled, " Unhorsing Oshiomhole the wrong way" where he called Governor Fayemi many unprintable names which is tantamount to irresponsible journalism. This was followed by Omatseye's diatribe titled, " Adam or Leave" on the back page of The Nation on Monday, March 9. There was yet another one on page 18 in the Nation on Wednesday, March 11, titled, " Oshiomhole vs Fayemi: Tale of Temperaments" by a faceless Oluwasegun Esan, which also castigated Governor Fayemi.
The articles were choreographed and deliberately directed at the person of Governor Fayemi. Let me make it clear from the beginning that I am an Ekiti man and I am very proud to be so and also very proud of my Omoluabi Governor, Kayode Fayemi who within his first year in office as Governor for the second time has restored lost Ekiti values such that people like me can now boldly say I am from Ekiti unlike in the past when we were ashamed to disclose our state of origin. It is because of this that I and many others like me take serious exception to any gang up by so called pen merchants to bring Fayemi's name into disrepute under any guise. We will resist this with all within our disposal and that is not a threat!
Omatseye and Akinlotan without any basis or fact heaped the blame of Oshiomhole's travails on Governors Fayemi and two other governors as if Adams Oshiomhole is blameless! The strength of their argument is weak, and the kernel of their submission is a confirmation of an ulterior motive which is just to attack Fayemi and cow him into submission but they're mistaken!
I once sat close to Omatseye at a public function and I heard him lamenting to another guest from Asiwaju Tinubu's camp that he ought to have dealt with someone in his column but Asiwaju asked him to hold on! That was the day I lost all respect for him. This simply means he is an attack dog against real and perceived enemies of Asiwaju Tinubu even when Tinubu did not ask him to do so.
It is in the same spirit that he has been attacking Kayode Fayemi simply because he perceived he has a presidential ambition! Let's assume without conceding that Fayemi has a Presidential ambition, so what? Is he not qualified if not more qualified than most aspirants in the Southwest? For God's sake, Fayemi is a second time governor, chairman of Nigeria's Governors' Forum and a former Minister of the Federal Republic! All these cannot just happen by sheer coincidence!
By the way, who is Sam Omatseye? What does he want? What does he know? Whose interest is he serving? What's the underbelly of his vitriolic attacks on Fayemi?
Omatseye overstepped his bounds when he derisively referred to Fayemi as the modern day Akintola! How dare him! In case he doesn't understand the history of Yoruba because he is not Yoruba which accounts for his very rude idiosyncrasies, he needs to be educated that Fayemi has not exhibited any trait of Akintola in the sense in which the _fine bara_ (corporate beggar) writer, Omatseye wanted to portray him. Akintola was believed to have sacrificed the interest of the Yorubas on the alter of self aggradisement by rigging an election with the aid of the NPC controlled Federal Government and pitched his tent with the oppressors of the Yorubas which marked the beginning of the end of the first republic and the bloody end of Akintola himself. Fayemi is the exact opposite of the character just described. He won his election square and fair two times, first on 2007/2009 and recently in 2018 a mandate which he still enjoys.
Fayemi lost re-election in 2014 but he was gallant in defeat as he honourably conceded defeat in one of the most quoted speeches in the history of this country and the first time a sitting governor will accept defeat graciously! On the other hand, when it was glaring to all and sundry that Akintola lost election, he refused to relinquish his seat leading to the popular mantra, "Akintola Taku" ( Akintola remained adamant) so Fayemi is not Akintola and can never be Akintola.
If we are talking of the interest of the Yorubas, nobody can claim to love the Yoruba nation more than Kayode Fayemi. He championed the Afenifre Renewal Group which is to be a buffer between the old warring and polarised Afenifere and this has been fostering Yoruba interest ever since. The Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) was the brainchild of Kayode Fayemi who inaugurated the Technical Committee that worked on the DAWN document in Ado Ekiti during his first term as Governor in 2012. The DAWN which now has a commission is aimed at fostering socio economic cooperation among the states which formerly made up the western region. The DAWN commission has bonded the states together more than any force.
Kayode Fayemi was the main mover and architect of the Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed, operation Amotekun to protect he Yoruba nation from criminal elements and we all witnessed how he was attacked from the part of the country jesters like Omatseye accused him of colluding with at the detriment of the Yorubas.
Omatseye is a meddlesome interloper, a foreigner among the Yorubas ( omo atonnrinwa) who has long lost his Itsekiri origin and would rather hibernate and like a parasite, adopt that of another tribe for a pot of porridge! Omatseye should tell us that Yoruba leader who was heavily suspected of not supporting Operation Amotekun for his selfish agenda and who was forced to make a pronouncement only when he was being hit right, left and centre by Yorubas home and abroad! That person was not definitely Kayode Fayemi who we all know was the arrowhead of Amotekun, a security outfit and an agenda that has become a very potent unifying force of the Yorubas which can only be likened to the solidarity recorded among Ekitis during the Kiriji war of the 17th century.
Omatseye may have gotten away with many rubbish he had written against our respected leaders in Yorubaland including desecrating Chief Obafemi Awolowo's family over which he was cursed in the following words of late Mama HID Awolowo in year 2011, “The abject insult that was heaped on my person by Omatseye, for daring to rise above partisanship and pursue the common good, has caused me the kind of pain that can only be dealt with by offering it to God, whose wheel of justice may grind slowly but is guaranteed to grind exceedingly fine", he won't get away with his latest misadventure.
Omatseye will not get away with his latest pastime of rubbishing and pulling down a shining light of the Yoruba nation, Dr. Kayode Fayemi. He shall be matched word for word and pen for pen. Omatseye is not in any way in the same league with Dr. Kayode Fayemi who is cerebral, an intellectual of international repute and an astute administrator and manager of men and resources who has transformed his erstwhile landlocked state of Ekiti to an investors destination.
We still remember how Omatseyes trap was shut by the threat of the immediate past Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson when he started writing rubbish about him because Dickson would not play ball. Dickson simply told him he has his dossier and the blackmailer quietly retreated! If it is the culture in Omatseye's Itsekiri land to rubbish leaders, we will resist that in Ekiti because we cherish our leaders.
Yes Fayemi once lost an election which is normal in a democratic setting but he regained the same seat four years later which is rare in our clime!
Idowu Akinlotan accused Fayemi of playing Machiaveliian politics whatever that means is his own conjecture. The truth about power which Akinlotan and Omatseye should ask Asiwaju Tinubu is that, "Power is not served a la carte"! So they expect Fayemi to be a whipping boy and be rubbished? Is Nigerian presidency the birthright of any individual? Who told you an Ekiti man cannot be President?
If Oshiomhole has management and personality problem, he should make necessary amends if it is not too late. Stakeholders cannot fold their arms and watch Oshiomolle drive the APC vehicle into a ditch simply because some hypocrites like Omatseye believe he will do their bidding in the nearest future.
I wish to sound it loud and clear to Omatseye, Akinlotan, their colony of hatchet writers and their sponsors that they will meet their match in the pen profession if the attack on Dr. Fayemi continues! It is not only ex Governor Dickson who has Omatseye's dossier! Let me end this with a Yoruba proverb that says "ai mose ko lo mu omo orogun tori bo omi gbigbona" (It is the inability of the spatula to reject dangerous assignments that made it put its head inside hot water). And another one, " ti Sango ba n paraba, to n pa iroko, bii to igi nla ko". ( Thunder may strike the Oak and Milicia trees but it dares not touch the Asorin, Mysterious tree).
Omatseye, we are ready for you in Ekiti!
Obafemi Oluwadare, P. hD; writes from Irele- Ekiti