Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), last night took another angle from the popular approval of the last weekend’s governorship election in Ekiti State, saying the defeat of his colleague, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, frightened him.
Speaking with journalists after the meeting, the governor disclosed that Fayemi accepted the election result to prevent violence and bloodshed, which he said, could have been erupted as a result of the election outcome, Leadership reports. According to him, “I am aware that there were instructions to cause mayhem during the election and Fayemi decided that rather than allow blood to be spilled, he behaved statemanly.
He saved his people from being slaughtered if they had protested.” He argued that every election is an assessment of what the people think and how people behave, saying that is what is inherent in when votes are counted. Fashola added, “So the lessons that are supposedly coming out of Ekiti are frightening lessons for me. Lesson about whether the people of Ekiti are really saying that this was all about money and rice.
This is because it is very easy to do developmental work but is it difficult to initiate and to execute. And developmental work that brings on change which is what every election ask for, will also from time to time occasion debates and policy trust. And which legitimately must be criticized. It must be a very dangerous message to simply suggest that once you give people money then this is the way it will happen.”
He said the election of Fayose, who is currently standing trial for corruption and murder in different courts in Ekiti state would send a very dangerous message about the country to the international community. “It raises the question of what we have been doing for seven years. Should we just be giving money and when people ask about security, we say we have been giving you money, go and rent your own security.
“When people ask for healthcare, we say that you have collected money. Is that the model for development? These are lessons. I am not suggesting that we monopolize the debate about what the best policy is. But I am saying that there must be another side.
There must be a debate” The governor, therefore, argued that the debate that recognized that development comes at a cost and that even those who are privileged to serve, do not claim to have a monopoly of idea.
“We have demonstrated in Lagos State how flexible we can be about policies if we see a stronger argument.” He faulted the manner the PDP financially induced the electorate and victimized the supporters of the APC, noting that the trend of giving money and distributing various items to garner votes “is a very worrisome lesson to learn.
“When one looks at the way people have behaved one week before the election, no one could say Fayemi will lose the election. The worse anyone could say was that the election look close. “Does a governor whom everyone has said did well, lose in his own ward? If he was such a bad governor, was the deputy bad too? Was the speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly also bad? I know this may be difficult to convey, but I want Nigerians to examine the message and not the messenger.
“I want everyone to remember that Fayose’s party told everyone that the governor-elect has criminal case to answer. They removed him from the office and took him to court. They have not told us that he has been acquainted. They bring him back to the same state. With this, is that consistent with human behaviour? “Will human being behave like that? Memories may have faded, but do they all fade such that the same governor now defeats an incumbent whom everyone said has done well for his people; in all local government area.
“There are issues that I think we need to ponder and ask what really happened. From the human behavioural angle, is there any governor that has lost election like this in the country? If they say that the governor is elitist, where would one express his elitist qualities if not in Ekiti”