A lot has been written about the nationwide protests planned for Monday 6 February spearheaded by superstar singer 2Face Idibia and against the crippling socioeconomic conditions in the country.
2Face’s critics have claimed that he and the protests are being sponsored by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while his supporters have argued that they can relate to the aims of the protest and no one can disagree about the hard times most Nigerians are facing.
However, Ayo Fayose, the PDP governor of Ekiti, and thorn in the flesh of the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari, indicated that he intended to join in the protest on Monday. Fayose tweeted earlier this week: ‘To organisers of Feb. 5 [it is taking place on 6 February] “Enough is Enough” National Protest, you have my total support and I will be part of the protest’.
While every Nigerian should be free to protest as they see fit, Fayose’s taking part would make a mockery of the march. It would clearly undermine the credibility of the protest and its stated goals that 2Face released in a statement: “It is not a platform for politicians of any party to manipulate. I know you will still spin it but for one second leave your battles aside and just listen to people without trying to score cheap political points against one another. It is not a point scoring exercise.”
He went on to list the ills in the country, including education, healthcare, unemployment and cost of government and made clear that these were problems at federal and state level.
So, in effect, Fayose, as governor of a state, is part of the problem that the march is meant to be against. The governor can’t be marching against poor governance and act like those of us without the power and means to make a difference. He is mismanaging his state and yet is one of the biggest critics of similar mismanagement at federal level. No matter how bad Buhari is, if Fayose knew the first thing about governance instead of a lot about corruption, the living conditions of the people of Ekiti would have been improved.
The march should be against Buhari’s misrule in Nigeria and Fayose’s misrule in Ekiti. Fayose taking part in the march is like when he joined workers in his state striking over unpaid salaries, while being responsible for paying those salaries!
Following the reaction of many Nigerians on social media over Fayose’s planned participation, it appears he is now backtracking. His spokesman Lere Olayinka wrote on Facebook: “Anyway, for the sake of clarity, Fayose only declared support for the rally being an opposition figure!”
He should support it from Government House Ado-Ekiti as his presence at the march would turn into a bad joke.