With the recent declaration to run for the 2019 presidential election, the governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, the vociferous and, sometimes seen as radical politician, is treading a path which many within his age bracket have not dared to take in the history of the Nigerian democracy.
Political analysts argue that Fayose’s declaration to run for the 2019 presidency speaks volume. In the first place, he has shown that he is a man of courage, having dared to declare to run for presidency against the strategy of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which has zoned the office to the North.
But for some political analysts, by his move, he has made a loud statement that it is time to change the status quo in the way politics is played in Nigeria, and perhaps within his party. According to a commentator, “a situation where political parties monopolise the rights of people because few people gain from their acts, a Fayose deserves commendation for daring to take the road less travelled…” Indeed, Fayose’s action shows that, perhaps, he wants to break that political trajectory and allow conventional democratic principles and processes to prevail. A democratic process where people with the requisite qualification, irrespective of the zone they come from, have the right to indicate interest and participate in the normal party democratic processes of nominating the best from the lot without restrictions.
Moreover, hitherto, the Ekiti governor has argued that it is time for the older politicians to take the back stage, so that the younger ones can take over the reins of leadership of the country. For observers, the step he has taken is in conformity with his firm belief in this ideology. Although Fayose is not oblivious of the huddles his decision to pursue his presidential ambition would create under the circumstance, political watchers however, believe that he appears resolute and confident to follow through, even in defeating the incumbent, President Buhari. “Twice, I defeated incumbents to become the Governor of Ekiti State and I am confident that with your support as my party leaders and supporters, I will defeat the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari, in a free and fair election.” Fayose said.
But does he have what it takes to weather the political storm ahead? According to analysts, whether or not Fayose pulls though, his action would certainly leave a remarkable mark on Nigerian politics.