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#OtvOPINION: #2015: APC and the integrity factor by Segun Dipe

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For a potpourri of reasons, the 2015 presidential
election will be the most challenging as well as
the most keenly contested in Nigeria. Next only
to the 1960 election when the country earned
its independence from the colonial masters. It is
one in which character will play an all important
role in determining where victory will swing at
the end of the battle.
In its preparation for the election, the fight in
the All Progressives Congress seems to be
pushing the ruling Peoples Democratic Party to
the cliff already. Yet the party cannot take
anything for granted at the point of choice
making, which its adversaries hold as an ace
against it. So many hurdles must still be crossed
and these come with very serious
considerations. Already, the PDP sees this
moment of selection as the hour to strike. It is
waiting to see APC disintegrate at the point,
having referred to it as a huge smoke that was
circumstantially thrown up and would soon fade
off. This pessimistic view is premised on the fact
that the emergence of APC last year could at
best be regarded as a rainbow coalition.
Some of the factors that must come to play in
its selection process include, but not limited to,
consideration for religion, zoning and degree of
sacrifice as well as display of selfless passion.
However, in all of these, the APC must clinically
search for one important factor that will
essentially distinguish it from the ruling PDP, the
party that seems to have run its full cycle
already, and only waiting to be defeated at the
poll. The factor, no doubt, is integrity. This
factor will not only give the APC an edge over
the PDP, it would also come handy in running
the affairs of this country.
In a recent statement credited to Chief John
Odigie-Oyegun, the Chairman of the APC, he
was quoted as saying that the party gave a deep
thought for every member of the convention
planning committee, but found the choice of a
chairman particularly difficult and was even
looking for a retired chief judge at a point. “But
by flash of inspiration, it occurred to us that
there is somebody in our midst who can be
described virtually as white as snow,” Odigie-
Oyegun added. That person came out to be Dr.
John Kayode Fayemi, a former Governor of Ekiti
State.
By this singular act, the APC has shown that it is
taking every step cautiously in ensuring that it
throws only its best possible within the cultural,
religious and moral limitations into the ring. If it
does, the party will be stoking the fire of hope in
the hearts of so many disillusioned people, who
had been wondering about what manner of
leadership the country’s mosaic political parties
should nudge forward in the 2015 election. If it
would go beyond this immediate assignment
and consider featuring the integrity tag-team
like such that can be provided by a retired
General Muhammadu Buhari and a Dr. John
Kayode Fayemi as its presidential and vice-
presidential candidates respectively, then it will
not only be good to go, but be too strong to
beat at the election.
Despite his relative youthfulness, Fayemi is
never moved by adversity. Rather, he is
strengthened by it. He has strong staying power
as a long-distance runner, yet his level-
headedness is second to none. His credit rating
is very high. He is widely seen as responsible
and reliable in the league of those who can be
trusted with state assignments and do it
creditably well, with sincerity of purpose and
great humility. He is a team player who plays
the followership role with the same dexterity as
he plays a leadership role.
Mindless of his fraudulent denial of a second
term bid at the poll, Fayemi, within 24 hours of
the announcement of Ayodele Fayose as the
winner of the highly controversial June 21, 2014
governorship election in Ekiti State, chose a path
of honour least travelled by Nigerian politicians,
congratulated Fayose and moved on, leaving his
party to unravel the mystery at the tribunal.
This is a record in contentment noticed even by
those who perpetrated the fraud.
Outside the Government House, Fayemi has
since been incredibly busy on very important
and most times, highly visible engagements, the
way a Bill Clinton would do in the United States.
These are assignments e is either assigned by
governments or by international agencies.
National institutions, organizations groups or
even communities cannot stop inviting him. He
has become sucked into the vortex of
international diplomacy, CSO activism, party
assignments, giving lectures and so on.
The 2015 election must be fought and won on
such platform of integrity. It is the kind that can
be fought successfully with a Buhari-Fayemi joint
ticket. The reason is not far-fetched: the 2015
presidential election has the trappings of
fastidiousness. There is disillusionment in the air
already and only the credible or seemly credible
ones may be good enough for the country,
which has gathered all the negative accolades to
itself for all the wrong reasons. Hopefully, 2015
will be a bottoming-up year for Nigeria.

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Earlier published on Opinions.ng

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