And so it came to pass that leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by the president, Muhammadu Buhari, trooped to Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital to rally votes in support of their governorship candidate for Saturday’s election, Kayode Fayemi. There are many things to say about that rally, but the one moment that has gone viral was courtesy of Chris Ngige, the minister of labour.
If you haven’t watched that one minute clip, check it out below:
If you did not watch that, here is what Ngige said:
“Mr. President, leaders of our party, our people are ready, they are ready and on Saturday it will happen. We thank the leaders of our party, especially those from the South West for forgiving the Ekiti people for the mistake they made in 2014. So they won’t make that mistake again. If you marry two wives, you go know which one wey better. Fayose is the better wife… E dey cook, dey give husband food, e no dey give am trouble. So you must bring back Fayose on Saturday.”
Everyone can see the obvious problem with Ngige’s comments. He was there to campaign for “Fayemi” not “Fayose”. In fact, Fayose (who is the current governor) is Fayemi’s opponent, even though he is not on the ballot. He defeated Fayemi four years ago and now is backing his deputy to do the same.
But as bad as Ngige’s gaffe looked, it is forgivable and understandable. The two names – FAYemi and FAYose – have six letters each and both have the same first three letters. Someone who is not speaking thoughtfully or mindfully can easily mistake them at the spur of the moment. Ngige has never been known to be a thoughtful person so gaffes like that are normal for the course
The bigger problem
The bigger problem was when Ngige thanked APC leaders for “forgiving the Ekiti people for the mistake they made in 2014.” In other words, the APC leaders believe that they are doing the people a favour by running for office and leading. They deserve apologies for losing elections. When they are rejected at the polls as they were in 2014, they believe that they have to forgive the people rather than correcting themselves and understanding why they were kicked out. That’s a dictatorship, not democracy. It is an entitlement mindset that would soon justify stealing from the people in office, after all it is a favour not a service. “We forgave them, surely they won’t mind us dipping our hands a bit.” It is a mindset that does not deserve to lead a sewage union but aspires to lead a country. Tragic!