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By Crusoe Osagie
Look what the cats dragged out! Pen for hire, John Mayaki, has crawled out of the mouldy crevices into which he skittled after he failed spectacularly along with his paymasters in their attempt to malign the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.
In the run-up to the September 19, 2020 governorship election where Obaseki recorded a resounding victory, whose echoes shall be sustained across Nigeria for decades to come, Mayaki broke all journalism ethics in his effort to malign the governor of Edo State, towards the end of getting him out of office with the aid of lies and barefaced blackmail.
He failed woefully that time. Edo people saw through him and saw him for what he truly is – a mere assailant who hides behind the falsehood he scripts on the pages of newspapers and on social media.
Although Mayaki tendered an unreserved apology to the governor for acting irresponsibly in the line of duty as a reporter after Obaseki had vanquished all Mayaki’s paymaster, somehow, we knew that once he exhausted the blackmail money he received from his sponsors, he was most likely to resume his mischievous trade as hunger begins to bite.
Because we know him all too well, the passionate appeal in his apology was rightly discountenanced as it was as worthless as the sheet of paper it was written on.
Curiosity led me to look through the recent piece he circulated on WhatsApp with the hope that perhaps some miraculous reformation must have taken place in his life in the last two and a half years. Alas, he did not fail to disappoint: He remains as daft and unrefined as he has always been.
In the piece, he went on and on about the governor mentioning that Governor Obaseki was particular about delivering 1.5m votes to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his running mate, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa, who hails from Delta State. For him, this was impossible because the figures do not match.
Let’s look at the fine details. In the 2015 presidential election, PDP polled a total of 1.2m votes while the APC scored just a little over 48,000 votes. In the same election, in Edo State, the PDP polled 286,869 votes while the APC scored 208,469 votes. In 2019, while the votes dipped in Delta as the two major parties polled 815,354, it rose marginally in Edo with the two parties polling 543,533 votes.
Then, when you add other variables, such as population growth, new voter registrations and more young people getting to the voting age, it is obvious that the projection by Governor Obaseki that the PDP would secure 1.5m votes between Delta and Edo States is not farfetched.
One is then forced to ask what Mayaki was smoking when he was writing the hogwash and if he even has the faintest grasp of population trends or the patterns that influence the rise in voters. He obviously has a phobia for numbers. He displayed as much in the diatribe, where he could not imagine how possible the numbers reeled by the governor could come to be. It should agitate the mind that Mayaki fails at every point to appreciate the current realities and is still trapped in the expired politics of his paymasters.
His attempt to rubbish other achievements of the governor fall flat, are lame and speak to his small-mindedness. It would take one who cannot appreciate the trappings of an advanced society to talk down on the lofty achievements of Governor Obaseki in human capital development, civil service transformation, power sector reforms, agricultural development, and infrastructure upgrade, among others.
So, it is the right time to ask Mayaki to focus on reviving his dead career instead of venturing into matters that are far above his pay grade. A sore loser, he has and will continue to languish with the angst of a failed journalist, who could have attained greatness, but is unable to because he couldn’t summon the mettle to say no when they send him on infantile errands to tar the just and fair with his fouled pen.
Crusoe Osagie is the Special Adviser on Media Projects to the Edo State Governor