Fayose: The Loyalty of Peter

President Goodluck Jonathan needs friends now more than ever. His re-election loss has thoroughly thinned down his company. That crowd of courtiers and clowns formerly devoted to doting on him and making him happy are porting. They are migrating to greener pasture. They are defecting to the rival party. They are paying courtesy visits on President-elect Muhammadu Buhari and pledging allegiance to him.

Their switch of devotion is as mindboggling in swiftness- the chameleon couldn’t have been fasting in changing coloration – as it is in the population of the betrayers.

Right now, he can probably place a bet on the support and faithfulness of Patience, the woman whose marital vow obligated her to stick with him ‘’ in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer’’ till death intervenes.

That’s why the public vow of Governor Ayodele Fayose to be eternally loyal to President Jonathan is a welcome consolation. He promised to forever adore and defer to Jonathan. He was no fair weather loyalist like others. He would even be pleased to be the ‘’last man standing’’.

Sounds good. I really like it. Fayose will be there if or when other confidants may have long deserted Jonathan. Even if Patience forsakes her husband, Fayose will remain by Jonathan’s side. Fayose will be his ever guaranteed security against absolute loneliness.

Yes. You need a Fayose in your life. All the friends you have in this life don’t matter unless you have a Fayose in the number. Because all your friends will be gone when you really need them.

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When you suffer an incalculable loss, when an unforeseen tragedy in your picture-perfect life and quakes the infrastructure of your self-esteem, when your jolly good acquaintances see more benefit in staying away from you than in partaking in bad turn of fortune, when you sit, like a diseased and abandoned Job on a heap of ash, you need succor. You need the abiding presence of a comforter.

So that thing in his name is working again for Goodluck Jonathan. He won’t be forlorn in retirement. He will have Fayose calling long distance, no matter the cost in airtime. He will have Fayose visiting sometimes to pay homage, with such handsome gifts capable of eliciting exhilaration in the heart of an ex-President. He will have Fayose taking full pages in national dailies to celebrate the birthday of the author and finisher of the Transformation Agenda.

That’s what loyalty means…

Fayose will most likely keep his word. He has demonstrated expensive loyalty to Jonathan in the past.

In the run up to the elections, Fayose fiercely campaigned for Jonathan. He bought newspaper frontpages and plastered them with an explicit death wish for his Master’s rival. He collected all his educational certificates and waved them before a rally, and challenged Buhari to repeat the feat. Fayose preached that a man on the right side of 70 should do nothing save to wait quietly to be interred. Fayose strengthened his argument by citing his own mother. His mother was senile and good for the grave. And Buhari was in Fayose’s mother’s age bracket.

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There is loyalty and there is loyalty.

It is the height of loyalty to be so enamored of your political idol that you have no compunction about caricaturing the woman whose womb shaped you. It is the height of loyalty to trade the frailty of your mother for political hay. It is the height of loyalty to sell the secret of the house.

Fayose’s middle name is Peter. Peter was a tempestuous New Testament character. He was the fisherman who gave up his net and boat for the promise of being the fisherman of men. He was the haughty fellow who boasted that he would be ‘’ the last man standing’’. He boasted that he would stay rooted when other disciples would have fled.

‘’Lord, I am ready to go to Prison with you and to die with you’’.

Peter’s prescient and omniscient Master saw beyond the bragging. He told Peter,’’ the rooster will not crow tonight until you have said three times that you do not know me’’.

And it happened so. It took no more than the weak enquiries of three maidens to collapse Peter’s oath of allegiance and the alarm of the cock to remind him that he had consummated the predicted denial.

It would be interesting to see how this Peter who couldn’t sustain loyalty to his biological mother will fulfill his pledge of eternal loyalty to a stranger.

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