A manipulator of Fayose’s calibre would employ a great deal of sarcasm and put-downs to increase fear and self-doubt in his victim in order to make others feel unworthy and therefore defer to him
There is no blame game here; rather there is the need to present facts as they currently are. Ekiti State is fast becoming a ghetto, courtesy of the actions of its incumbent governor, Mr. Peter Ayodele Fayose. It is not the first time that he would be mounting the saddle and straddling the soul of the state to his waist. It is his second term as the governor and he has made it his stock in trade to emasculate and reduce Ekiti to a henpecked state. To the people of Ekiti, Fayose is hubris personified. He is a social welfarist and a man from among them. Yet he has courted enough controversies to last the state for decades.
He loves and lives it. His other name is impunity. He has mastered the art of “carrying his people along” by manipulating their reasoning and by making them feel satisfied with the little. He twists and turns facts to present the people as the direct victims of his enemies’ actions. Anything done to correct the misadventure of Fayose is done to hurt the people of Ekiti. Fayose is an enemy of decent living or development. He rides on Okada to attend to official duties, he eats banana in the public, and he is ever wearing casual outfits to depict “simplicity.” He has warned his people not to expect any developmental structure, but to simply eat their fill.
Fayose, the “hommie gov,” is not aspiring to an elite status, so why should anyone else? It is therefore no big deal that Ekiti has again become an all-time low state less than 10 years after it was bailed out of the same situation. Hitherto known as the Fountain of Knowledge, Fayose in his first term in office converted it to Fountain of Nonsense but was later rescued from his maladministration, handed over first to Engr. Segun Oni and later Dr. John Kayode Fayemi who upgraded the State to the Land of Honour and Pride. Today, Ekiti is being widely referred to as a Ghetto State and its people are being called Vulnerable Nigerians.
A real pity that the smell of impunity, brigandage and gangsterism oozing out of the state is so putrid that it has become an example of how not to run a state in the present-day Nigeria! There is no place in this world more unattractive than the ghetto. The ghetto is for rough life, true thugs and never do-wells. In his award-winning novel, Stargirl, Jerry Spinelli described a ghetto as a place where children grow down instead of up.
Yet through his singular acts of impunity, the incumbent governor has decided to bestow such an ungraceful honour on Ekiti State.The present governor himself is a ghetto man and he is proud to be labeled as such. He lives it and loves it. He is obnoxious, loud, rude, with limited vocabularies, uses foul language, and has no respects for anyone within a three-foot radius. Yet he has the soul of the state straddled to his waist. Or so it seems. He manipulates the people at will and gives them the false hope that all will still end well, only if they would tarry a bit more with him.
According to psychoanalysts, manipulators like Fayose exploit some vulnerabilities that may exist in their victims, such as the “disease to please,” addiction to earning the approval and acceptance of others, Emotophobia (fear of negative emotion; i.e. a fear of expressing anger, frustration or disapproval), lack of assertiveness and ability to say no, blurry sense of identity, and low self-reliance. Manipulators generally take the time to scope out the characteristics and vulnerabilities of their victim. And like every manipulator in history, Fayose is not acting for the fun of it.
He has various possible motivations, paramount among which are the need to advance his own purposes and personal gain at virtually any cost to others, a strong need to attain feelings of power and superiority in relationships with others, a want and need to feel in control a.k.a. control freak, covert agenda, criminal or otherwise, including financial manipulation (call it con or 419, if you wish). So how does Fayose carry out his nefarious activities? He lies, either by omission or commission, he denies or refuses to admit that he has done something wrong; he rationalizes or spins, trying to minimize the effect of his action on the people.
Sure, most manipulators assert that their behaviour is not as harmful or irresponsible as someone else was suggesting, for example, saying that a taunt or insult was only a joke. Other manipulative strategies adopted by Fayose include selective inattention or selective attention. Make no mistake that he is a dunce or a fool that knows next to nothing. Fayose as a manipulator simply refuses to pay attention to anything that may distract him from his agenda, whenever he says things like “I don’t want to hear it” or “I don’t want to do that.” Of course, he also uses diversionary tactics, not giving a straight answer to a straight question and instead being diversionary, steering the conversation on to another topic.
He uses evasion, giving irrelevant, rambling, vague responses, weasel words. Fayose uses covert intimidation, throwing the victim to the defensive by veiled threats. He uses “Guilt trip,” a special kind of intimidation tactic, suggesting to the conscientious victim that he does not care enough, is too selfish or has it easy. This usually results in the victim feeling bad, keeping them in a self-doubting, anxious and submissive position. A manipulator of Fayose’s calibre would employ a great deal of sarcasm and put-downs to increase fear and self-doubt in his victim in order to make others feel unworthy and therefore defer to him.
This sort of tactics can be very subtle such as a fierce look or glance, unpleasant tone of voice, rhetorical comments, or even make one feel ashamed for daring to challenge him. It is an effective way to foster a sense of inadequacy in his victim.
On some occasions, Fayose could be playing the victim role, portraying himself as a victim of circumstance or of someone else’s behavior in order to gain pity, sympathy or evoke compassion and thereby get the sympathizers attention and support. Caring and conscientious people cannot stand to see anyone suffering and a manipulator in the class of Fayose often finds it easy to play on sympathy to get cooperation. More than any other, Fayose had resorted to vilifying his victim.
This tactic is so powerful that it is capable of putting his victim on the defensive while simultaneously masking his aggressive intent. He would then falsely accuse his victim as being an abuser in response when the victim stands up for or defends themselves or their position. And to wrap the people in his emotion cocoon, Fayose is playing the servant role; cloaking his selfserving agenda in guise of a service to a more noble cause. For example he keeps saying he is acting in a certain way to be “obedient” to the people or in “service” to them or “just doing their job”.
He is gifted in the art of seduction, using charm, praise, flattery or overtly supporting others in order to get them to lower their defenses and give their trust and loyalty to him. He would also offer help with the intent to gain trust and access to an unsuspecting victim he has charmed. As if these are not enough, Fayose scapegoats in often subtle, hard-to-detect ways. Often,he would project his/her own psychotic thinking onto the victim, making the victim look like he/she has done something wrong.
Manipulators will also claim that the victim is the one who is at fault for believing lies that they were conned into believing, as if the victim forced the manipulator to be deceitful. All blame, except for the part that is used by the manipulator to accept false guilt, is done in order to make the victim feel guilty about making healthy choices, correct thinking and good behaviors.
It is frequently used as a means of psychological and emotional manipulation and control. Feigning innocence is another trick. Manipulators like Fayose try to suggest that any harm done was unintentional or that they did not do something that they were accused of. Often times, he puts on a look of surprise or indignation. This tactic makes the victim question his or her own judgment and possibly his own sanity. He feigns confusion as well.
Fayose tries to play dumb by pretending he does not know what the victim is talking about or is confused about an important issue brought to his or her attention. He intentionally confuses the victim in order for the victim to doubt his/her own accuracy of perception, often pointing out key elements that he intentionally included in case there is room for doubt.
Sometimes he would have used cohorts in advance to help back up their story, and sometimes he would brandish anger and rage to shock his victim into submission. Well, Fayose is not actually always angry; he just puts on an act. He just wants what he wants and gets “angry” when denied. Such controlled anger is often used as a manipulation tactic to avoid confrontation, avoid telling the truth or to further hide intent.
There are often threats used by him to falsely report abuses that he had intentionally contrived to scare or intimidate the victim into submission. Blackmail and other threats of exposure are other forms of controlled anger by Fayose and manipulation, especially when the victim refuses initial requests or suggestions by him.
The last but not the least; Fayose knows how to use Bandwagon Effect. He comforts his victim into submission by claiming that many people already have done something, and the victim should as well. These include phrases such as “Many people like you…” or “Everyone does this anyways.”
•Dipe, a Public Affairs Analyst, writes from Ado- Ekiti, Ekiti State