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Fani-Kayode and political volte-face

By Ayoola Faseyi
12 October 2021   |   3:43 am
Political cross carpeting is as old as man. The game of politics is primarily motivated by interests. It is worse in Nigeria and Africa as there is no ideology in the polity.

[files] Femi-Fani Kayode (R) meets the President, Muhammadu Buhari (C) and APC national caretaker committee, Mai Mala Buni in Abuja Photo: Femi Adesina/Facebook

Political cross carpeting is as old as man. The game of politics is primarily motivated by interests. It is worse in Nigeria and Africa as there is no ideology in the polity. Politics is still in its pristine form as there is no iota of intellectual discourse to it. It is not issues-driven and it is sturdily backed by sheer sentiments like zoning, tribalism among many asinine pursuits. Historians will recall that five members of the National Council for Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC) defected to the rival Action Group (AG) in 1952 which prevented Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe from becoming the Premier of the Western Region in 1952. I have actually been indifferent to the cross-carpeting and political prostitution of our political players. Until a law clearly bans defection or explicitly prevents a politician from contesting elections on a platform he just joined for two years, would we stop this current spate of defections.

Femi Fani-Kayode like other politicians is within his rights to decide on whichever platform he belongs to. I believe he should not be unduly criticized for ditching his political party for another. After all, Governors and Senators joined and the heavens did not fall! Even a sitting Vice-President left the party he was elected under to the opposition party back in 2007.

There is this furore and anger from both sides of the divide if a political player pitches his tent with the other side, the emotional inclination of some supporters of a political platform may get in the way. The problem I may have with FFK’s case is getting away with some statements in the past that had proved to threaten the stability of the country. Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, a Harrow and Cambridge educated lawyer is no doubt a smooth talker and a very gifted writer as this may prove to be his major strength. He has not stood for elections ever before but has been seen as a political asset to any political platform he belongs. This was evident when then-President Goodluck Jonathan poached him from the opposition to appoint him his re-election spokesperson in 2015.

Jonathan lost the polls and FFK transformed from being a governing party politician to an opposition critic. Hell was let loose, as Fani-Kayode was not only acerbic with his pen; he crossed the line on a number of occasions.

Apart from his petty emotional outbursts where he not only body shames those he disagreed with, he went on to incite and fan embers of war among Nigerians.

He began to make wild conjectures, conspiracy theories and aligned with whatever could promote discord in the polity. Expectedly, he had a retinue of followers on his social media platforms – close to a million followers on Twitter who were awed by his mastery of the pen. He was bold to make accusations against the government and was able to convince a lot of Nigerians that the President and the APC are killers.

He made wild allegations of Islamization and Fulani hegemony, caused suspicion between the multicultural populace insinuations against the Fulani, the Muslims, and others. In April 2018, he had emphatically accused the President of killings when he said: You kill Christians and Shiite Muslims and at the same time you release Boko Haram terrorists and protect murderous Fulani herdsmen. You are not a human being but a beast. You are satan’s firstborn: an acolyte of the devil, a servant of the Baphomet, and a shieldbearer of Lucifer.
— Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) April 18, 2018
Quoting Fani-Kayode: “The greatest danger to Nigeria’s stability, peace and unity is the insolent and rapacious disposition and insatiable lust for power of the Fulani hegemonists coupled with the Fulanisation and Islamisation agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“You cannot possibly comprehend the mindboggling mess that our country is in, let alone get us out of it until you fully appreciate this fundamental and basic point. For the last 59 years as a nation, we have been swimming in one big massive soakaway and the stench is unbearable.” These claims were not substantiated to date and he kept on reinforcing those claims.

He aligned with the IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in his secessionist plans and rationalized his inciting tantrums, he called for war Fast forward to the 16th of September 2021, FFK is singing a new song, he claims he was wrong with those claims and was brazen about it. This is where the security agencies and DSS should come in.

You can’t just make claims, fan embers of war, incite people, and turn around to say you were wrong without any consequence!

What happened to those he has misled and infuriated with his bogus claims? These people are part of those who became Unknown Gunmen attacking government facilities, killing police officers because they have been brainwashed by a certain smooth writer, FFK. Political pundits and good students of history will recall the one hundred days genocide in 1994 in Rwanda between the minority Tutsis and majority Hutus. The remote cause of the bloodshed was as a result of some sinister politicians who used the media to incite ethnic hatred. After the killings ended, the politicians were duly punished. Fani-Kayode fondly known by his initials as FFK is equally guilty of incitement. Many of his followers acted in hatred against their fellow countrymen based on his flowery language and acidic pen. There were victims – some slandered with their reputations eternally damaged, some possibly killed and maimed. What happens to them now that his sins have been forgiven, apologies to the former National APC Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole?

The DSS should immediately step in to arrest him and question him for his past inciting statements. The Minister for Communication & Digital Economy, Isa Pantami was questioned for his earlier sympathies with both the Al Qaeda Network and Osama Bin Laden. FFK shouldn’t also be spared as what is sauce for the goose should be equally sauce for the gander. Some online mediums had on September 17 alleged that Fani-Kayode is being considered seriously for a ministerial appointment. We cannot afford another repeat of DSS’s slip when it cleared Pantami and they should be proactive and prevent this from happening since we have a rubber stamp Senate with its nauseating characteristic bow and go syndrome which smirks of a nauseating level of indolence.

Faseyi, a co-founder of The Vent Republic Media, wrote from Abuja.