Femi Fani-Kayode: A victim of our disordered society
It seems that as a Nigerian, one can not completely avoid commenting on the affairs of the nation no matter how determined you are to watch events from the side-lines or from the back row. Perhaps, that is a price for being intimately connected to the theatre of the absurdities – Nigeria. The current scene being watch played is the volte-face of Femi Fani-Kayode (FFK). That is his theatrical artifice from PDP to APC. Sadly, most of the comments about his action have been on the man, rather than seeing it as exposing the deep malaise lying at the heart of the country’s political life, or what we Nigerians erroneously describe as politics. A country that willingly and without rival accepts that the lack of integrity, ideology, conviction and above all, the relegation of values and public interests equates to ‘’politics’’ is gravely misguided.
I am afraid, if Nigeria continues to define politics as the above, the country will continue to oscillate in the vicious cycle of poverty, ignorance, and under-development. Nigerians, please let us begin to accept the universally accepted definition of, and principles of politics. There is a clear difference between apostasy and conviction politics. Politics is not a catch-all phrase for all manner of behaviour. Never call apostates, politicians. The former are emotionally unstable and morally deficient, while the latter are nation builders. No nation has attained any meaningful progress without adopting ennobling progressive ethos which conviction politicians abundantly offer. If Nigeria were to be an exception to this rule, it would have long reached the zenith of human endeavour.
Back to FFK, apart from conforming to the general bad behaviour of Nigerians who have managed to attain high political office, what could be his personal reason for his latest action? His type is a victim of the coercive economic system in Nigeria. Unlike other countries that started at the same base as Nigeria at independence, Nigerian government has adopted poverty as an instrument of securing the obedience and loyalty of its citizens. Thus, Nigerians have been deliberately pauperised to weaken their resistance even though there is pervading knowledge that the people innately lack the will or ability to organise for collective actions. Consequently, the country has turned into a beggars’ colony, in which anything goes for the sake of survival.
The difference between FFK and your relative whom begs you for money is level at which each pitches his request. I am certain that if Nigerian governments at all levels have considered expanding the country’s economic base, and there are great economic opportunities in the country, the numbers of FFK would be negligible. Frankly, their numbers have never been this high in the land.
If Nigerians spend time discussing action of the likes of FFK, we unwittingly encourage others of his psychological make to act out their bad behaviour. Discussing these people is the oxygen they crave to feed their exaggerated sense of self-importance. With the avalanche of the free commentaries trailing FFK’s defection, he now has the evidence to present to President Buhari of what he and APC have gained, never mind that APC “won” elections despite him. Nigerians, can we change? Chorus – Yes, we can.
•Kingsley Ogbonda wrotefrom London.