Chief Femi Fani-Kayode (FFK), the former Minister of Culture and Tourism and later Aviation under the Obasanjo ‘Babacracy’ is a typical Nigerian politician of fortune: hypocritical, opportunistic, corrupt and mendacious. Like many of his PDP colleagues he has had some highs and lows in government. And like some of them he could be described as an ‘AGIP’ politician (All-Government-In-Power). One of his high points in power was when he was appointed a Minister by former President Olusegun Obasanjo whom he had dutifully served prior as a Special Assistant on Public Affairs. Though he never delivered any great thing in the various ministries he oversaw the ministerial appointments marked perhaps his greatest accomplishment as a politician of light-weight division, one who had never won any election from his village to the national level.
And the lowest point could be said to be his recent encounter with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) agents. Fani-Kayode was arrested weeks back and taken into custody for the funds he collected from the detained former National Security Adviser (Sambo Dasuki) under the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan. During the last presidential election of last year he was among the PDP Chieftains who were paid huge sums of money meant for the purchase of weapons for our military to empower them to fight Boko Haram soundly. Dasuki simply ignored the complaints of lack of adequate weaponry for the armed forces to be able to frontally confront the terrorists up north and went about sharing the largesse for the re-election of the ex-President.
Though FFK has since regained his freedom it was not the first time he would be interacting with the anti-graft agents in Lagos or Abuja. Middle of 2008, it would be recalled, he was picked up in connection with the alleged misappropriation of billions of Naira. And again in December of the same year he was cornered by the EFCC and slammed with 47 counts of money laundering! He was later discharged and acquitted by the federal high court in Lagos. This time around the man was charged for his role in Dasuki-gate but he was released on bail pending another date and day in court. He spent weeks upon weeks in the EFCC detention facility.
Fani-Kayode was educated in the United Kingdom from where he had a law degree in 1983. His academic profile is rich enough that we cannot take him as one who is academically challenged or describe him as barely educated..He did fairly well in school which he terminated in Cambridge University but in terms of service to the fatherland in his political career there is nothing much to write home about here. He has been a freeloader, a rabble-rouser and executive errand boy who during the Obasanjo presidency was throwing insults about, talking down on those greater than him. Today he has ‘worked’ very hard to become a columnist with the ‘Sun’ newspaper based in Lagos.
Fani wants us to see him as a social critic or a public commentator who defends the interest of the people or one who regularly points out omissions in government policies and programmes. Criticism is good but when it is not constructive enough it becomes an avenue for self-advertisement and drawing silly attention to one’s folly or failures in life. And when one criticizes for the sake of making some noise or causing controversy then silence becomes golden.
Today the former Minister has gone back to his pastime of social criticism. Weekly (if not mid-weekly) he churns out articles in the ‘Sun’ and online about the state of the nation and other mundane and spiritual issues of the day. He sounds holier-than-thou and more Catholic than the Pope in some and in others he sounds like a man in search of personal re-discovery. And in some others he sounds incoherently didactic and in some others confused and desperate for attention. Yesterday he would lampoon the “Mai Changi” (a tasteless mockery of the President’s ‘Change’ mantra) and today he would tell us why Hausa language is a language of domination for the northerners. And tomorrow he would inform us about the impending socio-economic doom in Nigeria.
The way he quotes the Bible and refers to Biblical figures in his articles would make one to want to take him seriously as a repented executive crook who has somewhat undergone the Saul/Paul dramatic Damascus experience in our modern time. But the truth is that Femi is after something: maybe a job! The money he has made defending the indefensible in government and attacking his perceived ‘foes’ or those of his paymasters must have been depleting fast given the fact that cheap money is no longer coming his way. So a way must be found to replenish the bank accounts for the good times to continue!
Fani-Kayode is frustrated politically. And history shows that whenever he is found in this kind of precarious situation of dwindling fortunes he becomes desperate demonstrating certain nuisance value and putting himself forward as an opposition figure whose dissenting views should count and be taken seriously. But the problem with this mercenary politics of self-preservation and self-interest does not resonate with the present political dispensation in our dear nation. President Buhari cannot be swayed by the notorious shenanigans of this nature to the extent of condescending so low as to engage them contractually or professionally. For doing so would amount to bowing to hypocrisy and mediocrity. As a strongman of great patriotic and moral rectitude he does not operate from the same sane world with the columnist.
Sometime ago FFK had had a controversial spat with the beautiful wife of the late Biafran warlord, Ikemba Ojukwu, Ambassador Bianca. FFK had alleged that he had had an intimate relationship with the former Miss Nigeria. Madam Ojukwu disagreed angrily threatening to sue him for defamation. Femi later apologised! He was alleged to be doing drug in the past so one does not know if he continued the ‘coke’ ‘runs’ or not. One thing must kill a man, some addicts would remind you if you seek to remind them of the consequencies of the addiction, whether it is narcotics, women or drinking and smoking. Yes, we must all die one way or the other, one day, but our prayer is that our children should be better than us. Again we pray for greatness and for inner happiness.
Fani-Kayode is a serial philanderer who has divorced more than once. He seems to be a good student of Francis Arthur Nzeribe’s notorious marital philosophy: marry a woman, have child(ren) with her and ‘discharge’ her for another! FFK the writer has married thrice and divorced thrice! He had a son with a mistress named Precious Chikwendu who was the winner of the 2014 Miss United Nations international beauty pageant! His marital life tells a whole lot about his personality and his relationship with women.
Like Senator Dino Melaye, the famous “thug” and “dog” from Kogi state he cannot maintain a decent marital home. They use and dump women without remorse. They are playboys and they could be misogynists without knowing same to be true about them. If they were musicians like the late Afrobeat legend Fela, Felix Lebarty or King Sunny Ade then we would have better understood their lustfulness and polygamous preference.
Some people had called the Nzeribe marital system as “contract marriage” and others had described same as connubial irresponsibility. The truth in-between is that conjugal attitude represents a lot in the life of every responsible Adam. When there is genuine love between you and your wife the issue of divorce does not arise! The issues of the day, no matter how intractable, are better resolved in the bedroom without outside intervention. You do not ‘hire’ and ‘fire’ love! Love endures everything and tolerates all human frailties. It positively empowers and brings out the best in us! Most successful men who had achieved greatness owed some of their staying power to their wives’ support and encouragement.
Between yesterday’s rise and fall from power and glory to today’s propagation of doomsday prophecy the question ought to be asked as to whether Femi Fani-Kayode has been liberated, nay delivered, from his multiple sins against God and man and his economic crimes against his fatherland? Or if he is still seized, nay possessed, by the forces of demonic dimension? If the former were to be the case then the process of atonement must ave begun in earnest! And if the latter happened to be the case then the powers of darkness must have prevailed in his life!
To attain salvation, therefore, there is need for renunciation of hypocritical posturings and the imbibing of some lessons in patriotism. Notwithstanding the foregoing we believe strongly that FFK is more possessed now than delivered. In Nigeria many a politician suffer from the ‘demon’ syndrome without knowing same to be true of their condition — the demon of pomposity, of filthy lucre. The demon of elitism, of egotism and narcissism. And the solution could be some kind of spiritual deliverance to exorcise the demon within.