In an article published in The Nation of Saturday, the 19th of March, 2011 with the above title, Yusuf Alli presented us with what one will aptly call the misinformed outbursts (no overestimation) of a wounded but still loyal friend (read ‘accomplice’; mind you, Obasanjo will tag it vitriolic).
He provided a number of stated facts that only privileged members of a spiritual sect or a political caucus would be able to afford. Somehow, these facts seem to elude some of us, who are riveted by them and more by an attempt to reconcile them with the personality of the former HON. Minister of Aviation. And as such, certain clarifications may well be helpful before we can properly fix him in our book of good records, which he is trying to secure, albeit miscalculated.
The following are important notes I was able to squeeze out of the concoction:
…Fani-Kayode thinks the choice of late Umaru Musa Yar’adua as President was Obasanjo’s biggest mistake.
…he admitted that “ex-Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, made a lot of mistakes, certain things that were not acceptable”, as if they were fewer and minor than graver. Yet, he believes Atiku’s issue “could have been managed better.”
…Femi Fani-Kayode eulogized Gen. Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida…”being a stabilising factor for Obasanjo’s government from day one.” In his reckoning, “Someone that brought you into power, brought you out of jail and for you to allow Babangida’s son to be arrested and detained, for doing nothing wrong, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), was something I think was a grave error…. Babangida was a positive force and he could have been treated with far more respect….” I’ll rather jump at asking how I may lead the pack of respectful herd here.
“The number three mistake, which I think was the second greatest mistake, was the attempt to have a third term in office…. And third term is something that is perfectly within his right to attempt to change the constitution. But it was rejected by the people and it failed.” Who knows? If it hadn’t been rejected successfully, the then honourable Minister would have been neck-deep in it serving the people well with hot vituperations, especially those, who raised eyebrow.
Meanwhile, taken that these were actual blunders that the majority of Nigerians would find difficult to condone, can we clearly say they were justifiable owing to the circumstances in which they were committed and by whom they were perpetrated? Also considering the haphazardly undulating graphical illustration of the political and moral integrity of Fani-Kayode, is this belated judgment coming from him acceptable to us as a milestone in his redemptive exercise?
Let it not be quickly forgotten that those, who voiced these same sentiments at the height of that administration became instant victims of the razor-sharp mouth of this chamelion-ic politician!
If I am not suffering amnesia, one thing Fani-Kayode would always be remembered for is that he was the one person that symbolically cleaned the mess of the Obasanjo administration. He rationalised all their decisions and even served as the unofficial spokesman. That government was one that a lot of us remember not being sure who actually was the Minister of Information and Communications.
“No permanent friend, no permanent enemy” is a principle that has consistently been applied by our man, with disregard for integrity. Pardon him!
To add salt to injury, Fani-Kayode reasoned against third term, “We felt that we had done our best for the government. Obasanjo had done two terms; he should go and appoint a successor. A good person to continue with his policies. That was our view.” That sounds like only Obasanjo, with their advise and support, could recognise and handpick a good ruler for Nigeria.
That is the mentality of an average politician, who wishes to keep himself or herself in the corridors of power – “…Obasanjo should go and appoint a successor.”
Where is the democratic spirit? And he said all of these without shame and with an intention for all Nigerians to read it, digest it and be happy (I suspect) about it.
Conclusively, I don’t know what the rights and wrongs are in this case, but I’ll take these statements, coupled with his suggestion (or is it call to duty) to respect Babangida and his having happily levelled with Atiku Abubakar, to the next gathering of my INSANE friends at our favourite watering hole for a jaw-jaw before any war-war is instituted.
However, while that happens, I’ll suggest the intended redemption be put on hold.