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Fani-Kay­ode’s strange nightmare

Daily Trust - - VIEWS -

Uh-oh, here he comes again, this time with a red-hot red her­ring. Dea­con Femi FaniKay­ode - I shall pre­serve space hence­forth by sim­ply call­ing him FFK, in tune with our new love for ini­tials - has all but gone back in the po­lit­i­cal di­rec­tion he came from. A few months ago he had loudly an­nounced his de­par­ture from the Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP), call­ing it “an evil” and his mem­ber­ship of the All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC). He had trav­elled to the North to con­fer with like minds in Kano and Ji­gawa govern­ment houses, com­par­ing notes with Gov­er­nors Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso and Sule Lamido, among oth­ers, about what should be done to dis­lodge Pres­i­dent Good­luck Jonathan from of­fice. But from all in­di­ca­tions now, FFK has gone full cir­cle and now we are just wait­ing for him to an­nounce his rea­sons for re­turn­ing to the rul­ing party.

But what could have gone wrong with FFK’s APC mem­ber­ship? Ac­cord­ing to him, he has had a strange dream that the APC is go­ing to present a Mus­lim/Mus­lim ticket and “they will sim­ply con­firm it”. This might just have been a nightmare, how­ever, be­cause hav­ing wo­ken up, FFK has in an­other breath con­ceded that “the party (APC) lead­er­ship it­self has not ex­pressed such an in­ten­tion..... the mat­ter still re­mains in the realm of spec­u­la­tion.” So, why is FFK dis­turb­ing us with this red her­ring in mat­ters that are still “in the realm of spec­u­la­tion”?

With FFK, there is al­ways a pat­tern - and it is anti-North and anti-Mus­lim. You can­not be “an un­apolo­getic Yoruba na­tion­al­ist” and love the North or Mus­lims. A few years ago, Van­guard had car­ried a cou­ple of ar­ti­cles in which he had blasted for­mer Pres­i­dent Oluse­gun Obasanjo for giv­ing in to the Mus­lim North. Shortly af­ter, Obasanjo brought him into the govern­ment, first as an as­sis­tant on pub­lic af­fairs, and then a min­is­ter and this ended the com­bat. Now, a chain of “rather strange and cu­ri­ous event”(s) is un­der­way, and in a twist not un­ex­pected of the Jonathan ad­min­is­tra­tion, the EFCC has an­nounced that it had been act­ing silly by go­ing af­ter FFK and ques­tion­ing him about mil­lions of naira al­legedly laun­dered in his last post as Obasanjo’s Min­is­ter of Avi­a­tion. Ac­cord­ing to EFCC now, no such money was stolen dur­ing FFK’s ten­ure in the said min­istry. FFK has sud­denly gone on to ac­cuse APC of plan­ning a Mus­lim/Mus­lim ticket in the 2015 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion; he has vis­ited Pres­i­dent Jonathan in the Villa af­ter which he had con­ferred with his “eg­bon”, the Chief of Staff, prob­a­bly “to seal the deal”.

But what is it that has changed to war­rant FFK’s re­turn to the PDP? Noth­ing, I dare say. Mi­nus his red her­ring, here is the rul­ing party’s record: prize for the most cor­rupt regime cul­mi­nat­ing in the miss­ing $20b; less than 4,000MW of elec­tric­ity which has earned us the so­bri­quet “the gi­ant in the dark”, notwith­stand­ing bil­lions of dol­lars “in­vested” in the en­ergy sec­tor; bur­geon­ing in­sur­gency in the North East, slowly spread­ing to the cen­tre of the coun­try; 24% un­em­ploy­ment rate drama­tised by the death of the un­der-rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Mus­lims in the mem­ber­ship of the so called na­tional con­fer­ence. If truly the pres­i­dent had asked the Sul­tan “why it was that the Mus­lim gov­er­nors of the North West do not spon­sor mem­bers of their Chris­tian com­mu­nity to pil­grim­age in Jerusalem in the same way that they spon­sor the mem­bers of their Mus­lim com­mu­nity to Mecca” as a counter to the is­sue raised by the Sul­tan, that is quite a shame. First of all, whether in the case of Mus­lims or Chris­tians, it is not a right for any of them to be spon­sored on pil­grim­age whether to Mecca or Jerusalem or Rome, and even if the Pres­i­dent doesn’t know this, FFK who claims to be a lawyer knows that. It is there­fore bizarre for the pres­i­dent to de­mand that people, any­body, is spon­sored on pil­grim­age, in­stead of warn­ing of­fi­cials against mis­us­ing pub­lic funds. Sec­ondly, the pres­i­dent says he has con­ceived his con­fer­ence as a fo­rum where Nige­ri­ans should dis­cuss how to live to­gether; the ques­tion is which faith will sus­tain the logic that in a Nigeria with “at least 80 mil­lion Chris­tians and Mus­lims on both (sic) sides of the di­vide” (ac­cord­ing to Femi FaniKay­ode him­self) the two faiths have un­equal rep­re­sen­ta­tions at cru­cial ne­go­ti­a­tions leading up to the re­al­i­sa­tion of a peace­ful, pros­per­ous and in­di­vis­i­ble Nigeria as the mem­ber­ship

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