Fani Kayode’s strange nightmare (II)
Thirdly, and this point has been made severally, pilgrimage is one of the five pillars of Islam and is compulsory for Muslims to perform it in Mecca. In all sincerity, pilgrimage is not a pillar of Christianity and so FFK and his new suitors shouldn’t bore us with how North West governors have sponsored or not sponsored pilgrims. Fourthly, it is not Sultan’s business to ask North West governors to sponsor Christian pilgrims when Pastor and CAN President Oritsejafor is there to intervene on their behalf. I thought Christians elected Oritsejafor president of their association so he could minister to their needs. Finally, a President cannot lead from the rear; the president cannot be unfair to Muslims simply because governors in the North West are being unfair to their Christian compatriots. Is he copying the North West governors? President Jonathan shouldn’t have used the occasion of the Sultan’s complaint of marginalisation by Muslims to raise the issue of non-sponsorship of North West Christians to pilgrimage in Jerusalem. The President should address the issue raised by the Sultan equitably and then find a suitable time to take tackle the man on Christian pilgrimage. The two issues are not the same. Now the president has given the impression that he has deliberately kept the number of Muslims in his conference below that of Christians in retaliation for some perceived unfairness with which the North West governors treat Christians! Just for how long will President Jonathan intervene on behalf of Christians, six years, ten years? How long? This is how not to preside. This is graceless. This is spooky.
It is preposterous for any person, FFK inclusive, to say that the APC is an Islamic or Muslim party, or that its members are closet Islamists. In Nigeria, the struggle for power is not a matter of religion, otherwise Bola Ahmed Tinubu and other patriots wouldn’t have risked their lives and formed NADECO to challenge the (late) General Sani Abacha’s regime; after all Tinubu is a Muslim like Abacha.
Once upon a time when former Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Ahmed Sani and his colleagues across the North proclaimed Sharia Law in their domains, FFK loudly condemned it and advised President Olusegun Obasanjo to send troops to quash the move. Obasanjo, well aware of the legal and historic underpinnings behind the development flatly turned down such crazy advice, affirming that what those governors were trying to implement was “political Sharia”, which was constitutional, which he said he could handle. According to Obasanjo, the political Sharia threatened nobody and would “fizzle” out. As it turned out, no Christian was harmed on account of the Sharia. Only God knows what would have become of Nigeria if Obasanjo had taken the infantile advice of sending troops to Zamfara or anywhere.
Moreover, during his second tenure, Obasanjo had cause to quarrel with his then Vice President, Atiku Abubakar. It was a struggle for supremacy. Whereas Obasanjo was determined to subdue Atiku and make him irrelevant in the government, the likes of FFK were spoiling for a more draconian action. FFK wanted Obasanjo to out rightly dismiss Atiku from the Federal Executive Council. It was left for Obasanjo, the farmer, to teach Fani-Kayode, the lawyer, that Vice President Atiku retained the constitutional right to sit at cabinet meetings. Interestingly, Atiku went to court which reaffirmed this constitutional right, to the chagrin of FFK.
As for “a leading member of the party (APC) from Borno State that has been consistently accused of being the sole founder and originator of Boko Haram”, it is amazing that FFK, has not found the courage to confront his party man with those charges. Be that as it may, one must hasten to inform or remind FFK, since he has continued to pretend, that the last and only time he went to Maiduguri, President Jonathan had raised the hand of that “leading member of the party from Bornu” and proclaimed him his friend. It is inconceivable to say that Nigerian Muslims in any way encourage a group that slaughters innocent people on account of religion. For the vast majority of Nigerians, Muslims and Christians alike, Boko Haram is a monster born by democracy.
In fairness to FFK, he could make a good attack dog any day, but in reality he lacks electoral value. FFK is not electable, not even as a local government chairman. He is just good for the purpose of propaganda. FFK is just being hysterical and raising the spectre of religious divide to prepare the way for his next course of action, his return to PDP. There is a difference between a disciplined, level headed, uniting and committed party man and an uncouth tribal and religious agitator.
The APC is still evolving as a viable political party in Nigeria. It is either FFK stays inside to help build it like genuine party men and women are wont to do, or he returns to the “winning party”. But there is no need for him to begin to allege what is not as an alibi for his next course of action. The APC has a realistic chance of defeating PDP in next year’s election. Religion is only an issue because it has been made so by the likes of FFK. The vast majority of our people are hungry and poor and will accept food from their Christian or Muslim compatriots. This scaremongering by FFK, when APC is yet to formally announce its presidential ticket, is a self serving ruse.
When FFK says he is “an unapologetic Yoruba nationalist”, he means (and believes) that the Yorubas are better than any other people. Why then does he want to leave a political party planning to pick a Yoruba as its number two for another one that is marginalising them? What else should matter to FFK when the APC is returning the Yoruba nation to the presidency?