Fani Kay­ode’s strange nightmare (II)

Daily Trust - - OPINION -

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?

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