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Femi Fani Kayode or FFK as he is fondly called wouldn’t even be a topic for discussion if not for the nature of Nigerian politics where all manner of players with shallow consciences are elevated to crucial positions in the realm of opinion molding. A place where politics is reduced to an exercise of reckless pleasure-seeking. A criminal enterprise drenched in shallowness and opportunism. FFK would have been enjoying the place of lunatics if the Nigerian political space did not offer him some sort of succour.
In better climes, FFK should be nothing but a buzzword for tomfoolery. Maybe an icon for treachery and principle-less politics. Or better still, a rabble-rouser who simply qualifies as an attack dog who can only be celebrated for his nuisance value.
Last week, quite a good number of gullible Nigerians who didn’t know FFK for whom he was were shocked when the former Minister of Aviation announced his defection to a party he had previously insisted that he would rather die than join. Blaming this set of Nigerians who were surprised would be difficult because, truth be told, FKK has a dangerous capacity to brainwash anyone that isn’t gifted enough to see through his antics.
To begin with, FFK has shared matrimony with five women between 1987 and date; from Saratu Attah to Yemisi Adeniji (now Yemisi Wada), to Regina Amono down to the Anambra born Precious Chikwendu who he battered so badly before throwing her out in the streets of Abuja in 2020. Presently, he is with a certain Nerita, what more evidence would a sane person need to understand that FFK is an unstable character? The signs have always been there.
FFK was born to a distinguished lawyer and politician. A look at his patrilineal lineage is a testament to academic excellence. His father and grandfather were both educated at the prestigious Cambridge University. He followed in their footsteps to also study Law at the same institution. But then again, how come he received good education in England but still lacks basic civility? Well, the most plausible answer to that is that FFK got a first-rate education but sadly skipped a class that taught character. Looking at the bigger picture, this just proves that moral principles can’t be inherited or jump-started.
FKK was not entirely bad. He is Gifted with a smart tongue but terribly lacking in sobriety. Rather than use his skills to pursue a decent carrier in his chosen law profession, he ventured into politics. Yes, in a country where politics can be a full-time job. A place where the average politician regresses in thoughts and only thinks of how to selfishly keep the country pauperised and underdeveloped.
Ever since he left law school in England, FFK’s world has been experienced nothing short of a turbulent scrambling for a balance. He simply went on to sacrifice his law degree for the anti-intellectual pursuit of wild conspiracy theories and briefcase activism. Yes, it was the easier way to do things in Nigeria where irresponsibility is often the watchword. Ever since he ventured into the murky waters of Nigerian politics, FFK’s template has always been about consistently barking at the government of the day until he gets invited to the dining table.
To buttress this, let’s even look at his antecedents, to begin with, like a dog, he barked so loud at Obasanjo that he had to create an image-laundering office, Special Assistant on Public Affairs, for him. Just to keep him sane and quiet. That couldn’t tame him and soon, he became the Minister for Culture and later for Aviation where he was only notable for calling former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, ‘Ole’ in FEC meetings. He eventually left government with Obasanjo in 2007 although not without mindlessly looting the aviation ministry.
To FFK, growing an impressive resume like Ngozi Okonjo Iweala or Akinwumi Adesina was crass stupidity or perhaps docility. While his peers were pursuing personal miles stones, FFK stayed back in Abuja to fire bullets at Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. A few months later, noticing that Umaru Yar’Adua barely noticed him, he immediately jumped on the ship of the newly created APC and immediately began acting as the party’s spokesperson unappointed. Unfortunately, Yar’Adua died and Jonathan replaced him, the unruly FFK simply seized the initiative and began to throw his stock in trade into use. First, he accused the Jonathan government of complicity in the rise of Boko Haram, and that Jonathan was plotting to manipulate the 2015 elections in a terrorism-ravaged country. Sensing that the Igbos stood so well with Jonathan, he attacked them so ferociously in the heat of the Anambra guber elections of 2013 courting immense outrage. Well, this time, it paid off. Barely one year later, he was the Director of Publicity for the Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign for the 2015 elections.
Following Jonathan’s loss at the polls in 2015, again, FFK was pushed out of the dining table. As typical of him, he began stomping around. This time, it was easier. A thoroughly incompetent Muhammadu Buhari had just taken power and naturally, he would provide FFK enough fodder to chew. Soon, FFK was everywhere chanting Islamisation and Fulanisation. He immediately went into the business of publishing tons and tons of articles spewing conspiracy theories, knowing fully well that he had a gullible audience at his disposal, he always made sure he punctuated his fables with Bible verses. Soon enough, he was a hero to many people.
The lifeless Buhari simply ignored him, for a man that had persistent ear problems, it was relatively easy. FFK went even wilder. This time, he began to champion Nigeria’s disintegration. This, by his thinking, would shake the establishment and oligarchy running Nigeria and arm-twist them into bringing him ‘in’. This didn’t pay off and FFK was again left in the wilderness of political ‘orphan-hood’. Again, as loud and emotional as FFK is, you must give it to him, his ability to identify fault lines and blow them out of proportion is second to none.
2019 came and Atiku Abubakar was the candidate of the opposition PDP. Atiku whom Fani Kayode had openly called all manner of unprintable names in the past was given a clean bill of health and hailed as a patriot by the same FFK. At the smell of Atiku’s dollars, he automatically became a Saint in FFK’s world. When the elections were won and lost amidst strong claims of irregularities from the opposition FFK knew it was time to move on.
He began plotting his way to APC in a more subtle way, first, he started from being Yahaya Bello’s handbag. A clueless Governor he had dismissed in a tweet in 2018 saying ‘When I wrote that this boy was a useful idiot and an accursed slave, some said I was being harsh. Truth is that he is even worse than that. His mental faculties are non-functional.’ Just to follow a bush path to the APC, FFK became Bellow’s propagandist. A man he is almost two decades older than.
Next, he moved on to hailing Mattawalle of Zamfara, and soon enough, he was on a trip to Zamfara to present his head to an Emir to be turbaned. In the aftermath, he became the Sadauki of Shinkafi and the mission was almost complete. A few months later, he was at Yusuf Buhari’s wedding to seal the deal. Alas, his hustle had paid off. Less than a month later, he met with Buhari, a man he has called so many unprintable names.
The news of his sycophantic assessment of the APC-led government since his defection is damning. He’s suddenly become an apologist for those he once told the whole are devils. These are the ‘devils’ FFK now refers to as ‘friends and brothers’ and daily engages in the dangerous job of ‘bridge-building’ with.
In conclusion, FFK might have allowed his ability to use the English language to becloud his sense of reasoning making him assume himself to be smart and witty. While undertaking new tasks for his slave masters, he should understand that just as his friend El-rufai had once posited, ‘The Fulani never forgives’. He would still get his fair dose of punishment for the things he did and wrote about them. Yes, he might be lucky that despite his glaring and crippling moral handicaps, he might get off to a positive start in the APC, but then he would eventually be discarded as soon as he outlives his purpose in 2023. And as for the speculated promise of Vice Presidency, nothing can be more delusional. Indeed, the Nigerian political scene is grossly overrated.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK