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Nigerian politics is what one would call a very dirty game and most of those who play it have mastered the complex act of playing the filthy game at the expense of their dignity, self-worth and personalities. ‘There is no gentleman in Nigerian politics’ is a saying which is very popular among the elite Nigerian statesmen and politicians. This is because the whole concept of the political game has been restrategised to allow only ruffians and ruthless people to have an upper hand while those with good intentions are downtrodden and used as stepping stones to get ahead.
Take for example two popular Nigerian politicians like Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and Femi-Fani Kayode the former Aviation Minister in President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration who have made it clear that they have an eye for the presidential seat come 2023. The very thought or delusion that this duo would even dream about contesting for President or vying for presidential tickets in their respective parties is completely laughable and any Nigerian political observer would tell you the same thing.
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Governor Yahaya Bello is presently the youngest governor in this present adminstration under President Muhammadu Buhari and he is currently serving his second tenure after a very controversial election that saw him winning under bizzre circumstances. One would assume that with his age, he would have a goood rapport with Nigerian youths and would understand their pain and the struggle for better leadership in the State but this is not the case as Governor Yahaya Bello has proven beyond all reasonable doubt that he is completely unfit to be President. While making open his plans to run for President, he explicitly stated that Nigerians were actually the ones forcing the Presidential ambition on him:
‘Nigerians, the youth and women, including very objective elite, are asking me to run for president in 2023. My answer will be in affirmative in a little time from now’.
‘I think they are seeing something in me, that they are asking me to come and unite and fix this country,’ he said.
‘Let’s restructure and allow the younger generation take over the leadership of this country.’
He can be best described as a clown with clownish methods of leadership. He rules his State with a very heavy hand while running a dictactor type of administration. He jails journalists and critics at will which is why the United States of America slammed a travel ban on him. He is also known to be an outlandish womaniser and his taste of women of easy virtue includes foreign women and celebrities who he frolicks with not minding his marital status. His State lacks potential infrastructural development and his leadership scorecard for his state is completely below par. If this is the path he wants to tow to be recognised as a potential presidential candidate for the 2023 race, then he might be in for a shocker because his false promises don’t actually hold any water. But if all is put under retrospect then he might be the better of the two because the second contender, Femi-Fani Kayode is a complete buffon when compared to Governor Yahaya Bello.
The man, Femi Fani-Kayode, is a political enigma, not because he has the capacity to win an election or has ever won a major electoral battle anywhere in Nigeria but because he has a way of attracting undue controversy to himself in spite of having no real electoral value. He first tasted politics when former President Olusegun Obasanjo brought in a group of ‘young and capable’ stooges, many of whom came from privileged background. They were part of the Progressive Action Movement coordinated by Akin Osuntokun at the twilight of the country’s return to politics, and the membership included Segun Awolowo and Fani-Kayode, all in their 30s. Former President Obasanjo brought them into political office in various capacities and thus launched the man that became better known as FFK into national consciousness.
Not much in terms of controversy could be associated with him during President Obasanjo’s tenure, even though he had two high profile positions, first as special assistant on public affairs, then later as a cabinet member. But it is surprising that it was the former President Goodluck Jonathan that gave Nigerians an insight into the particular character that now defines FFK’s politics and his buffonic ways. Just in case anyone has forgotten, it was still his benefactor, former President Obasanjo that told Nigerians that once Femi Fani-Kayode is well-fed, he would sing and dance in favour of his Paymaster(s). Now, taking a look at the trajectory of FFK’s politics, from his days in the Obasanjo kitchen cabinet, through his stint as spokesman for the Goodluck Jonathan campaign team, points to the fact that the former President was right after all about FFK and his sycophancy.
This fact is derived from the fact that Fani-Kayode was an Obasanjo critic before he was offered a job, and he was also known to have thrown darts at Jonathan and his administration but ended up acting like the attack dog of both administrations. He featured prominently at the Abuja end of the Occupy Nigeria protest when the Jonathan administration embarked on the partial deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil sector. With his caustic, double-sided tongue, FFK was the cynosure of all eyes at the Berger roundabout and Area 1 protest grounds in Abuja, but a few months later, not a few Nigerians were stunned to see him on the government’s side, defending the administration and marshalling strong arguments on why Jonathan deserves a second term in office. Unofficial reports indicated at the time that the loquacious politician had a budget at his disposal. So, with the benefit of hindsight, it was not surprising that he sang himself hoarse in order to sell the same product that he had previously de-marketed on several occasions.
But perhaps nothing could be said to have cast the darkest cloud on what is left of his reputation as the manner he literally swallowed his vomit by joining a political party that he had since his days as the Jonathan campaign spokesman presented as an evil gathering. Not even the fact that one of his bosom friends, late Mallam Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari could stop him from painting the president and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) bad. FFK is so shameless that without being prompted or forced, he has suddenly traced his maternal lineage to Sokoto just to frolick with the Fulani cabal better with the delusion of Vice Presidential position.
Femi Fani-Kayode is the impersonation of the word shameless and this is why he cannot be trusted with anything at all and not even with a ticket to the Presidential race because of his egoistic and cunning ways.
Top among the most troubling electoral traditions of the average Nigerian electorate is to vote the highest bidder, or vote on the basis of religion or ethnicity. In 2023, if Nigerians choose a President as carelessly as they used to do, the President probably will not only rule to end the country but will also plunge her into unnecessary tribal wars, and may be the very last President of Nigeria. This is in view of contemporary social and political realities and all the terrible traumas bedevilling Nigeria today.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK