By Folorunso Fatai Adisa
A few weeks before he was assassinated in 1947, the esteemed advocate of non-violent opposition and resistance, Mahatma Gandhi, had a conversation with his grandson—Arun Ghandi— in which he provided him with the “seven blunders” that accounted for the violence that ravaged the world. The seventh blunder of the world is what Ghandi called, “politics without principle”. If we conclude that Ghandi had fashioned this after Femi Fani-Kayode, we would not be wrong as FFK is the textbook definition of an unprincipled politician: he speaks with both sides of his mouth.
Politics is where hypocrisy, falseness, double standards, rumours and depression meet up for coffee; and Femi Fani-Kayode(FFK) is the chief host. You cannot give what you don’t have, as they say. On the day dignity was being shared, FFK was absent.
As if the hair-raising developments engendered by insecurity and corruption in many parts of the country are not enough, the past few days have witnessed another round of the theatre of the absurd unfolding without interruption in Nigeria. The pick of the pack is the recent shenanigans, which smack of political immaturity and lack of the spirit of sportsmanship, on the part of Femi Fani-Kayode.
Today, Thursday, September 16, 2021, news report has it that a Former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, has defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress. He was presented to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), by the Chairman, Caretaker Committee of APC, and governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The aforesaid trending news is a clear picture of our dysfunctional system and the rudderless nature of our so-called leaders and/or politicians. FFK is unarguably the poster boy for unbridled public indecorum, nauseating political demagoguery, self-righteous vainglory, street-wise garrulity and illogical reasoning— the metaphor for double standard. If we must call a spade a spade, and not a farm implement, Nigerian leaders, men and women, young and old, are united by their long-throated greed and selfishness!
Here is someone who, some two years ago, described APC as darkness, and that we would never associate with the party. He said: “ I am committed to opposing the APC and those that are in their ranks for the rest of their natural life and I will never join them no matter what! They are nothing but darkness whilst I stand for the light of God and truth: there can be no fellowship between light and darkness”. However, now, hands have touched hands and the beats have changed. When he met with the president, he said: “He said, “The point is that I felt it was time to do the right thing, to put Nigeria first and appreciate the efforts that have been made, particularly in the last couple of years in terms of security; fighting insurgency and terrorism.“It is not always negative and when the time is right, we change direction to join forces and join hands to move the country forward.”
Incontrovertibly, FFK is a chameleon; He is greedy, and he loves to gallivant on the corridors of power in order to remain relevant. Indeed, former President Olusegun Obasanjo was right when he said: “Femi Fani Kayode is my boy. Give him food, he will praise you and sing for you”.
Notably, some thirty years ago, the late master writer, Chinua Achebe, in his book, “The Trouble with Nigeria”, described the trouble with Nigeria as “simply and squarely a failure of leadership”. He added further that “there is nothing basically wrong with the Nigerian character. There is nothing wrong with the Nigerian land or climate or water or air or anything else. The Nigerian problem is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to the responsibility, to the challenge of personal example which are the hallmarks of true leadership.”
When the submission of Achebe is compared with the current scenario in Nigeria, it would be fittingly appreciated that leadership has failed Nigeria as our politicians behave irrationally and it is little wonder that Nigeria is enmeshed in pathetic systemic failure at virtually all areas of development. They continue to prove Achebe right and his ideas ever-green.
Overall, people of double standards never experience happiness. Like FFK, they are nomads. They roam about, but they never find fulfilment wherever they perch. The reason is not far-fetched: their happiness has been usurped by avarice and hypocrisy.
Folorunso, Fatai Adisa writes in from Abeokuta.