Analysis: It pays to be indecent in Nigeria’s brand of politics

In this photo taken on September 16, 2021, President Buhari is flanked by Governor Buni and Governor Matawalle (to the left), as well as Mr Fani-Kayode and Mr Mustapha (to the right) at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. Channels

In this photo taken on September 16, 2021, President Buhari is flanked by Governor Buni and Governor Matawalle (to the left), as well as Mr Fani-Kayode and Mr Mustapha (to the right) at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. Channels

By Maiwada Dammallam

A new baby is born to the APC family. Already befittingly named “PAY-ME” FANI KAYODE by erudite journalist cum public commentator Jafaar Jafaar. While shading tears of solidarity with many hardworking founding members of the APC who are yet to make it to the Aso Rock villa, let’s not miss the most important lesson of this “joyous” occasion.

In politics, at least Nigeria’s brand of politics, it pays a lot more to be indecent than to be decent or so the lesson seem to be teaching. It’s also more rewarding to be unreliable than to be reliable and, more respect and political mileage are gained by mastering and adopting the art of insults than by observing the tenets of decency.

To the joyous newly delivered APC, it should not be lost that babies like “Pay-me” are simply problematic; an unnecessary and very avoidable burden which should be avoided at any cost for many reasons some of which I will table here:

“Pay-me” is as valueless as they come. He is not known to have any political value much less, be seen as potential votes for the APC. Even more compounding, APC is a party built on the basis of trust, honesty and promises of good governance and “Pay-me” is a man with hanging corruption cases, a regular face at the EFCC beside being, to the end, a high level player of the corrupt PDP which APC chased out of power with a promise to change the way Nigeria operates. With no evidence of proper rehabilitation or improved mannerism, one could only ask what is “Pay-me” bringing to the APC to deserve a high level presidential reception?

Certainly, if APC could not see through “Pay-me’s” deceptive personality to risk this clumsy move that could annoy millions of its diehard followers, mostly people that stood their ground and called off the bluffs, threats and intimidations of charlatans like him, then one will not be too far off the road to say APC is not so reliable a co-traveller; one that people could rely on as friends rely on friends. Many people were pained when “Pay-me” was raining insults on both the APC and President Buhari for the single motive of preventing the birth of this administration. Even more worked hard to protect APC/Buhari from the venom of “Pay-me.” I don’t think they deserve being subjected to this monumental embarrassment.

Even more annoying, one doesn’t require more than average awareness to pick holes in the choice of “Pay-me” as a beneficiary for the presidential reception usually accorded only valuable players. To begin, “Pay-me” is a liar whose words even Pinnochio will not take serious hence, making him a very bad candidate salesmanship if the purpose of recruiting him is to market the APC or any of the many people preparing to contest at different levels in the upcoming 2023 elections. To assume “Pay-me” could be a good salesman for APC is to assume the sparkling woman in the “Klin” commercial could be substituted with vulture with no market repercussions.

“Pay-me” is the most infamous enemy of President Buhari thanks to his gutter language and absolute disrespect to boundaries of decency. The list of his verbal assaults on Buhari is longer than the combined rap sheets of Al Capone, Pablo Escobar and John Gotti and of course, more unforgivable. President Buhari couldn’t slaughter a Sallah ram without being accused of shedding blood by Kayode just to breathe life into a sustained campaign of calumny against the President, particularly the most childish, the one about Buhari either being a terrorist or sponsoring terrorism.

Of all the enemies of Buhari it’s only “Pay-me” that openly accused him of corruption. The enormity of this nonsense could only make sense to those who knows President Buhari’s disdain for corruption and his record of service as a soldier and as an administrator. “Pay-me” once lambasted Pastor Kumuyi for visiting “tyrant Buhari.” How could the pictures of “Pay-me” visiting Buhari in the villa and wearing the same face and smile of those who finally made it in life settle well with those who kept him at bay when he was working assiduously to feed Buhari to the dogs?

What exactly is APC aiming to achieve by recruiting a valueless charlatan like “Pay-me” at the risk of offending a very large army of pro bono APC/Buhari supporters? I know some of them who were shot at just to suppress their voices while rampaging people like “Pay-me” were busy trading lies about Buhari. Unless “Pay-me” is being recruited for a dirty job ahead, I don’t see any sense in the glamour added to his rebirth. President Buhari represents the hope and sacrifices of many Nigerians who risked it all to defend him from persistent attacks of the PDP and its foot soldiers like “Pay-me.” Packaging and presenting him to President Buhari as a Buhari/APC convert is the worse insult that could come the way of many good spirited and patriotic Nigerians that firmly stood by the APC and President Buhari against PDP and its foot soldiers like “Pay-me.”

Even worse, “Pay-me” can neither win election nor prevent somebody from winning election even in his Local Government. He is not morally sound for one to assume he could help prop up the image of the APC. Just what is an unrepentant hater like him signed to do for APC? I’m not one to fall for the balderdash about no permanent friends or enemies in politics behind which morons like “Pay-me” hides and get away with nonsensical behavior inimical to not only the development of democracy but humanity as well. What exactly are we teaching the next generation? That one can be so indecent and still get rewarded for it?

There may not be permanent friends or enemies in politics but certainly, this embarrassing event proves indecency is an asset in Nigerian politics. If people like “Pay-me” could spend almost two decades trying to undo APC/Buhari only to be signed as converts when it’s very obvious they lack the capacity to harm the APC much less, add value to it, then it’s more rewarding for one to be as indecent as the meter allows since the more indecent the merrier.

And I wonder, if Obasanjo who picked “Pay-me” from the gutter and made him a minister could not retain his loyalty, just how is APC going to retain his loyalty? By the way, how many similar tricks like this did “Pay-me” pulled in history just to remain close to power as a fish will keep to water for anybody to assume this round of hunger-induced transfer will be any different?

Can anybody swear “Pay-me” will not be on the first flight out of the APC when the chips are down? Of course, nobody will swear after all, there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics for anybody to be certain “Pay-me” will hang around should the fortunes of the APC take a dive. Nothing to worry though. Should that happen, APC will simply revert back to normal settings and rely on the large army of its loyal supporters (who today could not make it pass the first security gate of the villa) to deflect the venom of a then more armed and more emboldened Kayode.

My heart goes out to the many committed APC/Buhari supporters who wasted time and effort teaching the unteachable Kayode how to be decent only to see his indecency paying off handsomely.

*Maiwada Dammallam, a public affairs analyst writes from Abuja